Google released the Phantom 2 update in early May, 2015. It took several weeks to complete implementation, and now it’s a fact of life. Phantom 2 assesses content quality on a website. There may be more than 200 ranking signals to the Google algorithm, but Content Quality is number one. What Google believes is simple: by delivering quality results to search terms, more users will engage, and that leads to more business for Google.
Google maintains its dominance among search engines by concentrating on user engagement. The key to that is serving viable results for search queries. And that means websites with exceptional content quality on their targeted domains.
Impact of Phantom 2 Update
Phantom 2 is a content-quality filter plugged into Google’s algorithm that impacts at the page-level. It only affects low quality pages, not the entire domain.
Recovery from the Phantom 2 Update
Address these parameters to mitigate the impact of Phantom 2:
- Quality Content: Avoid pages with thin, low quality and duplicate content. Generate content that is easy to interpret, that showcases services or products as a solution to customer pain points, and that uses relevant images to drive user engagement. Creating content that’s in line with user intent is the key to leveraging Google’s updates. To understand user intent talk to the sales team about customer pain points, study keyword searches from Google Webmasters, and use keyword suggestions from Google search
- Pop Up Advertisements: Banish said advertising from your site. Nothing irritates a user more than pop up advertisements. They negatively impact user engagement, result in high bounce rates, and ultimately affect your rankings.
- Ads Above the Fold: Avoid too many ads above the fold as well as drop down ads that hide content for few seconds.
- Self-Starting Videos: Most users find self-starting videos kind of creepy. They are a dandy way to encourage bad user engagement levels and high bounce rates. Users won’t necessarily know how to stop a video so they will simply close the tab and open the next search result. It matters not how good your content may be. In the least, add a pause button.
- Comment Spamming: Always monitor comments. Keep the comments that add value; eliminate the spam.
- External Links, Broken Links/404 Errors: External links should have “No Follow” around them and at regular intervals. Webmasters should audit for 404 errors or broken links because they negatively impact rankings. If any URL is changed or deleted, redirect properly (301 or permanent redirect).
The above factors will help you deliver great user experience at the center of which is engaging, quality content lighting up every user touch-point on the website. That, in a nutshell, is what Phantom 2 is all about.