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SEO Headlines: May 2014

Google kept the SEO world on its toes last month with a pair of major updates that impacted some of the web’s biggest sites.

But Google wasn’t the only one dishing out headaches in the month of May. Thanks to a major ruling from the European Union, Google may be making major changes to their European operations.

Here’s a look at the SEO and Google news from May, 2014.

Panda 4.0 – Every month SEO’s chatter on forums about phantom Panda/Penguin updates but, this month, they turned out to be right. Google officially rolled out Panda 4.0 on May 20. Most English language sites aren’t hit too hard by Panda updates anymore but many international sites saw significant traffic drops.

Payday Loan 2.0 – Around the same time Panda 4.0 rolled out, Google also launched its Payday Loan 2.0 update. Once again, this update had a pretty narrow impact and was targeted at some very specific industries (including its namesake, payday loans).

No Algorithm Trifecta – Though SEO forums correctly caught the Panda and Payday Loan updates, chatter about a possible Penguin update turned out to be false.

eBay Hit with Manual Penalty – eBay, the pioneering web auction site was hit with a significant manual penalty last month that caused thousands of its listings to disappear. Despite early chatter that it may have been the result of the Panda update, current thinking is that the penalty was due to sloppy AdWords management.

The Right to Be Forgotten – While SEO’s clamor to reach the top of the SERPs, the European Union delivered what’s now known as the, right to be forgotten. Thanks to a recent ruling from the EU, millions of Europeans now have the right to remove their names from Google search results.

Though Google is taking steps to help facilitate that process, it remains to be seen how the ruling will impact Euro searches and how many folks will be taking advantage of it.

Model Fights Porn Images– In Argentina Google is locked in a court battle with model Maria Belen Rodriguez over search results linking her image to porn and prostitution sites.

For their part, Google told CNN, “Search engines are neutral platforms that do not create nor control content on the web.”

Rodriguez says she’s just tired of being identified as a prostitute online.

Yahoo! Still Exists (Barely) – Yahoo!’s long slide from search engine dominance continues as search experts predict their share of the market will slip to below 10% sometime in the next month. (Ouch.)