As you’re probably aware by now, Google runs regular updates to its algorithms that relate to search engine results. Making the user experience better by providing more relevant content, these updates are absolutely necessary. The latest algorithm renovation came to be known as the Fred update.

Fred was launched by Google on March 8. This update targets sites who implement aggressive monetisation tactics and sites with low quality content like a surplus of backlinks. Google’s algorithms were able to detect the sites who were prioritising monetisation over the user experience and these sites therefore were penalised in their ranking.

Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Roundtable investigated about 100 sites that had been affected by Fred in their rankings, and he found some compelling results. The large majority shared similar characteristics – mainly that they contained an influx of low-value content and featured quite an excessive number of ads.

It was also found that it wasn’t just a surplus of backlinks on a site that would affect its ranking, but backlinks that lead to sites with average content. Broken links were a huge negative, as well as out of date ones. In a nutshell, any poor-quality link would affect the whole site and its ranking.

Neil Patel of Quick Sprout noted that some sites “saw their traffic decline by as much as 90%” and that “rehashing content and trying to cover a wide range of subjects, without any specialisation, isn’t going to do you any favours with Google”. So it’s clearly quite evident that your site needs to consist of quality to-the-point content.

As with every algorithm update that occurs, new information is always arising as research is constantly being done. If you were affected by Google Fred, learning to bounce back from it is vital in getting your busy website traffic back.

Keep an eye out as we will be posting again as new data surfaces on Fred. We’ll give an idea of the smart SEO tactics required in order to get back that solid ranking and subsequently a greater level of business.

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