Google’s Fred Update – What Do We Know?

9 May 2017

Every time Google rolls out a new algorithm update, the online community can be left figuring out exactly what the update is, scouring the internet and the Twitter feeds of all the usual Google employee hint-droppers for more information, how it is going to affect their online presence, and what changes come with it.

The introduction of Fred began with a challenge though, because unlike Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird and Possum: one, the update wasn’t named after a wild animal, and two, the update was not just one update, but in fact several.

What is Fred?

Well, no one knows for certain, but here’s a collection of our research and our speculations:

In a nutshell, Fred was introduced to help Google find websites that are more interested in gaining ad revenue rather than an engaging audience by flooding the site with ads resulting in unreadable content. As usual, Google hasn’t released any exact details on what Fred does, but similar to other Google algorithm updates, it has resulted in a lot of Google SERP fluctuations and furrowed brows.

More specifically, the Google Fred update deals with websites that are overrun with ads. We all know how highly Google considers valuable and informative content, and this is the next step in their crackdown.

From an SEO perspective, in theory, the more ads a website is showing, the less valuable information they will be providing to the user as they are solely focused on bringing in ad revenue. This can make it more difficult for users to view content, and (again, in theory) the information could be considered unreliable and spammy if the whole focus of that page is to money-grab and promote rather than providing valuable content to users who are looking for information.

What are ad-heavy, low-value content sites?

These are just what they sound like. Websites that are designed with low-value content (or are old sites that aren’t kept up to date and relevant anymore) keyword stuffed, incohesive landing pages or pages that are full of irrelevant marketing ad space are considered low value. Why? Because they’re not designed or written with the end user in mind, mostly.

Has Fred hit you?

If you think that you may have been affected by the Fred update and have seen a significant drop in the rankings of some of your web pages, it’s time to fix this!

Remove Ads

If your site is overly reliant on the use of ads in your content, this is probably why you saw a dip in your rankings. Whether you are in the business of making money through ad clicks or you only think that ads are a helpful way to gain a larger audience, it’s important to appease to your core audiences with useful and relevant content as well as advertisements.
By writing great onsite content and minimising the use of ads on your site, you will be able to start regaining your traffic and rankings.

Improve content

If the affected pages are pages with a thinner amount of content, think about revisiting them to make them more useful to your visitors and contribute to improving your ranking on the search engine results page. Minor changes like increasing a page’s word count can help with higher ranking. Changes that you can do to improve your small value affiliate website are:

Clean up your backlinks

Backlinks play a crucial role in determining the search rankings of your pages. Even Though it may be unlikely, it is still possible that Fred may have penalised your site for recently acquiring low-quality backlinks. If that is the case consider replacing these for higher quality links to make sure to return to your usual spot of the search engine results page. On the other hand, if you have backlinks pointing to your website from other websites that are affecting your web presence, try to work with the owners of the website to get the links removed.

If you have been affected by Fred and need help from the professionals to make sure to contact the HushBots here, to make sure your back where you want to be on the search engine results pages!

Start A Project

Start a project

Thanks for your interest in working with us. Please complete the details below and we’ll get back to you within one business day.