8 Proven Tips to Recover from Google Phantom 2 AKA “Quality Update”
Few months back, webmasters and SEO professionals noticed sudden fluctuations in the Google rankings of their websites. This ranking volatility was unexpected and not announced by Google officially, so it was obvious that many SEO professionals and website owners were taken by surprise. Therefore, we decided to conduct an interview with Mr Satyendra Mishra, manager SEO operations, Techmagnate, who is an experienced SEO and digital marketing professional. The objective of this interview was to get some useful insights into Google’s latest Quality Assessment Update and what it meant for SEO professionals.
Here are some excerpts from the conversation: An interview with Mr Satyendra Mishra, manager SEO operations, Techmagnate.
Q. Do you know about the QUALITY ASSESSMENT UPDATE rolled out by Google in May 2015?
Satyendra Mishra: Yes, I’m aware of it. There was noticeable ranking volatility in May and many websites were affected due to this. As always, I was checking the fluctuations in SERPs using the following tools:
And on 19th May 2015, based on the news from Search Engine Land, it was confirmed that there was an update and it was unofficially named the Google Phantom 2 a.k.a “Quality Update”.
The focus of this update was specifically around the quality of content and “authoritativeness” of a website. The major sites which got hit by this update were ehow.com and hubpages.com, etc.
Q. How can you recover, if your website is hit by Google Phantom 2 update?
Satyendra Mishra: Most of the websites which were not affected by the previous updates, were not affected by this update either. The major reason rankings were re-adjusted after this update was again the authoritativeness of your website. So, you should work upon the “branding” part and take care of the quality and “factual correctness” of your on-site content. This is what I can suggest from an SEO point of view. Replacing the current onsite content with quality content is the best recovery strategy.
However, I would also like to give you the following tips to successfully recover from the Google penalty following the Phantom update:
Tip #1:Have patience! Google’s Phantom 2 algorithm is too complex in nature, so immediate recovery is not possible.
Tip #2: Take a long-term approach to increasing quality and wait for at least four to six months to see some recovery in traffic and rankings.
Tip #3: The Update is not page-level, it is site-level, so don’t assume that by tinkering a few pages, you can recover your lost rankings.
Tip #4: Tactics such as tinkering with urls and fixing minor coding issues on the webpages aren’t going to solve this problem.
Tip #5: Make some noticeable improvements in content quality, increase user experience level, and completely avoid aggressive advertising practices, etc.
Tip #6: Phantom 2 update depends on some other factors as well such as user engagement and some domain-level aspects, so post new quality content and try to regain trust in Google’s eyes. Do it site-wise as page-wise tweaking will not lead you to anywhere.
Tip #7: Remove thin content, such as unnecessary visuals without any supporting text or irrelevant content that serves no purpose other than directing you to another page.
Tip #8: Make sure text based content is visible in Google’s cache; i.e. primary content should be cached.
Q. Can content marketing play a role in increasing your Search Engine Rankings? If yes, then how?
Satyendra Mishra: Content marketing can definitely play a role. In fact, this is something which will go on to replace most of the SEO activities prevalent today. Again, as Google is putting user-experience on top, it’s the user, who is going to decide which site should go up and which one should go down. So, quality would include usefulness and valuableness of information. User experience includes how the customer wants to consume this information. Do they like comprehensive blogs, a Slideshare presentation, an infographic, a video, or a podcast? You can also research the type of content users enjoy the most, such as – an interview, an ebook, a quiz, or simply some memes and pictures?
All of this should be a part of your content marketing strategy. So, instead of focusing on any particular algorithm update, webmasters and SEO professionals should use a more holistic and comprehensive approach. Just read Google’s content guidelines and implement it religiously.
Download the Full Interview in PDF
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