Google’s Fred Update: How To Avoid Losing Organic Traffic
If you’re wondering: “Who is Fred?” And, “Why is Fred coming after my rankings?” It’s time to stop fretting because we’ve got the down-low on this most recent Google algorithm update.
Google’s Fred came about back in early March (2017), however, Google did not confirm that there was on algorithm update at the time.
But it was immediately obvious. And it has everything to do with the way webmasters market their content.
You see, the reason why “Fred” stirred up such a commotion was that of the dramatic downturn in traffic, experienced by masses of webmasters.
To give you an idea of exactly how detrimental this update was, it’s been reported that some websites were hit by 50-90 percent declines in organic traffic.
So, I guess the next question to ask is “why?”
Why were some websites hit, while others carried on carefree?
Gary Schartz from Search Engine Land provides a well-researched and well-thought-out explanation.
Following an analysis of a sample size of websites affected by Google’s Fred algorithm update, he presented a strong case for the issue.
To put it simply: Google was penalising dubious content that was not produced for the user’s benefit, but for the bottom-dollar of the webmaster.
Fred knows all.
Specifically speaking, 95% the websites Gary analysed featured content with affiliate links. Content that was intended to coax the user into a purchase.
But it wasn’t just pages with affiliate links that experienced the traffic decline. Content produced by bloggers to promote products with no disclaimer or no-follow links also received penalties from Google.
The common theme in both these cases is the lack of transparency. The publisher is not clearly communicating to the user that the content they are viewing is, essentially, an advertisement.
It’s not natural, nor organic content. It’s curated for the purpose of a sales conversion.
Which is fine – but for Google – it needs to be stated.
Google’s Fred Update: How To Avoid Losing Organic Traffic To Your Site
According to Google’s Gary Illyes, who was accidentally responsible for naming the latest algorithm update “Fred”, Google make algorithm updates all the time.
So, knowing that these updates occur regular, how do you ensure your website isn’t exposed to losing organic traffic?
It all comes down to the type of existing content on your website or ecommerce store.
Avoid losing organic traffic to your site by ensuring you:
- Don’t overcrowd pages with ads.
- Add no-follow links when promoting a business’ product.
- Check the quality of websites you’re linking to (regular audits).
- Provide an affiliate link disclosure statement on web pages.
- Don’t “over-optimise” content or keyword-stuff posts.
- Don’t mislead users with content titles with irrelevant body content.
- Don’t purchase backlinks from Black Hat SEOs.
Through the production of high quality, relevant content you can naturally ensure a prime position in the SERPs.