Google is currently running a “multi-week” rollout of an update that will continue until the week after July 4th. Matt Cutts mentioned the update in response to some questions about “car insurance” spam on Twitter.
The fact that this is in response to “car insurance” seems to indicate that this is part of the “payday loans” initiative Cutts talked about recently. We haven’t confirmed that, but the term seems to fit the bill. As Alex Graves at David Naylor’s Blog, who pointed out Cutts’ tweet earlier this morning, notes, “car insurance” is one of the big competitive niche areas online.
Cutts said at SMX earlier this month that Google had started the update to help clean up spammy queries. He had warned about the update in a video in May, when he said:
“We get a lot of great feedback from outside of Google, so, for example, there were some people complaining about searches like ‘payday loans’ on Google.co.uk. So we have two different changes that try to tackle those kinds of queries in a couple different ways. We can’t get into too much detail about exactly how they work, but I’m kind of excited that we’re going from having just general queries be a little more clean to going to some of these areas that have traditionally been a little more spammy, including for example, some more pornographic queries, and some of these changes might have a little bit more of an impact on those kinds of areas that are a little more contested by various spammers and that sort of thing.”
So if Google had already started one update related to this back during SMX, and another one just started within recent days, that couldd be the “two different changes” Cutts mentioned.
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) June 22, 2013