Did You Notice Google’s Latest ‘Phantom 2’ Update?


Google’s “mobilegeddon” algorithm update was rare in the sense that it made national news. It was covered by outlets like a catalog of such updates on moz.com. “Mobilegeddon” was the second 2015 update listed by moz.com.

Apparently a third quickly followed. a blog post on Search Engine Land, Google stated that the update involved “changes to its core ranking algorithm in terms of how it processes quality signals.” The result is that many pages deemed to have less useful and lower quality content saw their SERP positions fall — and their traffic suffered a marked decrease.

The change may be a little opaque, but the overall message is clear: sites that users find useful will get better results. “Mobilegeddon” was preceded by This blog post from position2.com explains what the update might mean for search marketers and online businesses. The post includes a helpful list of reasons why a site may have been affected negatively by Phantom 2. While low-quality content is a recurring theme on the list, the overarching message is that the update’s meant to help Google users find sites they’ll, in turn, find relevant and helpful to their search queries. The quality of the text is a big part of it, but the usability of the page is also important. Pop-ups deceptively presented ads and pages containing only links to other sites were all apparently hit by the update since they all make for a terrible user experience.

Bottom line: the update may have had a drastic impact on some sites, but it doesn’t really change Google’s trend toward trying to help people find the most useful sites. Each time someone writes a search query, they’re asking a question to which they want an answer. Google’s updates often seem meant to help people find the best answer more quickly, and content creators can help by making sure their sites truly are useful.


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