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The Google Fred Update- What You Need To Know

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Google is notorious for updating algorithms overnight with little warning and giving these algorithmic changes unusual names. The latest, Google Fred is definitely our favourite!

Google continuously adjusts its search ranking algorithms and although many of these changes are kept under wraps, there are some they share with the rest of us.

Google Fred is the most recent and major algorithm update from Google and to many, has caused a huge shift in rankings and traffic. This disruption has caused large variation in where websites are ranking via Google search, in a bid to rule out websites profiting from using ‘black hat’ SEO tactics.

Google has confirmed the update but hasn’t given away too much about ‘Fred’. With some websites losing 50-60% of their Google organic traffic overnight, it has certainly got the search community chattering over the disruption caused.

The community has been active in finding out what exactly has been affected by ‘Fred’ and it has been reported that the latest algorithm update penalises websites that have:

  • Poor-Quality Links- Links to websites from others with poor domain authority, out-of-date, broken links or unnatural links
  • Excessive Ad Placement Or Deceptive Ads- Those ads that look like a download or play button
  • Thin Or Low Value Content- Content that is keyword stuffed and has an unnatural amount of adverts

Along with these updates, ‘Fred’ also didn’t take kindly to websites that aren’t mobile-friendly. It is clear this update was all about improving the users’ experience.

If you have seen a large drop in your rankings and organic traffic from March onwards, then ‘Fred’ may have been the culprit.

What can you do to ensure Google Fred doesn’t wreak havoc on your site?
For a full recovery from ‘Fred’ we recommend the following:

  • Publish Top Quality Content- Work hard on publishing quality content, building your brand and improving user engagement. Does your content serve a purpose and is it relevant to your audience?
  • Clean Up Links To Your Website- Ensure links to your site are from reputable sources, eliminate broken or low quality-links
  • Review The Placements Of Your Ads- Do they give users a poor experience?
  • Avoid Too Many Adverts On Your Website- If you do have lots of adverts, scale these back!
  • Ensure Your Website Is Mobile-Friendly- Is your website responsive, scaling down to whatever device your website is being viewed on? If your website content is hard to see or difficult to navigate on a mobile or tablet, this isn’t going to help your rankings. Check if your website is mobile-friendly right here:

Changes to search algorithms provide a great opportunity to review your website and allows you to take an in depth look at what improvements could be made to your website overall.

Put your feet in your website user’s shoes; is your website user-friendly, can you find information with ease? Is the content on your site relevant and useful? These questions will all help in improving the user experience and if a user has a positive experience with your website, then they will be more inclined to get in touch.

If you would like any more information then please don’t hesitate to contact your local Marketing Specialist in Nottingham on: 01159 722 050 or send us an email

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