A short time ago Google rolled out the latest of their search engine algorithm updates, this one mysteriously referred to as Phantom. A lot of people still have no idea this occurred, and for good reason. It literally flew under the radar. Many search algorithm updates create a big splash when they come down the pike. Ask anyone who was adversely affected by Penguin or panda, and their subsequent iterations. Some entire businesses were lost, and certainly fortunes were deviated.
While Google states that it does between 500-600 search algorithm updates per year, most of them are very minor, and attract little attention. Others, such as the aforementioned critters, create havoc.
Let’s have a look at what the Phantom has delivered to a search engine results page near you.
The Google Phantom update – What was it about?
Google informed us all that they were on the warpath for thin and poor content, and it looks like Phantom is another update designed to combat this pox on search engine results.
This included sites like HubPages, eHow, WikiHow, Answers.com and others. It is also looking to more domain oriented, meaning that more than the offending pages could be affected. Not great.
Several specific things got their attention this time. A lot of them are going to sound familiar to many who got hit in other recent Google updates. Pages with “thin” content, meaning scant content on the page designed merely to get a click or another action, were targeted. Also high on the list were pages with “clickbait” headlines, as well as lots of stacked videos, too much poor user-generated content, pages with a lot of ads, or unedited curated pieces.
Some strategies you can use if you were affected
The first and best thing you can do is take a cold hard look at your site content by doing an audit. See which of your pages may have suffered a loss in rank possibly due this Phantom, and see if any of the above mentioned factors apply to it. Then you can either fix, update or junk it, depending on the age and relative current relevance of the content in question.
What you need to do here is come out of this with your best foot forward, showing Google and all who arrive at your pages that it delivers the most relevant and current content you can provide. Do that and you needn’t worry about Phantoms!
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