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Google Phantom 2 Update Strikes - WARNING - Major Issues That Might Penalize Your Website

Phantom 2 update is a sitewide update that affects the entire domain as compared to only affecting the low quality pages. This means, sites getting affected by this update might loose a bulk of traffic overnight causing decline in conversions and profits.

Why It's Called the Phantom Update?

This update is called the Phantom update because it launches itself silently and punishes the websites heavily making them lose bulk of traffic & conversions overnight.

When Did it Happened?

The Phantom update happened on April, 29th, 2015 but no official announcement has been given by Google.

Major Players Who Lost Rankings in the Phantom 2.0 Update

Lost traffic by around 2,133,386.

Lost traffic by around 54,020.

Lost traffic by around 67,907

Lost traffic by around 38,748

Major Players Who Gained Rankings in the Phantom 2.0 Update

Gained traffic by around 2,952,174

Gained traffic by around 246,777

Top Issues That Might Penalize Your Site 

1- Phantom affects sites having low quality, poorly written content, rewritten content that adds little to no value and how to style content which presents the same information with a little twist and misses uniqueness. 

2- Sites that have been affected by the Panda update in the past have greater chances of getting affected by the Phantom update.

3- Sites having lot of ads on the page that affects the user engagement and behavior. Stuffs like large list of links on the page or infinite scroll adding little to no value and pointing the user to a new site or a page for getting further information are at a greater risk.

4- Poor user engagement is a key component of the Phantom algorithm. You can assume Phantom to be stricter than Panda. 

5- Pop-up's that distract the audience won't do any good either. If the user didn't likes it, Google didn't likes it, it's that simple!

6- Thin quality content that have a lot of supplementary content and ads or affiliate links are a thing to worry.

7- Lots of stacked videos also hurts the user negatively and impacts the rankings of the site.

8- Lots of sponsored links and site wide banners forcing users to click on them might hurt the site.

9- If the site has thin content and it links out to other inner page links on the site or if it has a lot of 
boilerplate content.

10- Site design is also an issue. Poor quality and less user friendly design which impacts easier user navigation.

11- This update seems to affect even the subdomains. So, mind the quality of each of your subdomains.

12- Lots of low quality user generated content on the site.

13- Having spam comments on the page. Many webmasters seems to ignore the comments on their site and they grow old and make the overall content look bad or ineffective. It is important to keep an eye of user generated spam comments or old comments and edit the affected pages accordingly so that it does not affects the user experience negatively.

14- Deceiving the users by displaying ad and content in the same color and font in order to make them click on the ads. 

15- Having lots of duplicate pages like the search resuts pages without the proper use of canonical link element.

16- Having low quality unnatural links pointing to the pages or site.

17- High frequency link (generating many links within a short span of time) as opposed to stable link profiles. 

Make sure to have quality content on your site. Get rid of thin content at the earliest because even if Panda misses, Phantom will surely strike. Ensure optimum user experience on your site and dont display ads that distract the users. Was you site affected by the Phantom update? Please share with us in the comments below.

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