Google has updated its algorithms once again this month (May 2015) and we are here to explain it a little bit to our clients and visitors — PS In case you don’t know, one of our jobs is to keep in touch with all Google search upgrades so you don’t have to. The change wasn’t officially announced by Google and it has been called “the Phantom Update“, launched apparently sometime between April 27th and May 3rd (because Google didn’t say anything publicly, it’s a deduction). After some analysis of some of the effects of this update, it has been called “the Quality update” because its impact was mainly over sites with content problems. Some sites reportedly lose 22% of results from organic search overnight (source: CNBC).

Which kind of problems? According to several specialists, most of them reinforce the previous Panda update, which was a 2011 update focused on downgrading shallow short sites, sites with no original content, sites with too many ads and generally lower-quality sites. We summarized below some of the reasons sites were downgraded on this last update (again, it’s a deduction because Google hasn’t confirmed anything, yet).

  • Sites with too many links to their own pages, mostly in form of lists or tags.
  • Sites that link to other sites whose content were totally or partially copied.
  • Sites with too many and/or too low quality surrounding content.
  • Sites with too many ads.
  • Sites with a list of media with no content (for example, videos).
  • Sites of reference with no deep content (reportedly wikihow, Answers.com, hubpages).
  • Portals and big sites with whole parts containing thin or no original content.
  • Sites repeating content from other sources.

In our understanding, a good website providing a true service will never have to worry about “escaping” the punishments of Google updates because it would have nothing to fear. Still, we are in tune and help anyone that need to be on Google’s radar and get new clients in the right way.

The Quality Update (or Phantom update): Google keeps searching for better content and sites
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