An unconfirmed Google algorithm update known as “Fred” began making its presence known on March 9th. This latest ranking update is reported to have impacted site rankings in a variety of ways. As with the many other Google algorithm changes you hear about, Fred may have you wondering how your site may have been impacted and what you need to do.
The Fred update seems to be targeting the quality of links on a given website. These include the relevant online channels that link to the website – examples can include Yelp, Google+, LinkedIn, and more. Over time, a website will naturally acquire links, but the process of link building can also be assisted by services like MozLocal, which submit a website to a variety of online directories concurrently. Links are important in establishing your credibility with Google, which will result in Google showing your website more prominently and consistently in searches for your products and services.
According to Search Engine Land, so far the sites most impacted by this Google algorithm update are content sites, mostly those that appear to be written for ranking purposes. These sites in most cases have content on a variety of topics and include ads and/or affiliate links placed throughout the article. They report,
“Many of these sites are not industry expert sites, but rather they seem to have content on vast array of topics that are not adding all that much value above what other sites in the industry have already written.”
Reportedly these sites saw 50 percent to 90 percent traffic drops in organic search ranking as a result of this Google algorithm change.
The bottom line seems to be that Fred is bad news for websites that feature low-valued content designed to produce rankings rather than help readers and users. This update will largely target webmasters and SEO providers in the ‘black hat’ community. As providers of ethical SEO, we consider Fred’s arrival to be good news overall.
The Upright team has extensive experience in healthy SEO strategies including legitimate link building. If you have questions about the Fred update, or need assistance with implementing an ethical SEO program, contact us!