Google has now officially confirmed that there is a change in how it assesses quality content. Rankings of a lot of pages on the Google search results page have been drastically affected.Webmasters are calling it “The Quality Update”. Google said that there have been a lot of changes in its core ranking algorithm in terms of how it processes quality signals.
Earlier this month, many webmasters noticed significant changes in Google rankings. They started wondering if it was due to Panda update or any other type of update. According to Searchmetrics, which tracks search traffic, there was a clear pattern of a decline in visibility for certain how-to sites, mostly pertaining to those with "thin content," or lacking much value. When asked by Search Engine Land, Google said that no update had happened over the weekend.
There were a lot of fluctuations in the search traffic to various sites. Also, since Google refrained from acknowledging any update, many SEO analysts named the update as “Phantom 2” givenit was the second significant unnamed update in two years. There were examples of serious quality problems across the sites that were affected.
Google wouldn’t provide specifics about how quality is now assessed. However, from past statements made by Google, we know that quality for a particular page is determined by a lot of individual factors. It may be possible that Google is now weighting some of those factors more and others less.The update didn’t go after any particular class of sites or any particular sites. It was an update to the overall ranking algorithm itself.
Google also shares a bit about creating valuable content here.
In the past few weeks, we saw a lot of changes as Google decided to focus more on phones as compared to laptops and desktops, and also coming up with “Place an Order”option on Google search results so that people can directly order food, as well as the introduction of “Buy Buttons” on mobile search results to make online shopping easier.