Skip to main content

Well, some of us survived Google’s Mobilegeddon (just about) but how are we doing with Phantom 2?

Phantom what?

The thing is, Google isn’t in the business of telling us what they’re doing to their search algorithms because, and this is tough to take, they don’t really care about us! I know that’s upsetting but it’s true. We need to get over it!

If they don’t care about us, the people who have websites and build websites, who do they care about? Well, they care about their product, search, and they care about people who are using it to find information and answer questions. The ‘answer questions’ part is becoming increasingly important.

This change is all about quality. If you’re not about substance and great content that addresses customer needs, you’re going to be in trouble. Thin content is a problem and spam comments on your posts are a bigger problem. Low quality supplementary content on your site, like ads, sidebar ads, recommended articles, are a problem. Poor design is a huge problem!

The things that will keep your site at the top of the rankings are indicators that show people are sticking around on your site and clicking through to more content. This will become more important than just using loads of keywords and optimising page titles. It will be great content that answers customers’ questions.

Google say that marketers need to be much smarter in the way they use the channel and that we need to think of search in a different way. It’s moving much higher up the decision-making process. The idea is that whenever someone asks a question that is relevant to your business you can produce related content that helps them.

Google say there has been a shift from product and brand searches to purpose searches, so brands should be taking advantage. While there are lots of searches for ‘running shoes’ at the moment, for example, the number of people searching for ‘marathon running’ and looking for tips and advice is far higher.

“Brands understand this and they know there is loads of information out there that they could be giving runners at that point but they do not really bother,” claims Matt Bush, Director of Performance Agency at Google.

“Instead, they rely on someone to buy their running shoe without really giving them the help and advice they need to understand how to make the right decision.”

Although it may not lead to an immediate purchase, he believes the next time that person is looking to buy running shoes they will think more highly of the brand that offered them advice and would be likely to return to them for help if they need it again in the future.

As far as your content’s concerned, your potential customers need to trust you. And building trust is all about transparency. After you’ve written your content, take a good, long look at it. If it is not focused on the customer, start again

Don’t be lazy with content on your website, put the maximum time and energy into creating content that adds real value to your visitors. If you don’t, you’re going to be wondering why you can’t find your site anymore when you search for it.

If you need help, who you gonna call?