If you’ve been paying attention to site rankings recently at all, you might have noticed some weird stuff happening earlier this month. Rankings were shaken up like Mentos in a bottle of Diet Coke–yet there were alterations to spam filtering— nor any apparent change in Panda or Penguin, according to Google’s quote on Search Engine Land. , However, Google has confirmed that they have released a “quality update” on May 3rd.
This Month’s Google “Quality Update”
“Quality Update”, “Phantom 2” or “Reverse Panda”?
Panda’s updates took a devastating blow to poor quality content whereas the latest update has rewarded the good content. Some websites might have noticed a great improvement in ranking, of course, meaning some others fell behind. It seems like the new update is going after all the same things as Panda…yet Google denies they have involvement with one another. Neither Penguin nor Panda has been changed since last fall, though. The similarities seem too close for this to not be an overlapping update. After all, they all kind of do the same things…
One question still remains unknown: how is this new algorithm measuring quality anyway?
Who was helped?
The quality update was designed to reward the good stuff and not necessarily just punish the crappy ones. Sites with pages that had low keyword density (below 2%) did better in rankings than ones with heavy-use of those words and search rankings have climbed on sites that have mobile-friendly pages. Pages like Quora, Wonderhowto, Epicurious, and Wikia gained traffic after the update.
Who was hurt?
Pretty much the same sites that get hit by Panda. Such as “how-to” sites and ones that have a large bunch of affiliate links on their pages. Examples of sites that were hurt from the update were About.com, eHow, Answers.com, HubPages, and Wikihow. According to CNBC, HubPages lost 22% of its site traffic between May 3rd and the week before it.
How to create valuable content:
The best way to protect your pages from the inevitable future updates focusing in on quality, you should have ensured that you just take a refresher course on all that stuff Google warns us about. Avoid user-generated spam, excessive ads on your page, a whole lot of grammar or spelling errors, and including false information or broken links. Google says high-quality content is all about producing that stuff that the people want to see. Ask yourself if what your site is publishing from a credible source, is it chocked full of large numbers of links, are the words useful to the audience, do your pages describe your content accurately, or are your pages busting at the seams with unoriginal text?