You may have noticed quite significant changes in your search result rankings earlier this month. It has now been confirmed that Google’s new Quality Update is to blame. 

Nicknamed The Phantom Update by the SEO world, Google’s latest shift in search engine positions has now been confirmed as a Quality Update. In response to queries made on this by Search Engine Land, Google have stated that while no spam-related update had happened, there were changes to its core ranking algorithm in terms of how it processes quality signals.

So what does this update actually mean in terms of quality ranking factors? 

That’s the issue. Google has yet to provide us with specific details on where weight is now given in terms of ‘quality’ ranking factors. 

From research conducted online it has been noted that this update didn’t affect any particular class of website such as news sites or loan/financial sites for example, where different classes saw both increases and decreases. It was clearly an update to the comprehensive quality ranking algorithm itself.

So what to do now if your site was affected?

Without any more detail on the exact quality ranking factors that Google has implemented of late we can only recommend to go and improve on existing quality ranking factors to ensure your site is not slipping up on those. 

Here’s a reminder on where to tick the box in terms of quality content for Google:

1. Useful and Informative
Make sure you are providing all useful and relevant information that a user wants from your site. E.g. Company location, contact details, Menus, blog content and so on. 

2. More Valuable and Useful Than Other Sites 
Basically don’t regurgitate content that is spread all over the web already. Add value and be original. 

3. Credibility
Don’t be afraid to link away to other sites that give associated valuable information and research. 

4. High Quality
Provide unique content that is created firstly to give your visitors a great experience - not to gain search engine positions (contradictory we know). 

5. Engagement
Include engaging features across your sites content such as nice imagery, videos and areas for your visitors to leave their 2 cents through comment boxes or social media connecting icons.