Phantom Quality Panda and Google Search Console

Phantom Quality Panda and Google Search Console

May 22nd, 2015 – 22 Comments

At Yoast, we’re all really busy in the preparation for YoastCon next Wednesday, as you will understand. When us SEO people are really busy focussing on other stuff, Google tends to ‘surprise’ the online community with breaking news, algorithm updates or other developments that really need our attention as well. How is that, you might say. Well, remember the Panda updates that immediately affected 5% of the internet? That for instance also meant an increase in site review business for us. We want to be prepared :)

Quality Update, Phantom 2 or Reverse Panda?

Google did another one of these algorithm updates on the 3rd of May this year, just a couple of weeks ago. Hubspot mentions mainly the less contributing How-to sites that lost rankings, like HubPages and eHow. By less contributing we mean in terms of contribution of new, quality content to Google. Google claims it wasn’t Panda. Nevertheless, it seems that mainly sites that already dealt with a Panda penalty dropped in rankings.

There are many names that are given to this update, as none was given by Google. Did anyone already mention that Google is less talkative about these updates since Matt left? That on a side note. The name for this update we like least is ‘Quality Update‘ or ‘Quality Algo’. That’s not a distinctive name whatsoever. For years, Google’s wish has been for webmasters to focus on quality. Panda is about quality, and so is Penguin. Google’s entire penalty system could be called Quality Algo. Glenn Gabe called it the ‘Phantom 2‘ update, it being the second large, unnamed algorithm change. I like that one a lot better, but have to say that, as it is clearly Panda related, Reverse Panda is my personal favorite.

reverse pandaThe update is told to positively influence rankings of websites that provide quality content, instead of Panda punishing sites that lack quality content. That would indeed make it a reverse Panda. Call a spade a spade, right?
The algorithm update isn’t targeting low quality sites, but a side effect of an update like that is of course a decline in rankings for these Panda candidates. Just stop being bamboo, as we often say in the office. It’s all about quality content. Google’s search result pages are stuffed with websites and if your website simply isn’t contributing on a larger scale (e.g. in the search results), you’d better up your game fast.

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Google Search Console!?

google search consoleYou’ll probably not find notifications on this reverse Panda update in the Manual Spam Action section in Google Webmaster Tools, by the way. For two obvious reasons:

  1. It’s not a manual update, but could be the start of even more real time algorithm updates
  2. It’s not Google Webmaster Tools anymore.

What was that all about, right? Since not all users of Webmaster Tools are webmasters, they renamed it into Google Search Console. To target ‘more users’. Seriously. But hey, it brings in some extra traffic, right. That is why we decided to rename our Yoast SEO Premium plugin into Page Analysis And General SEO That Includes Redirect Options For Crawl Errors In Google Search Console Plugin. That just makes clear that it’s not just for people that want green bullets. Now excuse me, I’ll have to go and rewrite all pages on this website about that plugin.

Read more: ‘Google Search Console: Search Analytics’ »


22 Responses to Phantom Quality Panda and Google Search Console

  1. Faiz Aw
    By Faiz Aw on 1 June, 2015

    Anyway, what’s wrong with “how to” ?

  2. Craig
    By Craig on 1 June, 2015

    Great post, thank you. most of these updates really have helped clean up results and I am sure there are still going to be many shake-ups in the year ahead.

  3. Ankila Bhardwaj
    By Ankila Bhardwaj on 31 May, 2015

    My site was once hit by Panda but then accordingly I recovered and regained the traffic.

  4. Risarcimento Danni Malasanità
    By Risarcimento Danni Malasanità on 27 May, 2015

    Micheal come si chiama il nuovo aggiornamento di Google?

  5. Salim
    By Salim on 27 May, 2015

    Another great post! I
    Thanks

  6. udari
    By udari on 26 May, 2015

    Its Great .Thank you :)

  7. Salim
    By Salim on 26 May, 2015

    Can You Tell me. What difference Google Search Console and Google Webmaster Tools ???

  8. andrea
    By andrea on 26 May, 2015

    with the seo-drug a person becomes crazy… :(

  9. Mr Brother
    By Mr Brother on 25 May, 2015

    Can You Tell me. What difference Google Search Console and Google Webmaster Tools ???

  10. Nigel Abery
    By Nigel Abery on 25 May, 2015

    Another great post! I always learn something when I visit yoast.com . Bring on the reverse panda!

  11. Alicia Dunlop
    By Alicia Dunlop on 25 May, 2015

    More great insight – thanks guys!

  12. Buka Info
    By Buka Info on 25 May, 2015

    Thank you for this article. some time ago I saw in the webmaster which might make me ask about it, but by reading this article I knew little about the changes in google

  13. mwb5310
    By mwb5310 on 24 May, 2015

    Follow Up:
    Please delete post above, there was an error in my profile.
    “Phantom 2 sounds cooler and I favor this one, I have also ready that the Phantom update incorporates grammar and spelling error, which goes into the direction of quality as well. No question that writing skills are called for, bad news for many text providers with insufficient language skills.”

  14. mwb5310
    By mwb5310 on 23 May, 2015

    Phantom 2 sounds cooler and I favor this one, I have also ready that the Phantom update incorporates grammar and spelling error, which goes into the direction of quality as well. No question that writing skills are called for, bad news for many text providers with insufficient language skills.

  15. Atul Sharma
    By Atul Sharma on 23 May, 2015

    Thanks Michiel Heijmans for insightful article. Google’s Gary Illyes has said the same thing about quality content. His response was “If a site has great UX but no content users look for, why would they go there”

    Sadly some people are still living in 2000 era and are still obsessive about submissions and all that.

  16. Saurabh
    By Saurabh on 23 May, 2015

    Thanks Michiel Heijmans for explaining about Phantom Quality Panda.

  17. AL2Meta
    By AL2Meta on 23 May, 2015

    I’m not sure if this is good or bad news. Google’s surprise for me the last time wasn’t good. I lost 800+ visitors in the process. Sigh…

  18. Murray
    By Murray on 23 May, 2015

    Easily understood tools are always a bonus. So what’s in the name?

    Page Analysis And General SEO That Includes Redirect Options For Crawl Errors In Google Search Console Plugin

  19. Mido
    By Mido on 23 May, 2015

    Hi,

    Great article btw the function remains the same or changes the whole??

    Thanks

  20. ??? ?????
    By ??? ????? on 22 May, 2015

    Thank you for this Great article.

    Regards,

  21. Esther
    By Esther on 22 May, 2015

    Great article. I agree Reverse Panda is the new algorithm. It sounds perfect and looks like a perfect way to reward quality.

  22. Sophy
    By Sophy on 22 May, 2015

    Thank you Michiel that try to explain Panda update and make clearly about Google Search Console that before I didn’t understand what Google Search Console.

    Unfortunately, I cannot join your conference next weekly :(


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