The payday loan industry continues to be a lucrative and popular sector in the UK.
With Google’s SERPs inundated with black hat SEO and hacked sites, the search engine giant responded with a unique payday lending algorithm, which it has continued to develop and refine since 2013, as discussed in the report. review of last year’s payday loan algorithm.
Never before has Google dedicated an entire algorithm to a particular product in such an open way, and at the time it was considered revolutionary.
However, since my last play, the industry has seen other challenges and changes and this has had a profound impact on which companies rank and the type of search terms we see.
Notably, the increase in compensation claims caused the loss of four of the UK’s largest lenders, which opened up the market for other lenders and brokers to capture up to a million additional leads who were previously inaccessible. Therefore, getting to the front page of “payday loans” is still a priority for many businesses and new entrants.
How to Rank for Payday Loans in 2019
Using fresh content is important, as it is with most industries and services. Specifically, for payday loans, using quality landing pages (rather than a home page) is more effective in ranking key terms. Of the top 20 search positions, only three use their homepage to rank, with 17 using dedicated landing pages that use either / payday-loans /, / payday-loans-uk / or / payday-loans- alternative/.
While the mention of using alternatives was very popular last year, it is now only mentioned in two top 20 meta titles.
No comparison tables
Similar to last year, there are still no comparison tables appearing in the top search results, with the closest on page three (all lenders) and not even the main Money.co.uk appearing in the first four pages. Compared to other products such as credit cards and auto insurance, comparison tables are used in the majority of first page ads.
The lack of comparison tables is surprising, given the regulator’s incentive for consumers to use more comparison sites in this space and each lender, by law, to list at least one price comparison site ( PCW) on its home page.
Direct lenders still rule
In the absence of comparison websites, sites classified as “direct lenders” continue to be the top ranked websites, which is why many lenders use this terminology in their metadata, internal links, and content.
Google has clearly favored sites with clear user intent and the ability to find the product and request it in one place, without having to leave. Direct lenders have used several calls to action on their landing pages and it is proving successful.
Links, links and more links
The payday loan algorithm continues to be heavily influenced by link usage and link manipulation. Many sites ranked in the top five and top 10 for payday loans continue to use PBN networks and purchase links with a mix of brand and exact match matches with multiple landing pages. Supplemented with a regular monthly disallowance file, this seems to work well and consistently for various lenders who continue to stay on the front page for over two years.
Elsewhere, new entries have entered the market taking older domains with a strong back links and not necessarily those related to loans or financing. Groups like Omacl, New Horizons, and CUJ have made huge strides in the past 12 months, being virtually unknown and building on strong ties in education, science and technology, which suggests that Google also rewards links from different industries.
Elsewhere, for many direct lenders, they have benefited from buying and selling leads from lead generation brokers such as Quint and subsequently obtained links in privacy policies and terms and conditions (even if no link is necessarily required) from many sites. This has given several lenders a huge boost in rankings and a much higher trust score than other types of links.
Is the market moving towards bad credit conditions?
The stricter FCA requirements have unsurprisingly led to fewer funded loans and more difficult circumstances for those with bad credit. This has increased the number of search volumes for bad credit terms, including bad credit loans (145,000 monthly searches) and other variations such as “bad credit payday loans” (40,500 monthly searches) and “Payday loans without credit check” (27,100 per month searches) – in fact some sites have been optimized specifically to target such terms such as bad credit site and bad credit payday.
Signals of trust and user engagement
While trust signals such as about us pages, FAQs, and contact pages will always be useful for SEO, Google may give weight to other features such as calculators, forms, and contact information. based.
Referring to Wonga.com, the former market leader, they had dominated the top three positions for payday loans for more than five years, but since taking office in November and removing their calculator and background information on loans, today it’s not even just the first 10 pages of Google.
Manual changes by Google
While this is just an urban myth, many SEO pros will hint at the idea that Google is making manual changes and choosing to upgrade and downgrade various sites in the Loans Algorithm. salary.
Following an algorithm change in March and June, we saw some selected sites gain huge improvements and others drop massively. It could simply be the cyclical nature of Google’s algorithms and updates, or Google’s genuine attempts to improve the quality of search results for potential payday loan clients.
Conclusion points to rank for payday loans in 2019
- Landing pages more successful than home pages
- Comparison tables less successful than direct lenders
- Links are extremely important. PBNs are strong and successful links with other industries, although they may be unrelated to loans and finance.
- Bad credit terms show increased search volumes
- Confidence signals such as calculators and loan information are essential
Search results are cyclical and subject to algorithm updates.
Daniel Tannenbaum is the CEO of Guarantor Loan Comparison.