For those in the know; your eyes haven’t been deceiving you, Google’s results really have changed since the beginning of this month, and the company officially confirmed it by saying this is due to a change with how it assesses content quality.
Earlier in May, publishers started noticing changes to Google’s search results. Nearing June, more reports have come in, with some bloggers dubbing it the “Phantom Update” because small waves were made, even if Google didn’t acknowledge it.
Now Google has confirmed that while no spam-related update had happened, there were changes to its core ranking algorithm in terms of how quality signals were processed.
Google hasn’t been specific yet about how quality is now assessed. We know that each page and site quality is determined by a wide range of individual factors, Google is now weighting some of those factors more and others less.
As is the norm with a major update, it’s those who have been hit with less visibility by the update that have made their feelings known. Most notably, Hubpages made a post suggesting Google was somehow targeting “How To” or informational sites. Our SEO team so far hasn't noticed any trends to suggest it is sector or site type specific, however none of our clients have been affected so we are basing all our knowledge at this point on third party reports.
If you noticed ranking changes earlier this month, and you certainly aren’t the only one, make sure you don't waste your time, avoid these SEO MYTHS: