if your rankings dropped in march, 2017, you’re not alone. in mid-march, the search community went abuzz with rumors of a new google algorithm update aimed at black-hat seo tactics. named google fred, this update caused a huge shift in rankings and traffic for sites deploying black-hat and heavy ad monetization tactics.if your rankings dropped in march, 2017, you’re not alone. in mid-march, the search community went abuzz with rumors of a new google algorithm update aimed at black-hat seo tactics. named google fred, this update caused a huge shift in rankings and traffic for sites deploying black-hat and heavy ad monetization tactics.
What is Google Fred? Google Fred is an algorithm update that targets black-hat tactics tied to aggressive monetization. This includes an overload on ads, low-value content, and little added user benefits. This does not mean all sites hit by the Google Fred update are dummy sites created for ad revenue, but (as Barry Schwartz noted in his observations of Google Fred) the majority of websites affected were content sites that have a large amount of ads and seem to have been created for the purpose of generating revenue over solving a user’s problem.
The majority of the websites affected had one (or more) of the following:
If you saw a large drop in rankings and organic traffic around the middle of March and are guilty of one of the above, your site was probably impacted.
The Google Fred algorithm is focused on limited black-hat SEO tactics for aggressive monetization, so the biggest fix is to scale down your ads and increase the quality of your content.
The number one thing you can do is to manually browse through your site. Is it user-friendly? Are you greeted by ads everywhere you go? Is your content scraped or extremely thin? Think about your users. If it’s not something you would enjoy seeing on other websites, you need to take it off of yours.
If you’re looking for Fred update SEO tactics, we recommend you memorize the Google Quality Rating Guidelines and be sure every piece of content on your site is compliant with the best practices. These are the factors Google considers extremely important when it comes to quality:
1. Clear indication of who the website belongs to
2. Clear indication of what the page is about
3. A well-maintained and updated page, which means it’s error-free, loads quickly, and has few technical errors
4. Excellent website reputation (quality of backlinks, industry awards, positive user reviews, and expert testimonials all contribute to excellent reputation)
5. Content that demands at least one of the following: time, effort, expertise, and talent/skill