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Google's Latest: the Phantom Update

If you were thinking that Google telling us exactly what their latest update would change when it came to search rankings and how to respond to it so that we could all be prepared sounded too good to be true, you’re right. While we’ve all been worrying about Mobilegeddon and rushing to make our websites responsive, Google has sneakily been tweaking other aspects of their algorithm behind the scenes. While the mobile-friendliness update (which went live on April 21st) affected only mobile-platform searches, many website owners began noticing a substantial drop in the ranks even on desktop searches around the same time. The reason? Google has confirmed that at the beginning of May, it changed some of its core ranking algorithm involving the assessment of quality.
 
What you should know. As we all know, Google’s search algorithm is immensely complex, and takes into consideration a vast number of factors when determining ‘worthy’ search results. Google has always strived to deliver relevant, quality results to those using the search engine. So above all, website owners should keep in mind user experience – what is your site offering the searcher? Does your website answer a user’s question, or fulfill a need in terms of quality ecommerce products that are accurately described? This shouldn’t necessarily be too shocking though: after all, Google has made quality updates to their algorithm similar to this before. When Google crawls your site, it wants to see something unique, relevant, and user-centric.
 
What you should do. Even if you’re already in the practice of putting out quality content, there’s always some room to up your game. When updating your site with new content, always keep in mind these pointers:
·         Avoid duplicate or thin content – don’t add posts just for the sake of posting. It’s quality over quantity. Be sure what you’re writing about is answering the need of the searcher in some way, that what you’re saying has a purpose. If you’re a reseller, don’t just pull descriptions from the manufacturer’s website: invest some time in making some original descriptions. Additionally, your content should contain relevant keywords that identify what the content is about so that users can find it, but not overuse keywords so much that content looks spammy.
·         Quality control your content! Do spelling and grammar checks before posting.
·         Think about the user experience – don’t blow visitors up with ads and pop-ups the minute they arrive on your site. That’s likely to cause a high bounce rate for your website, which could lower your domain authority over time.
 
We think staying ahead of this latest ‘phantom update’ is certainly doable – just keep fighting the good fight by using white hat SEO that caters to user experience rather than what you think search engines want to see: that strategy will always win out. 
 
Don’t have time to put out quality content? Trying to stay ahead of the phantom update and keep your rankings but not sure how to start? Hire a professional – ScriptiLabs can help!

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