Posted by Vikram Rathore
April 12, 2017
Table of Contents
Google’s having a long history of algorithmic updates and search index changes. Google rolls out an algorithmic update every couple of months, and it seems that “Fred” shook the Internet marketers and SEO industry when this algorithmic update targeted websites with low value content on March 8th.
Fred hit more than 70 sites overnight, which were content driven and pretty much focused on ad placement. These were the sites which were created with the sole intent of generating AdSense or additional revenue instead of bringing advantage to the user. Many websites saw a drop in their rankings as much as 60%, and up to 90% of the traffic of most of the sites was gone.
Countless people were reporting massive drops in Google webmasters forums. Unlike Penguin, Panda, or Hummingbird, this algorithmic update left the whole SEO world with so many assumptions on what contributed to the fluctuation of the algorithm.
While some SEO gurus think that Fred is all about backlink quality, others said that thin content and ad heavy websites are getting hit the hardest by Fred.
“Low Value Sites” – Yes, this is simply the buzz around. Is your website created with the sole aim of generating AdSense, gaining lots of web traffic and maximize revenue? And not helping the user solve their problem? If so, you could be at a greater risk. Low-quality ad and affiliate sites usually share the following common traits which could put your site into a deeper hole.
– Content produced is tailored to generate revenue rather than solving user’s problems.
– If overcrowded with ads, your website can become a big problem. Because, these type of ad-heavy sites result in a poor user experience.
– Lots of keywords stuffed in the content clearly targeting the keywords.
Check your Google analytics regularly to see the organic performance of your site’s traffic. Your site may have experienced dropped keyword rankings if it has a spammy link profile. Further, check whether your site saw any fluctuations while tracking the keyword performance.
If you’re reeling from a slow/sudden drop in your website’s traffic, don’t panic!
Everyone knows Google has not officially announced about the update and modification in the algorithm. But, the Big G advises to refer and follow the best practices as stated in the Google webmasters guidelines from time and again. Unlike the previous Google updates, Fred has not shown its cards yet, so it ‘s hard to analyze how to fix it? At this point, guessing is the only option….
Although many people don’t like the answer, they usually stick to the webmasters’ guidelines and forget the algorithm. There are hundreds of ranking factors for any website. The best thing you can do is building a good website having a foundation of solid content. Besides, following the general Google’s guidelines will help it find, index, and rank your site.
Google rolls out new updates consistently, and the sites which are over optimized are targeted more. So, stop looking for the golden egg! Follow the basic guidelines to maneuver through this update and keep your rankings at good positions in Google SERPs. Here are a few tips to keep in mind, if your website’s rankings have seen a drop from the Fred update, or you simply want to protect your site from any algorithmic update in future:
1.Try to avoid the sitewide dofollow links, this type of link profile can sink anytime. So, be cautious.
2.Emphasize on quality backlinks over the total number of links.
3.Go for the premium links; if everyone could claim a particular link, then it would probably carry less value.
4.Check whether the backlinks are relevant to the context, as relevancy adds great value to each link.
5.Though it’s quite popular today, avoid link exchanges and paid links.
6.Do not use automated tools or bots to create backlinks. E.g. mass blog commenting bots.
7.Build a natural anchor text which includes brand name, naked URLs, generic words and business keywords, adding diversity.
We will be seeing more updates and important news confirming the impact of the Google’s Fred update, and in the meantime do not start doing changes on your website without knowing what exactly the Fred is targeting. Focus on developing a great user experience, creating quality content, and stick to practicing white hat SEO techniques and link building strategy. If you’re already doing so, you are on the right track!