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What You Need to Know About Google’s Fred Update

recent algorithm update

If you follow SEO at all, then you might have heard something about Google’s Fred update. This update hasn’t been confirmed by Google…yet, but some websites have already felt the impact.

Sites that have been creating poor quality content, or have been focusing on optimizing their sites for ad revenue at the expense of user experience have seen a drop in rankings. The core of this update has targeted sites that have been ranking high, but end up offering little value to readers.

Below you’ll learn everything you need to know about the Fred update and if your site is going to be affected by this update.

What is Fred?

This update hasn’t been confirmed by Google yet, but sites who have been hit by this update have seen drops in traffic ranging from 50 to 90 percent, which can be devastating! Seeing this large of a decrease in organic traffic can really kill your business.

However, this update has primarily targeted low-quality sites, that had already been ignoring the warning signs for years. However, some high-quality sites have been swept up in the mix as well, because they have duplicate content issues.

Luckily, if you’ve been hit by this update you can recover your rankings if you take the suggestions we offer below.

The Impact of This Update

Since this is a relatively new update you can expect this to roll out and affect more sites in time. But, if your site, or blog, has been hit, then you’re probably suffering fro content quality issues.

This update primarily hit sites that do any of the following:

  • Have duplicate content or post titles
  • Have low-quality content filled with advertisements
  • Have poor user experience
  • Have advertisements that take up too much screen space
  • Over-optimize your pages for SEO

If you suffer from any of the above quality issues, then it’s probably a good idea to fix these sooner, rather than later.

How to Recover Rankings if You’re Targeted

If you have been hit, don’t worry, this is an algorithm update you can recover from. Unlike other updates, this one targets mostly onsite issues that you can fix and diagnose yourself.

If your site is connected to Google Webmaster Tools you’ll be able to diagnose any issues that might be causing the penalty, like having duplicate content, low-quality content, or HTML errors. Fix those errors and you should see the penalty lift.

Also, if you’re doing any advertising make sure that you’re not cluttering your site with ads above the fold. Make sure the design of your site is geared towards creating a stellar user experience, not trying to squeeze all the revenue out of them possible.

Also, you’ll want to check your sitemap and make sure you’re only listing the pages of your site that you want the search engines to index.

If you’ve seen a drop in rankings and want to get to the bottom of it, then reach out to our SEO team today.

Photo via Wilfred Iven