Google Phantom 2 Algorithm Update in May and June 2015?

There has been plenty of online chatter as it relates to the latest Google algorithm update. One of the most respected SEO minds in the industry, Glenn Gabe, was the first to spot the latest adjustment in Google search rankings. Having access to Google Analytics for many large websites, Gabe is able to spot search updates before most (all) of the “claimed” experts. I trust Glenn as he walks the walk when it comes to SEO research. In fact, he is always ahead of the major search engine news and optimization websites that claim to be an authority in the industry. I digress.


In May 2013 webmasters saw their search rankings drop overnight yet Google never official came out with a name for that particular algorithm update so Gabe dubbed it Phantom. In the late part of April 2015 Google search rankings were shaken up again without an official Google announcement. Gabe spotted this and continued to monitor the adjustment in search rankings. For much of May 2015 the rankings have been bouncing around. Once again, Google did not give us a furry “p” named animal as a name for the update so Gabe dubbed it “Phantom 2”. This was the name CNBC used in their article explaining how Google affects online business marketing.

Recently, some of the news related websites have called the update a “content quality” update. Whatever you want to call it, it affects webmasters all over the world. This blog post by Glenn Gabe shows the search traffic chart of some of the websites that were penalized by Google Phantom 2. I did not see this particular Google algorithm update mainly because all of the websites I monitor do not have a content quality issue. In fact, quality unique content is exactly what I push as the foundation to rank in Google search.

One of the reasons websites got hit with the Google Phantom 2 algorithm update was low quality content and/or a bad user experience. If you have littered your website with ads or videos that are not relevant to the subject matter of your website it would make sense that Google would not want to show your domain on the front page of Google search.

As we continue into June 2015 I will try to stay abreast of the current search algorithm situation. I would imagine Google will come out with a Panda or Penguin update in the near future. As for when they will make an announcement for an algorithm update, who really knows?