Google Fred: What You Need to Know
Google regularly updates its search algorithms; sometimes it’s as quickly as two to three times per day. These are minor updates that do not affect much of anything. However, some major updates have an enormous impact on your website’s SEO. Google Fred is the latest such update.
What Is Google Fred?
Google Fred is not the official name for this update, but it is the one that stuck. It is a catch-all nickname for any updates Google has released but not named. It came about as a joke between developers and has since caught on. Simply put, it is the update that relates to your website’s content.
What Does Google Say About This Update?
Google is not known for its transparency about updates in search algorithms, and for good cause. They do not want so-called “black hat” SEO strategies to penalize quality websites.
How Does Google Fred Affect A Company’s Website?
One of its developers pointed to an update in the Google Webmaster Guidelines that’s important for marketers to read. The section relates to content and says if you are putting out high-quality content on a consistent basis, this update should not affect your website. Using keywords in strategic locations is still very important to maintain ranking for those words, however, wrapping keywords in quality, informative content is crucial to avoid potential penalties.
How To Know If Fred Penalized Your Site?
Unfortunately, even quality websites may see a negative impact after the release of Fred. There are steps you can take to fix the problem and to see improved search rankings going forward if you were one of the few affected.
First, log into your Google Analytics account. Navigate to your site behavior section. You can access this by going to Behavior, then Site Content, and then selecting All Pages. You can compare the stretch of time before the update occurred on March 9, 2017, and the period following that update. If you notice a steep drop in traffic, your site probably was affected by the upgrade.
How To Recover?
To recover, continue producing high quality, original, and informative content. Increase the word count of each post going forward, and add hyperlinks to reputable websites. Also, adding images and videos to break up the text will decrease your bounce rate, which improves your Google rankings. Also consider hiring a content creation company, at least for the near future. These individuals are professionals and can produce content your readers enjoy. In turn, your traffic naturally increases, which positively affects your Google rankings.
Does Your Site Have Ads And Affiliations?
If your website has a lot of ads and affiliate links, consider hiring an SEO consultant to do a quick review. Too many links of this nature might cause Google to think your site is spam. While there is nothing wrong with hosting a few ads and affiliate posts, make sure that your site contains quality, original content. Paying for an SEO consultant may seem like a steep investment, but if your goal is to earn money from your site, it is an investment that pays off.
As you can see, Google Fred is a major update that could affect any website. The best way to avoid penalization under Fred is to focus on your content. Consistent, quality content improves your search ranking and pleases your readers.