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Unconfirmed Google Update ‘Fred’ Scares the SEO World

by | Mar 3, 2018 | SEO, Google Updates, Blog

GOOGLE FRED UPDATEGoogle didn’t mention the “Fred update,” officially but on the basis of analysis, several affected sites witnessed a 90% drop in traffic.

What is Fred Update?

The Fred update was basically an adjustment to Google’s search ranking algorithms, introduced in 2017. Google chose to be secretive about the update. Owing to this lack of apprising several SEOs and webmasters panicked.

The  Fred update was thought to be an update for cleaning up the practices of using spammy website links to boost domain authority. As per the reviews and studies, update targets ad-heavy, low-value content sites that concentrate more on revenue generation rather than offering help or useful information to the users. Barry Schwarts additionally explained that 95% of these websites possessed two things in general:

  • Essentially ‘content’ driven style sites

  • Prime focus on ads and ad placements on the site against content

The reason behind introducing Fred update

The update was established since Google wanted to benefit their search users by ranking user-friendly websites and delivering relevant information to them on the basis of search queries.  Google claimed that users shouldn’t be deceived by “black-hat” SEO techniques that led to poor user experience websites to be ranked on the very first page of the search results. In short, update impacts websites that are an affiliate-based or affiliate marketing styles or merely deliver a bad user experience on their websites to escalate ‘clicks’ on ads to generate revenue.

How it works

Most of us might have encountered “spammy” websites at the same searching the NET. Honestly, they seem to be frustrating as they fail in providing information or solution we desire. Hence, Google’s Fred update comes into the picture. It put a halt to website traffic on websites thriving on the purpose of increasing revenue by receiving web traffic.

Should I optimize for the Fred update?

Following any Google update will prove out to be beneficial anytime as they affect SEO campaigns and descend website traffic essentially. It can be assumed that Google Fred Update might not be the last one, so it’s necessary to at least possess some handy knowledge of what’s going on.

These aspects can be kept in mind by marketers and site owners:

  • User experience

  • Equilibrium between ads and content

  • High-quality content


Illustrations displaying sites being affected by the Fred

Here, we’ll discuss Gary Illyes’s illustration of a sound affiliate site VS a site that was reported by its owner after enduring an essential drop in traffic and rankings. In addition to the one is generating revenue by affiliate links and the other via Adsense revenue, the difference is clearly visible in terms of quality.

Garry further adds that “the problem doesn’t lie in affiliate links.” The issue takes place when a site’s ambition is to be a shallow container for affiliate links.

Precaution is better than cure:

  • User-friendly website
    Flawless websites possess user-friendly designs that allow users to navigate the desired information. This encompasses clean navigation and proper category structure. Also, they possess supplemental links coupled with the ‘top content’ area of spotless identifiable design.

  • Ads-to-content ratio balance
    Websites that are impacted heavily by the update are the ones that appear the same concerning FaadooEngineers. FaadooEngineers ads are the most eminent feature on the site, not its content.

  • User-specific content, not purely keyword content
    It’s good to have content that is keyword optimized until it’s user-specific and not merely keyword content targeted.

  • Avoid duplicate content
    Duplicate content is similar to copy-pasting an old article or blog by merely changing the date.  This process is likely to affect the website negatively because Google won’t have an idea about which page it should rank for targeted keywords or phrases on your website. Your website might be penalized for duplicate content, thereby affecting the ranking of your website in the search results.

Conclusion: Hence, businesses that have ‘web presence’ on the NET must be immune to the Google Fred Update. While websites may be affected if they fail to have a sturdy presence or appear spammy to Google.

Note: almost all businesses should persist creating excellent website content that’s aligned with search intent, implement user-friendly designs, and thereby serve great website aspects.

It is with great pride and utmost responsibility I humbly accept being known as Mumbai’s visionary creator of successful SEO values. I have professional expertise in developing target rich SEO campaigns, Google Adwords, Facebook Marketing, Google analytics tactics. I also possess a gamut of associated technical know-how. As the Co-founder and director of Mumbai’s best SEO company, GBIM Technologies I have the resources and capabilities for optimizing online businesses to accomplish target goals. Over five years of focused learning and experience in SEO and digital marketing has honed my skills, improving organic search engine rankings for online businesses. I achieve set targets with a unique and creative approach based on research and analysis.
Dharmesh Patel

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