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Google Phantom 2 Algorithm Update

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Googles on a roll. From the Mobilegeddon update last month to its recent
secretive Phantom 2 algorithm update, its delivering the best possible search
results to users. And then going back for more. Google silently tweaks its algorithm
much frequently than most marketers imagine.
While the Mobilegeddon algorithm update was designed to boost the rankings of
mobile friendly sites on mobile devices, Googles Phantom 2 update will penalize
sites with low quality content, specifically impacting how-to style content.
Additionally, the impact will be felt by the entire domain not just standalone low
quality website pages.

What Phantom should mean for Search marketer?


Its a swift silent punisher of sites with thin content. They will lose the bulk of their
rankings, traffic and conversions overnight.

What does Phantom do to the actual business?

Your entire website is punished or sand-boxed


You rapidly lose a lot of traffic

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You cant see your high traffic ranking keywords on Google search results
pages (SERPs)
Traffic conversions drop faster than you think
Your Return on Investment (ROI) disintegrates

Essentially, you lose almost everything online you were working on the site
(whether intentional or unintentional).
It sounds scary, right?

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Reasons why a website is hit by Google Phantom 2 algorithm


1. Sites with Low Quality Content
Google has been cautioning everyone for quite some time now with Panda algorithm
updates. Sites that add very little or no value to the audience are hit with the
Phantom 2 algorithm update. This includes poor representation and lack of
uniqueness in the content to the users.

2. Engagement
If your website content is not able to provide value to the audience, the engagement
level is bound to be low on the website. The Phantom update emphasizes this fact.
And the current Phantom 2 updates are a lot more strict than Panda updates.

3. User Experience (UX)

While content is one major aspect, others include the website load time, 404
errors, user flow, page architecture (design), color combinations, user navigation
all of which should be taken very seriously by the webmasters. Make sure the
website functions perfectly without distracting your audience and the search
engines
Supplement, template content or using auto generate content tools
slanders the uniqueness and the usefulness of the content for users. Marketers
should be very careful and should maintain the relevance of the content for the
users

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Use of distractive and/or sponsored ads: Ads are meant to help users make
the right decisions or provide information they intend to use during the buying
process. Many businesses overdo by forcing users to click on these ads
Affiliate networks, which keep on bombarding and showcasing users with
irrelevant ads
Sometimes ad links and content are in the same flow & color and users cant
determine the difference. Applying these tactics hurts the sites rather than
helping. Remember, Google has already included human bots in deciphering
these tactics
Pop-ups annoy the audience if not used judiciously. Google algorithm has been
optimized to identify these
Pages only containing images and videos without considering the theme of
the webpage or over exposing the aspect of rich media are a negative impact
Pages with just links that point to subdomains or other websites with
less/no content, are of little help. No more old school link farm techniques

4. No Corrective Action Taken


If your website has been hit by Google Panda or had elements hit by the update
earlier, and you have done nothing to make content more appealing, fresh, and
unique to the users, Phantom 2 will definitely have an impact.

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5. Duplicate Content and Canonical issues


Happens frequently but often ignored by webmasters. Make sure you remove
duplicate pages/content. Just remove them or block duplicate content from search
engine indexing. Use proper canonical tags to make sure that one version of pages
exist.

6. Doorway Pages
Doorway pages-Dont try to deceive Search Engines and create similar pages to
gain multiple rankings on SERPs. Google is smart enough to identify these and
punish websites accordingly. Read here

7. User Generated (spam content)


Make sure user-generated conversations are relevant and checked for spam. Lots of
low quality and thin ineffective user generated content raises an alarm and will be hit
by the Phantom update. Ensure that community/forums are not used as junkyards
for link and ad promotions. Have guidelines for the users to comment. Do periodic
checks and edit/remove comments, which have negative user experiences.

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More to consider

Understand Your Target Audience/Personas before you write content. Attribute


content across the funnel of the buyers journey
Have in place a content marketing strategy and plan. Make sure you generate
genuine and unique content for the users, not for search engines
Try to develop a mix of content/asset types to keep users engaged. Distribute
your content to relevant channels where your target audience generally visits.
Content is King, but Distribution is Queen
Start with small. If you have constraints generating content, take small steps. Use
Social Media to interact with your audience
Optimize your online channels Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, etc., and reach out
to your audience
Generate small content pieces. The traditional rule for audience engagement is
80/20. Eighty percent of your content should be for your audience, and 20%
should be for your business (sales, marketing, self-promotion, etc.)
Have a social calendar in place to communicate with your audience
Regular Website Health Check up Make sure all the technical aspects of the
website are taken care of like page load time, design, navigation, etc. Regular
checks on website hygiene ensures removing any major issues and creates
better user and search engine experience
Make sure you track your content performance using analytical tools
Conduct regular analytics audits to make sure you are on top of your user
engagement metrics. Understand what your audience needs and generate
content accordingly

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At Position2 we utilize an Integrated Digital Marketing Approach to make sure our


clients achieve premium results. Our proprietary Website Calibrator technology, a
41-point technical SEO audit, keeps our client websites equipped for any Search
Engine algorithm updates.

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