Though many everyday consumers and search engine users probably don’t realize it, Google Search is not a static entity. Its algorithms are always in flux, and there are hundreds of little tweaks made over the course of the year. Most of them are so incredibly minor they don’t even warrant mention, but every now and again Google does something so massive that people stand up and notice; some of these algorithmic updates are so seismic that Google goes so far as to name them—like Google Penguin and Google Panda, to name two legendary examples.
Now there is another name to add to that list, and the name is… Fred. Yes, Google has unleashed another algorithmic update of considerable impact, and it’s been christened the Google Fred Update. The update, which was noticed by many webmasters and marketers around March 7 and 8, may very well have influenced your website traffic and rankings. In this post, we’ll get into some of the details of what Fred does, and how your site can bounce back from it, if need be.
What Updates Are Meant to do
First, understand that Google changes its algorithms for a simple reason—it wants to provide its customers with a better product. Those customers are search engine users, and the product is search results, which Google wants to be as accurate, as relevant, and as helpful as possible.
In other words, when you use Google to search for an answer, Google wants to provide you with content that’s truly valuable—not with junk. Most algorithmic updates are designed to penalize and remove content that is junk—content with low-quality links, for instance, or other cheap SEO tricks.
That’s basically what the Google Fred Update is thought to have done—penalize sites that have either bad quality in their content or in their backlinks.
The question remains, though—what should you do about the Google Fred Update?
Responding to the Google Fred Update
Here’s the advice we have for anyone who is concerned about the Google Fred Update.
- First, take a look at your analytics to see if you were actually affected. Did you see a big drop-off in traffic, sometime between March 7 and March 20? That is the window in which Fred’s impact would have been felt. If you don’t see any sign of trouble from that timeframe, you’re probably fine.
- If you did see a drop off in traffic, you might want to perform a simple content audit. See if you can lump your content into two basic groups—high-quality/recently updates and low-quality/out-of-date. The stuff in the second bucket is what’s causing you problems with Fred.
- Match your lost keywords—based on those analytics—with pages in your poor-quality category.
- Overhaul all the content that matches (ideally, you’ll overhaul all of the low-quality content in short order). Rewrite it to make the page more valuable to the end user.
- Implement a backlink/spam checker to remove any backlinks that might be questionable or dubious.
Avoid the Wrath of Google Fred
It’s worth noting that if you have been penalized by Fred, it’s because your website has implemented some subpar SEO maneuvers; conversely, if you want to avoid future penalties, the best thing you can do is invest in SEO practices that are truly above-board.
Working with a reputable SEO firm can help. Digital Advertiser fits the bill, and we can provide you with just the sort of high-quality strategy you need for your website to flourish in the long run. Learn more by contacting Digital Advertiser today.