Phantom Update 2015: Google’s Phantom Update Hits SEO Traffic
Google has not formally commented on this update, from Google’s Webmaster Trends team, alluded to there being a recent change that’s part of a core algorithm update.
We’re not talking about Google’s Penguin, Panda or Hummingbird update. This was what’s been dubbed the Phantom update, and it apparently hit lots of folks hard on May 13, 2015.
Websites like eHow, WikiHow, and Answers.com are other sites that have seen significant drops in traffic over the past couple of weeks.
Phantom hit sites with content issues. That includes sites with thin content, affiliate content, scraped content, low-quality content, In addition, many of the sites hit by Phantom had linking issues.
Too many links going to a single destination or from a single source, too much cross-linking between two sites, things like that.
Google’s algorithms, which take into account more than 200 signals that help the search engine predict what a user wants, have been the source of much consternation in recent years.
Because Google controls two-thirds of the U.S. search market, its updates with names like Panda and Penguin have led numerous Web-based businesses to see plummeting traffic overnight, siphoning away critical ad dollars.
About a week after mobilegeddon, emails complaining of mysterious drops in traffic started to flood Gabe’s inbox. He began digging into the data, and quickly concluded they weren’t caused by the mobile update, because many of the sites were smartphone-friendly.