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SEO News & Google Updates – June 2014

The SEO overlords at Google were pretty quiet during the month of June but maybe that’s because they were so very busy rolling out Panda 4.0 back in May.

In fact, many of the stories that made SEO headlines in June were a direct result of the blowback caused by the Panda rollout. Google, it turns out, is dead serious about taking on thin content and hit some very big names, very hard over the past few weeks.

Here are the big SEO news stories from June, 2014.

PR Newswire Removes Spam – Press release and Q&A sites are notorious for hosting reams of thin content which is why PR Newswire is suddenly advocating a major spam crackdown. The PR powerhouse saw its traffic nosedive in the Post-Panda landscape and is now busy at work pulling down spammy releases and pushing Panda-friendly content policies.

Panda Smacks eBay – Perhaps no business was hit harder by Panda 4.0 than eBay. Some reports suggest that the web giant’s sloppy advertising practices and thin content cost them more than 80% of their top Page Rankings. That smackdown is even more significant given the fact that eBay is Google’s largest product listing advertising client.

June 24th Update – No month would be complete without at least one phantom update uproar on SEO forums and June was no exception. Late last month SEO watchers claimed to have seen evidence of an update of some kind but, as is so often the case, it turned out to be nothing.

Payday Loan Update – Payday Loan is one of those updates that gets a lot ink in the SEO press, but doesn’t really impact a whole heck of a lot of people. Payday Loan 3.0, which hit the streets on June 12 got attention, but hardly anyone would cop to having been impacted by it. (Payday Loan 2.0, which only rolled out a month ago, impacted just 0.2% of all English language queries.

Google Authorship Pictures Going Away – If you’re a fan of hiring freelance writers based on their looks, Google’s got some bad news for you. Those author photos that have been accompanying search results, and were a big part of Google’s Authorship program, are going away. According to company spokesman John Mueller, the move is designed to simplify the visual results on mobile platforms.