Since 8th of March 2017, the SEO and webmaster community along with many of the automated Google tracking tools are abuzz with what is believed to be a new algorithm update by Google. The unofficial update is named as Fred, a name coined by Gary Illyes of Google through a tweet that every unofficial algorithm update can be called as Fred.
Let us try to know what this new update is all about.
What is Google Fred Update?
There have been active discussions on the Webmaster World Forums and Black Hat Community about an unconfirmed algorithm update by Google on 8th of March. Moreover, several SERP Tracking Tools of SERP suggest that there have been some significant changes in the algorithm.
Massive fluctuations in keywords and significant drops in organic traffic have been witnessed on several websites due to this new update. At the Help Forum of Webmaster Central, several webmasters and SEOs have mentioned that they never used any Black Hat SEO techniques yet they got badly hit by this new update. There are websites which witnessed a drop of 50% to 90% in their organic traffic overnight.
Experts are currently saying that the unofficial update involves penalizing content driven websites which are heavily inundated with advertisements and are only motivated by their ad revenue. In the process, visitors find it difficult to view the content they are searching.
In simple words, the URLs which focused on generating ad revenue and not on solving the problems of the users are significantly affected by the update.
Any Proof of What the Aim of Fred Update is?
Barry Schwartz, a Web Journalist, collected about 70 URLs of websites which claimed to have been affected by this new update. He has mentioned he might have found a pattern which is similar in more than 90% of these URLs. He feels that the URLs have low-quality content and very aggressive placement of ads.
However, a lot of experts have disputed this theory and have mentioned that the loss in traffic might have been due to low-quality link building. While there is currently no proof of the update, it looks like the Fred update can be a part of Google’s old Page Layout Algorithm which targeted the URLs with several ads, especially large ads placed close at the top of the page and made it difficult for the visitors to go through the entire content.
Google prefers to not talk about any of its algorithm updates, but if the significant drops in traffic and recoveries are taken into consideration, it is not very difficult to see that there have been some considerable changes in the algorithm since 8th of March.
How to Recover if You Have Been Penalized?
If this new update has hit your website, you can try removing some ads to see if it works. Many webmasters and SEOs had mentioned that they have been able to recover their site after removing the unwanted advertisements.
As the update is still pretty new, webmasters and SEOs are yet to get a clear picture. People are waiting to hear about the update from Google, but as always, the chances of the search engine commenting about this new update are scarce.