Many webmasters have faced the ranking changes in last two – three weeks. They inquired about the Panda or Penguin update, but Google denied any change related to Panda or Penguin algorithm update. Recently, Google has confirmed that they have made the change in the quality analysis process and that is the reason for recent ranking changes.
Publishers and webmasters have started noticing major changes in keyword ranking and search traffic earlier this month. They were expecting it to be a Panda refresh, but Google denied the possibility of Panda or Penguin algorithm update. There were more reports coming from webmasters about losing traffic in the second week as well. Some webmasters have assumed it to be “Phantom Update” that target informational websites and how-to content on web.
NBC first reported about the Phantom update rolling out primarily impacting ‘how-to’ content on web. Websites like HubPages, eHow, WikiHow and Answers.com have seen significant drop in search engine traffic in the last couple of weeks. It has majorly affected the clickbait articles, informational website, pages those are difficult to navigate and having thin content. Though, Google has not confirmed or disclosed anything regarding to this update. Also there are many informative websites that have gained the traffic after that date.
Finally, Google has confirmed with Search Engine Land that they have made changes in how they assess the quality of website. That could be the reason for ranking changes. They have named it “The Quality Update” as it deals with the factors affecting the overall quality of website. Google has not given any specifications on how they measure the website quality now, but it looks like they are prioritizing some of the quality factors. They have also assured that the update doesn’t target any specific type of websites, but it is an overall ranking algorithm itself.
Have you lost the website traffic in last two-three weeks? If yes then You must review your website quality. Google has discussed the features of high quality website here. While Google Panda algorithm focuses on the quality of the content on website, this update actually covers website quality in general.
Don’t get frustrated by Google’s abrupt behave if you have noticed a traffic drop in the last couple of weeks. It is the time to tick mark your website quality features in checklist again. Google is just changing the algorithm to provide a better search experience and pushing webmasters to create high quality websites.
Have you found any change in website traffic? Share your experience in the comment box below.