Are you hit by Google’s Fred update? Here is what you need to know

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The SEO community across the world was feeling restless with an unconfirmed Google update termed as “Fred” by the Gary Illyes of Google in one of his tweets. The new update shook the whole SEO community while we were all getting from all around claiming ranking fluctuations and loss of site traffic by 50 % to 90%.

Now that Google has confirmed the Fred Algorithm Update, it’s still a mystery about what you should do for prevention from the harsh side of it.

However, before going for that mystery solving, it would be better if you have a knowledge about what it does and how does it affects your website.

What is Google’s Fred update?

There is nothing like Fred update. It was one of the Google’s regular updates they roll out every day. On an average, Google rolls out 3 updates a day, and most of the time they go unnoticed as Google does not release any official confirmation for all of them.

Google Garry Illyes

Google Garry Illyes

This update was a part of that regular schedule which got noticed because of the massive fluctuations it created. It targeted the low-value contents that specifically aim at revenue generation only.

It was jokingly given the name “Fred” by Gary Illyes in one of his tweets in response to the queries. He said, “From now on every update unless otherwise stated, shall e called Fred”.

Google Garry Illyes

Google Garry Illyes

Whatever, be the reason for it’s naming convention, “Fred” has become popular and now everyone knows it by the same name. So, we would also call it Fred for the simplicity of the conversation I guess.

There isn’t any official guideline or a separate Fred prevention strategy. However, as Barry Schwartz suggests, Fred do comply with the official webmaster guidelines. So, if you are following the Google’s regular guidelines, you need not worry about the harsh side of Fred.

He added “After reviewing well over 70 sites that were hit by this update, 95% of them share two things in common. The sites all seem content driven, either blog formats or other content like sites and they all are pretty heavy on their ad placement. In fact, if I dare say, it looks like many (not all but many) of them were created with the sole purpose of generating AdSense or other ad income without necessarily benefiting the user.”

Seroundtable Barry Schwartz

Seroundtable Barry Schwartz

How would you know if you are already hit?

Google’s in-hoax update, Fred, penalizes the websites with low-value content with a soul focus on revenue generation. For this sites resort to high volume of advertisements, affiliate links. These websites tend to maximize profit by encouraging lots of web traffic with a soul aim to persuade a user to click on an ad or affiliate link.

If it doesn’t make clear that your site might have been hit by anyhow falling within this category, here are some more questions that you should ask yourself:

1. Does your website have a lot of keyword-focused content?

2. Does your website have ridiculously high volume of ads and affiliate links?

3. Does your website have the contents focused on call-to-actions overlays rather than solving a user’s problem?

After answering these questions, just notice if the following fluctuations were there on your website since March 7th March 2017 :

  • Sudden drop in Google rankings
  • Sudden disappearance of your pages in Google’s SERPs

If you have noticed these fluctuations acting weirdly for your website, you have likely been affected. These fluctuations can result in some additional effects on your website which includes:

  • Changing the ranking adversely for the main keywords
  • Despite huge traffic flow, website receives a drop in ranking

Don’t rush

It might be completely possible that you are hit by Fred, but there is no need for hurry and panic. In panic, you might just rush and end up worsening the situation. Ask you SEO service provider to analyze your fluctuations and check out if there was any massive effect. Inspect your link qualities and check how helpful are your contents for the end users.

How would you recover if you are hit by Fred?

Well! The discussions going around the world is producing uncountable ways to recover from Fred. It might sound generic, but you do not need to look out for separate ways to recover from Fred. The best thing you can do is forget about this update and read the Google Webmaster Guidelines. It contains all you need to do to stay safe from any of the updates like this, and the effective ways to save you from updates like Fred has been explained in the same.

As I have already explained that unlike Panda, Hummingbird, or Penguin, Fred is a part of Google’s regular roll-outs. So you do not need any special strategy except for what already given in Webmaster Guidelines.

Keep a compliance with the guidelines and create solid user-centric contents with natural linking that focus solving problems, not just selling items.

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