Google’s Phantom Is Exposed and DID Happen – But It Was About Quality Signals

by Alex Graves
Bronco - Digital Marketing Agency

Back at the beginning of the month we posted to highlight that there was significant evidence that supported thoughts that Google had updated something within their organic search engine index, however we couldn't put our finger on what it could have been.


With discussions alive within the online community of site owners claiming gains and large losses, the fact that Google later denied that there had been an update to either the Google Panda or Penguin algorithm meant that something really didn't tally up, prompting us to question whether Google were being completely straight with us…

The online community deemed that Google had in fact made changes that had caused an impact on the organic search results and the so called update was yet another to have been given the mystical ‘Phantom' title, however that is no longer relevant following the search engine giants now deciding that it was about time that they confirmed that changes had been made, however stressing that it was still nothing to do with Google Panda or Penguin.

In a comment given to SearchEngineLand, Google reiterated that no spam-related update had taken place, instead this was a core algorithmic change that altered the way in which Google processed quality signals found on websites.

As Google were unwilling to offer further insight into what it is that has actually been altered within the core algorithm, we are still not 100% sure just yet as what the signals are that have seen some of our clients benefit greatly from the change, however do have a couple of avenues that we will be looking into in order to see whether we can pin point a little more.

Although Google have specifically stated that this update was not spam update related, there has been outcries of websites receiving warning messages within their Webmaster Tools account, citing that issues such as low value pages and ‘Pure Spam' are being followed by complete de-indexation of hundreds of websites across multiple niches.

Have you seen your site impacted in either a positive or negative manner? Did you receive one of the Webmaster Tools messages?

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