In early March 2017, Google released an update to its ranking algorithm. The update, known as “Fred,” has made a noticeable splash in the web design and content marketing world. It appears that the new algorithm puts an increased emphasis on high-quality content and backlinks. Many websites took a hit to their rankings after Fred’s introduction, particularly websites that haven’t focused on quality content.
Google eventually confirmed the algorithm update but was hesitant to share much information about it. The only clue given to website owners was that Fred targeted websites that were not complying with Google’s webmaster guidelines (to learn more about these guidelines, click here). Based on research from StatCounter, it was determined that websites with low-quality content and unnatural backlinks (those purely intended to drive revenue) have been the ones most hurt by the Fred update.
Look at your website analytics. Did you see a drop in the traffic or the number of keywords you were ranking for between March 5 and March 20? If the answer is yes, you’ve probably been affected.
Here are a few tips to make sure you won’t be adversely impacted by Fred:
- Review your site content and make updates as necessary to maintain a high level of quality.
- Improve your content quality NOW. Start by adding new content and rewriting old content. Also consider starting a blog, which keeps new and relevant content flowing into your site on a continual basis.
- Check the links that appear on your pages. Make sure backlinks appear in natural places and don’t overshadow your site content.
If you have additional questions about the Fred update, or to determine if your site has been affected, feel free to contact us!