Return of Phantom Googles update

April 27, 2016

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There was no surprise that webmasters were facing a bewildering situation near 3rd may 2015. With experiencing a decrease of 50% traffic by various sites overnight! Clearly, there was some major change by Google Panda Algorithm, but what? Was it Panda revised or Penguin updated?

Google spoke about it & was clear that it’s neither Panda nor Penguin revision. It was similar to Phantom so I call it Phantom II.

It didn’t take too long for the webmasters to analyze that there has been a Search engine change by Google. Co-founder of HubPages wrote that his site allegedly lost 22% of the traffic due to this update. Eventually, there was a confirmation by Google in mid-May, so this was not any ambiguous dream, but a reality, indeed.

Why this major update?

It’s done by Google, so yes; the reason must have been ‘big.’ Phantom II update had a twist after the update. It affected adversely to some site, & meanwhile, blessings to others. Let’s check how?

Auto loading videos

Google understands the pain that occurs due to the sound of an auto loading video playing, when the reader is peacefully reading the content. This adds a degree of annoyance to the reader and hence, is very well understood by Google.

This comes under the ads category when doing quality evaluation of a page. Google may punish such self loading videos in upcoming years.

Ads above the page and the pop ups

Google is not very happy with the ads that appear above the fold and constantly hitting pop ups. These have a negative impact on the sites.

Google worked on how disturbing these ads are by analyzing pages per visit, time spend on site, and bounce rate.

In fact, all what you see are pages filled with such ads, that tends to be a hierarchy of annoyance.

Duplicate content on a page

Phantom II focused on duplicate content which was most visible on “how to” searches. It was searched that how much was the content was original or copied by sources like Facebook, Pinterest or somewhere else. It was practiced by many sites.

Poor content

For Phantom II, poor content is stated to be one that can’t be read properly or one that doesn’t really connects with the topic. For example, how about an article that’s related to ‘health’ and doesn’t include ‘diet’ in that?

Such content is certainly not appreciated by Google Panda Algorithm and hence, could put your site down.


Errors such as 404 states that the site is not maintained well by the owner or no longer hosts the content being searched. This relates to a bad experience to the user.

In last few years, this was observed with many sites.


Phantom II also focused on the designing part of the site. Some, sites have organic content but poor designs that turns the reader’s interest low. I have seen small brands with strong content but weak design. With this, they lost 30% traffic on their site.

How to attract traffic after being affected by Phantom II?


Reduce the ads, pop ups & auto starting videos that are visible on the page. I understand it’s important to make money, but if your site won’t be looked in then what’s point to make money through these ads. Try to make a balance Google Panda Algorithm.


If you are under the threat of thin content, try using long and unique content on your site. You can also use thresholds or filters to lessen certain number of words on no index pages. This will be beneficial to help you work out with words.


To get rid of this have a look at Google Search Console. For 404 and soft 404 errors, be sure about the internal inks that do not contain any authentic content. Revise your sites time and again.

User Signals

Check where your users bounce and what holds a user on a site. Look for the sites users are happy to stay at. This will enable you to fix your current site and the new ones.

Phantom II was released abruptly, that shook many good bands like Hubpages, Weheartit, eHow, Searchenginewatch, etc resulting decrease in traffic and sites like Outlettable, Regionfacts, Alexa, Vudu, etc grabbed amazing gain over the traffic.

 In short, to allure good amount of traffic, one has to oblige with the norms stated by Google Panda Algorithm, recently.


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