What is the Google Phantom and Phantom 2 Update?


by Joy Go (Google+)
Posted on July 31, 2015 in seo.

The Phantom Update is also called the Quality Update. The dates to note are:

May 3, 2015 – Phantom 2 Update

July 14, 2015 –Phantom Tremor

May 9, 2013 – Phantom Update

July 17, 2015 – Panda 4.2 Update

Why is it called the Phantom Update?

It is called Phantom because with its first release in May 2013, there were major ranking and search result fluctuations but Google said it had nothing to announce. (See: https://www.seroundtable.com/google-update-now-16762.html). Matt Cutts tweeted that it was neither a Penguin nor Panda update and that Google makes “over 500 changes to its algorithm per year so there will always be fluctuations in our rankings.”   

Thus, it’s called Phantom. It is a core algorithm change impacting and rewarding quality signals. It will also follow a slow rollout versus a push rollout.

What are the quality signals?

  1. Quality Content
  2. User Signals
  3. User Experience
  4. Trust
  5. Optimization

How is Phantom different from Panda?

  1. Phantom rewards sites with great quality content with higher rankings, while Panda penalizes sites.
  2. In a way, there is a correlation because a lower-quality content site will be outranked by websites with higher quality content.
  3. This is a core algorithm change versus just an update, so pieces of these rules are going to be factored in the overall ranking algorithm. Thus the slow rollout as well.
  4. Page level, not site level. Content will be assessed on a page-level basis and will be rewarded (or not) accordingly.

What does Panda penalize?

1. Bad Content

  • Thin
  • Spun/Automated/Rehashed
  • Aggregated (gathered from other sources)
  • Duplicate (within the site and from external sites; multiple URL versions such as http and https versions, URLs with and without trailing slashes, different URL paths, repurposed content)
  • Irrelevant

2. Bad User Signals

  • Low click through rates
  • High bounce rates
  • Low time on site
  • Low amount of returning visitors

3. Bad Usability

  • Design/Layout
  • Navigation
  • Mobile version
  • 404 errors
  • Meta-refreshes
  • Site speed
  • Ads (sites that are top heavy with ads)
  • Flash

4. Low Trustworthiness

Proving trustworthiness leads to users recognizing your brand–even to a degree at which they’d click on your snippets just because they see your domain under the title. 

Trustworthiness plays an important role on several touch points and starts early in the customer journey:

  • Snippet
  • First impression (design & layout)
  • Content
  • Conversion

5. Over Optimization

  • Keyword stuffing/high keyword density
  • Too many internal links and hard anchor texts


What's Up Next?

Are You Still Using Flash Technology For Ads & Rich Media? Here’s Another Good Reason To Stop Immediately - In the past few weeks, both Chrome and Firefox announced that they would no longer support Flash based elements on their browsers. →


About Prove

Prove is a new kind of customer acquisition, retention, technology and analytics agency. We are redefining the way marketing works, by having a single-minded focus on results. Our approach minimizes marketing risk and maximizes short-term and long-term results through a disciplined process. Our philosophy is to leverage the power of Mass Personalization to increase ROI while reducing marketing costs.

We call it Acqretention™, the process of converting an anonymous audience that is always just a click away from the competition into Connected Prospects. In this way, we support direct response results, but we retain the engagement of prospective customers who are earlier in the buying cycle.

Our approach involves a framework that ensures marketing success we call Little Bets. We get into market quickly and generate learnings through extensive testing, then go big with the winning ideas, messages, offers, channels and technologies. We'd like to do that for you.


SUBSCRIBE!

Subscribe to receive our Prove Insights emails and new blogs.

CHECK OUT OUR SERVICES

64x64

CUSTOMER ACQUISITION & RETENTION

Our custom digital marketing solutions focus on your customer acquisition & retention.
64x64

DIGITAL STRATEGY & BUSINESS CONSULTING

More than strategy, we provide success planning to achieve your digital business goals.
64x64

CONTENT MARKETING

Content Marketing is the fuel behind engaging a well-understood target audience.

Contact Us Today

Let's get started

 

Our Physical Address
Prove LA
12910 Culver Blvd, Suite D
Los Angeles, CA 90066
P: 310-737-8600
Prove Seattle
500 E. Pike St, 2nd Floor
Seattle, WA 98122
P: 877-507-0696
Prove Dallas
2508 Highlander Way
Carrollton, TX 75006
Subscribe to the Latest News