Abhishek Kumar Srivastava

Phantom- An Undisclosed Google Update

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In the last couple of days, some famous sites like HubPages, eHow, WikiHow, and Answers.com have noticed a significant drop in their web traffic. Some industry pundits have said this to be result of Google’s new update brought to deal with “how-to” style content. They have said this update to be part of Google’s strategy to ameliorate the quality of search results, and by this one, Google aims to refine the quality of search results for those queries which start with ‘how to’. It is estimated that many other sites have also noted a severe decline in their web traffic for this update; however, their names have not come into light so far.

Earlier, if you looked for anything on Google and your query began with “how to”, you would notice that some sites with low quality content were also the part of Google search results. By this update, Google has tried to remove all such websites from search results so that it can show users better content in the results. However, this is not more than any assumption since Google has said nothing in this regard. You can check the veracity of this speculation yourself by searching for those ‘how to’ queries which you had searched on Google more than a month ago. This will give you a clear idea in terms with the speculations of this undisclosed update.

Glenn Gabe from G-Squared Interactive has given this update a name “Phantom” since Google has brought this into force without any prior warning and not made any official statement in context of what has happened with these sites and why. As per Gabe, this update is in line with panda update, as it also targets thin content but it targets that content only which start with ‘how to’.

Though Google has not said anything formally on this update, Gary Illyes from Google’s Webmaster Trends team lately, at SMX Sydney, talked about a core algorithm update. However, he did not say anything regarding what kind of algorithm change that might be.

If you also have noticed a significant fall in traffic to your website, just reach us with your experience, as this will help us decide why your website has been targeted, whether because of having ‘how to’ content or something else is the reason behind, and that will allow us to tell something new about this undisclosed update to the world (if something about this has not been brought before the world yet).

Abhishek Kumar Srivastava

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