This Week In Web - 8.15.14

  •   Miki Pacifico

By Miki Pacifico

This week - Never get a Payday Loan, Google finds Nemo, and some funny stuff

Payday Loans

In the latest edition of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, the nefarious dealings of Payday Loan companies came under scrutiny. Questionable practices such as interest rates in the hundreds to thousands of percentage points per year make borrowing funds from such establishments a vicious cycle of debt and misery. Legislative bodies across the US have attempted to reign in the bad habits of Payday Loan companies by imposing limits on the amount of interest that is allowed to be charged only to have those same slippery companies glide through legal loopholes to continue on with their odious plot.

Money

Those of us in the search engine optimization field have had our eye on Payday Loans for a while, with Google’s Payday Loan algorithm, launched in June 2013 and a recent update in May of this year. Google’s algorithm targets spammy queries, which also targets pornography and other heavily spammed industries. 

The lesson to be learned from the high volume of attention that Payday Loan companies receive in the media, the government, and the biggest search engine in the world? In the words of Sarah Silverman, “do literally anything else”. Anything other than borrowing, anything other than agreeing to be the SEO for one of these companies (like 90% of the reason why “Black Hat SEO” is a thing). Literally anything else.

Google Ocean View

In much more awesome news, Google Street View maps will now include sections of underwater coral reefs for marine sanctuaries. The same cameras that caught my neighbor’s hillbilly lawn chairs and that dead body are now getting a waterproofing and are taking the plunge in Florida’s Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Go check out these stunning images.

#RIPRobinWilliams

I would be remiss if I didn’t at least touch on the fact that the world lost one of the finest comedians, one of the most generous spirits, and generally just a damn good man this week. Robin Williams changed so many lives in so many different ways that its nearly impossible to find two identical experiences, but as a collective we are heartbroken.

Robin Williams

I can’t say I knew him personally, but it felt like he knew just want to say to make you cry laugh so hard you stopped making noise entirely. Silent, shoulder-shaking laughter that just makes you feel like you got to hit the refresh button on your day. I can’t say I know anything about his depression, addiction, or his health in general. It really wouldn’t be my place to comment. What I do know is that one time my mom sold him a goat and that’s good enough for me.

And in Happier News

After a week spent mired in Robin Williams-related news, I just needed something to put a smile on my face. Cue the Buzzfeed Animal channel. And if anything I would expect Robin Williams would have wanted us to keep on smiling.

Hamster

Also, in the same vein as the Shake Weight, soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo is now the spokesman for an unlikely (and probably ineffective) workout tool...

Header photo credit

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