Google and the Fred Update
Did Google really come up with another algorithm update that’s going to affect online content? Yes, you now have to concern yourself with Panda and Penguin and the latest update known as “Fred” Google algorithm. However, there’s no reason to get too concerned because the following guide is here to help you make sense of it.
Who and What is Fred?
The “Fred” update is all about penalizing ad-laden websites (mostly affiliate types) with minimal content value. The name came from Google’s Gary Illyes. His response to the update queries and criticisms on Twitter was “Sure! From now on, every update, unless otherwise stated, shall be called Fred.” Ever since then, the name has become synonymous with the update.
Who is Affected?
If you try to keep your website fresh and don’t bombard your readers with pop-up, pop-on, and pop-under ads, you probably have little to worry about. However, if your website’s main purpose is to promote your affiliate relationship with another company, you may have to make some changes.
Fred Can be Good for Everyone
How can everyone benefit from another Google set of rules? First, the average web surfer should find it less frustrating to click on links and check out things online. When you think about it, no one wants to visit a website and wait more than a minute for the page to load, because of all the flashing “buy me” or “order this” graphics and sales messages. When you eliminate many of the low content/high ad volume sites, surfing the Web gets a little easier.
Webmasters can benefit from the new update. For example, the average web surfer is smarter and more sophisticated these days and if your page takes too long to load and there’s not enough meaningful content, he or she will leave and not come back. Fred may force some people to “clean up their acts” and it can be good for their businesses in the long run.
Were You Affected by Fred?
Some people may not realize they’ve been penalized. To find out, go to your Google Analytics page. Under “behavior, click on site content and then select “all pages”. Check all your site traffic and referral traffic and compare how things went since the update started on March 9, 2017.
Typical Websites Affected
If your web pages have a lot of ads at the top of the page, you could be in trouble. Do you have more ad space than text? Is your content almost solely promotional? Are most of your links promotional? Are you more interested in selling something than satisfying the needs of your visitors? If you answered yes to most of these questions, you should consider immediate changes.
Dealing with Fred
Here are some possible fixes you can try:
• Include more text and fewer ads.
• Avoid duplicate content.
• Focus on informing the reader and solving problems, not selling something.
• Keep keyword usage low (no stuffing).
• Use fewer affiliate links.
Points to Ponder
• The Fred update affects mostly black hat SEO practices.
• It penalizes ad-heavy promotional websites.
• Fred can be good for everyone.
Following these suggestions can help you avoid penalties. If you put your visitors and customers ahead of your needs, you should have no problems with most SEO issues like Google Fred.