Recently Google rolled out the latest of their search engine algorithm updates, this one mysteriously known as Phantom. A lot of people still have no clue this occurred, and for good reason. It literally flew very low under the radar. Many search algorithm updates create quite a splash when they come down the pike. Ask anyone who was negatively affected by Penguin or panda, and their subsequent iterations. Some entire businesses were lost, and certainly fortunes were deviated.

While Google states that it does between 500-600 search algorithm updates a year, many of them are fairly minor, and attract little attention. Others, such as the aforementioned critters, wreak havoc.

Let’s have a look at what the Phantom has brought to a search engine results page near you.

The Google Phantom update – What was it about?

Google warned us all that they were on the warpath for thin and poor content, and it looks like Phantom is another update intended to combat this pox on search engine results.

This included sites like HubPages, eHow, WikiHow, Answers.com and others. It is also looking to more domain oriented, which means that more than the offending pages could be affected. Not good.

Several specific things got their attention this time around. A lot of them are going to sound familiar to many who got hit in other recent Google updates. Pages with “thin” content, meaning scant content on the page designed merely to get a click or another action, were targeted. Also high on the list were pages with “clickbait” headlines, and also lots of stacked videos, too much poor user-generated content, pages with tons of ads, or unedited curated pieces.

Key takeaways for your use

The first and best thing you can do is to take a cold hard look at your site content by doing an audit. See which of your pages may have suffered a loss in rank possibly due this Phantom, and see if any of the aforementioned factors apply to it. Then you can either fix, update or junk it, depending on the age and relative current relevance of the content in question.

The key here is to make sure your content reflects the best information you can offer to your audience, and that it is not flooded with advertising and extraneous material. Make this come true and you’ll no longer be bothered by Phantoms!

Bell media group is a digital marketing agency located in Spartanburg South Carolina. We help small and midsize local businesses achieve dramatic growth through principle based marketing. If you’d like a complimentary 7 page business assessment report ran for your business ($97 value), GO HERE to access. This report highlights what a consumer finds when they search for your business online. You can find out what customers are saying about you on social media and review sites, and how you compare to your competition. Plus, find out where you’re listed and whether or not those listings are accurate.

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