Phantom 2

If you have listened to any of my ramblings over the last decade or two you will know that I am a huge fan of unique, quality content. I point it out great examples of content when I see them, I create content, and, I digest content.

Google rewards great content and a reasonable user experience

People want answers. They want to know where the nearest pizza restaurant is, how to get a divorce, what to do when they’ve been bitten by a snake, and when their taxes are due. When people have questions, they ask Google. Google wants to provide a great experience to their users, so they return the best results possible. Google is a machine, and I expect the algorithm to reward quality content more and more as time goes on. It only makes sense that this update and future algorithm updates will be aimed at removing less-then-great content from search results.

People do not want crummy results. They hate Q&A sites that repeat their question and do not provide a real answer. They do not want regurgitated content. They do not want boxes popping up on their screen, and deceptive ads placed in the text of a site. I applaud Google’s efforts and attempts to remove this kind of thing from search results, and it appears that is the point of the Google Phantom 2 algorithm update.

The Phantom 2 Content Quality Update – May 3, 2015

Glen Gabe first noticed this update and posted about it on his blog here. Glen has a ton of data to sift through. You may want to read his in depth reporting of this update. If not, here is a very brief recap of his “Phantom Findings” as he calls them, for Phantom 2, which started rolling out around April 29, 2015 and made its biggest impact around May 3, 2015.

  • Content quality problems. Content quality problems that Panda usually punishes (as I have said several times, Panda wants quality bamboo).
  • Poor user experience. Glen notes that pages filled with pop-ups, click bait articles, and thin content pages were often penalized. He also saw that pages with several links, poor font size, or pages that drive users to ad pages were hit.
  • Syndicated content. I would never, ever put any sort of syndicated content onto one of my sites. I understand some of it is ok, but I only use unique content.
  • Directories. Directory sites impacted had standard directory site problems- deceptive ads, low quality, thin content, etc.


The Hubpages CEO posted here about additional sites that lost or gained traffic after Phantom 2.

If you create great content and a user friendly site you have won over half of the SEO battle. If you need assistance doing that or someone to look over the content structure and quality of your site feel free to contact me.


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