The Phantom Update Roll Out: Who Got Hit and What You Should Be Doing Today
A new algorithm update surfaced and made its move while everybody was busy with the mobile update. Dubbed the “Phantom II” or “Quality Update,” this algorithm pushed back the rankings of pages in sites such as HubPages, eHow, Answers.com, and Wikihow. In all our years of being in the digital marketing business, we’ve seen how Google works when it comes to their algorithms. There are times when they would announce a big change, but there are also moments when they work in secret and surprise everyone with new developments. This latest update is no different.
Is there a reason to panic?The percentage of ranking drops is indeed alarming, albeit expected—think back to the time when Google rolled out the Panda update. When Google first launched Panda in 2011, it had an impact on 12% of U.S. results. With Google focusing on quality search, there’s no reason to panic if you’ve been implementing the right strategies. We can’t say the same if you’re downplaying your search strategies, though. If anything, this new update serves as a reminder on the purpose of online marketing: to provide users with relevant information.
What changes did the phantom update bring?Looking at the sites that were hit with the update, we can gather that content quality and site functionality have a big role in the changes. As the reports show, sites most affected by the update have the following:
- Supplementary information
- How-to content
- Clickbait articles
- User-generated content
- Popups and ad stuffing
- Stacked videos