Google Phantom Update Revealed

We are all used to the various major Google Algorithms Updates changes that Google has done over the year and we know that it is certainly not going to stop. But, will Google stop revealing major update to the Public?

Recently there have been some changes in Google’s results and now their official confirmation to Search Engine Land says it all. The fact is that these changes are due to a modification in the way that Google is assessing content quality.

The Phantom Update

Prior to Google’s confirmation, numerous publishers started seeing the changes in the Google search results. When asked if the changes were a result of a Panda update or some other kind of update, Google said that they weren’t. Then additional reports poured in and some even nicknamed the change “The Phantom Update” based upon the fact that something seems to have occurred, whether Google would acknowledge it or not.

Google Acknowledges the Update

They did finally acknowledge the change and told Search Engine Land that they had made some core ranking Google algorithm changes in the area of processing quality signals. That change is probably something that should have been included in their answer to previous queries regarding changes or updates. It is, after all, still an update even though it didn’t involve any of the filters, such as Penguin or Panda, as previously thought. This finally unraveled the mystery behind the Phantom Update.

The Quality Update

This update is now being called “The Quality Update” instead of “The Phantom Update” and, although specifics were not available from Google regarding the method used now for assessing quality, their previous statements indicated that a specific site or page’s quality was determined utilizing a broad range of singular factors. Possibly they are currently weighing certain factors more while others are being considered less.

But at least now, we know and unravelled the mystery behind all these phantom update and fluctuation is due to Google updating of how they assess quality signals in ranking.

Hubpages Speaks Out

As is the case with all major updates, it’s people who ended up being harmed the most by a decrease in visibility caused by the update that are speaking out about it. A posting from Hubpages – Google Updateinferred that Google was allegedly targeting informational sites. According to Google, however, their recent update did not target any specific sites or classes of sites, but was simply an overall update to their ranking Google algorithm.

Check Out 2011 Google Post

On the other side of the coin, posts such as that one by Hubpage are actually examples of gains in visibility by informational sites. There have been other reports from sites, like news and credit loans, showing both a gain in visibility and a decline. So, in case you are attempting an assessment of ways to improve your website’s quality, reviewing Google’s 2011 – Building High-Quality Sites could help. It includes broad coverage of quality and was originally written to help sites that the Panda update had impacted.


If you recently observed some ranking changes, you certainly aren’t alone. There is no particular advice that can be imparted in this case except for the fact that Google is continuing making changes to its Google algorithms in a purported effort to bring about improvement in their search results’ quality. Your best bet is just to focus your energies on your end users and the build-out of better websites, richer and useful content aiming especially for quality in general.