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The Phantom Of The Update: Google Spring 2015 Algorithm Update

Google has been busy this spring, there’s no doubt about that.

From the widely discussed Mobile Update last month to recent rumors and industry chatter about a possible impeding Panda or Penguin updates, the seo-world has been buzzing over the past few weeks over rank fluctuations and SERP updates.

Well, the jury is out and Google finally confirmed an algorithm update. Surprisingly to many, however, is that the update is not directly associated with Penguin or Panda as previously thought.

Google “Phantom” Update

The Google Phantom update, now referred to as the “Doorway Page Update” or the “Quality Update”, began as a rumor several weeks ago when many internet marketers began to notice shifts in SERP rankings and significant traffic fluctuations across the board. Google had been, until now, denying any updates to their algorithms, so marketers were left scrambling to determine the cause of these variations.

The Doorway Page / Quality Update was confirmed on Monday, March 16th. The primary goal of this update was to “work to minimize the impact of webspam” specifically through doorway pages, or pages created solely to rank highly for specific search queries. According to the rule makers, doorway pages could provide a bad experience by leading users to multiple similar pages in the same search results page where each result takes the user to the same destination page.

Targeted page aspects include thin, low quality content and unnatural keyword usage.

The bottom-line: Should your hotel website be concerned?

If your hotel website or travel portal site produces high-quality, valuable content, then absolutely not.

However, if your hotel website or travel portal site is for some reason producing content that is of questionable quality and/or that is designed solely for search rank purposes, then perhaps.

Search engine marketing seems to go through phases where one things works for one person and then everyone else jumps on the bandwagon… until Google wises up and updates their algorithm to restore harmony. This, kids, is called chasing the algorithm. It has been done in the past with links and now, as it may seem, with doorway pages and is far more detrimental in the long run than running a clean operation.

What one should focus on rather than just ranking for the sake of ranking should be to provide the best user experience possible, both on the SERP and on your website.

If you are ever questioning whether you content is considered “high quality”, run it through this quick check:

  • Is this content unique?
  • Is this content relevant to my target audience?
  • Is this content both comprehensive and concise? In other words, do you provide enough information in an easy to understand and absorb format?

If you said “no” to any of these then your content needs some additional work to get it up to par.


Interested in more information? Contact Fuel today to see how we can help kick start your content marketing campaign and other essential hotel website needs.

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Meisha BochicchioThe Phantom Of The Update: Google Spring 2015 Algorithm Update
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