The Quality Update formerly known as the Phantom Update

Fancy hearing about Google’s latest development? It could affect you. Read more about how you can prevent a drop in rankings now:

Google confirmed this update to their ranking algorithm in May this year. This algorithm update is all about quality content and what it could do to your rankings. 

It’s not a spam related update but simply encourages quality, user- friendly content. Google have now changed the way it assesses quality content signals. 

We still don’t know how Google critique’s good content from the bad but at the very least Google have given us handy guidelines, perfect for taking on an unbiased look at copy relating to our brand. You can check these out below, but remember these guidelines are not industry specific. 

As marketers all we can do is cover all our bases. The best way to do this is to check all url’s on your site and make sure no duplicate content is being missed. So far, a drop in visibility has been seen with informational sites but we’re told it’s only a matter of time before we see it affecting the rest.

If you want to do a good job, this is what you should do in Google’s eyes:

What’s count as high quality content in Googles eyes:
Would you trust the information presented in this article?
Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?
Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
How much quality control is done on content?
Does the article describe both sides of a story?
Is the site a recognized authority on its topic?
Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
For a health related query, would you trust information from this site?
Would you recognize this site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?
Does this article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopaedia or book?
Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?
Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail?
Would users complain when they see pages from this site?


Remember duplicated content can happen very easily. In today’s world many businesses use various platforms across websites, social media, blogging, third party sites and even OTA’s. Any one of these could unintentionally be using a snippet of content similar if not the exact same as yours. It’s important for everyone to check. 

Read more about this update here; 

Google sure loves to make us work for our rankings and so now at least, you know what their latest expectations are. Let us know what you think, have you seen any problems in your rankings so far? In our next blog we’ll take a look at the Mobile update and the impact it has had online.

If you have any concerns regarding the ‘Quality update’, please contact your account manager.