How to Avoid the Google Fred Update

Google’s algorithms are not set in stone. Actually, they change quite frequently—usually in minor ways that hardly warrant mentioning. Every now and then, though, Google changes its inner workings in a way that has a major impact on Web gurus and digital marketers—and one such update has happened just recently.

It’s been called the Google Fred Update, and it’s impacted enough websites that it really needs to be understood and discussed. If you’re an SEO-savvy marketer or small business owner, you may want to take just a minute to review what Google Fred is and how it may have impacted your website.

How Google Updates Work

To begin with, understand what Google tries to do with its algorithmic updates. They are really all about providing high-quality, relevant content to search engine users—and part of that means penalizing content that doesn’t offer any real value.

This is why black hat SEO techniques generally don’t work, at least not in the long term. While you may score some quick rankings, an algorithmic update will eventually come along that penalizes your site for its illicit SEO maneuvers. Conversely, the best way to avoid penalties is to focus on high-quality content and white hat SEO strategies.

This all brings us to Google Fred. The Google Fred update is thought to target sites that employ either poor quality content or poor quality backlinks. If you’ve got either of those things on your website, it may have led to a decline in rankings and in traffic—and you have Fred to thank for it.

What to Do About the Google Fred Update

You don’t have to cower in fear of this algorithmic update, though. There are steps you can take to recover from any penalties incurred through the Google Fred Update—and protect yourself from any future penalties, too.

  1. First, check to see if your site was actually affected by the Google Fred Update. It happened on March 7/8, so check your website analytics to see if there was any drop off in traffic between then and, say, March 20. If you don’t spot anything unusual in your analytics over this period, you really don’t have anything to worry about.
  2. For those who were impacted by Fred: Audit the content of your website. Take time to go through it and see which pages are out of date, poorly written, keyword-stuffed, or just otherwise bad quality.
  3. Then, go through your analytics again for any keywords for which there were traffic drops. Match the keywords to the content, and focus on those pages as you try to improve your website.
  4. Make those poor-quality pages better! Rewrite them. Make them valuable to the reader. And avoid cheap SEO tricks, such as keyword stuffing, invisible text, etc.
  5. Use a backlink spam checker to see if there are any shady websites linking back to your own—and disavow or remove them if you can. Remember that dubious backlink are a big focus for the Google Fred Update.

Do SEO the Right Way

More than anything else, make sure you are being prudent in your SEO choices. Avoid cheap tricks. Instead, focus on providing quality content to the end user. That’s how to stay on Fred’s good side, and to avoid any future penalties.

Before the next algorithmic update comes, make sure you have a seasoned SEO consultant to advise you. We’re more than happy to help you out. Contact the Sefati Consulting Group team today, and let us help you make your website completely Fred-proof!





Author: Al Sefati

Al Sefati is an enterprise SEO and search marketing expert and the founder of Sefati & Company. Al works with marketing agencies and enterprise level clients and he is in charge of forming and monitoring their SEO and SEM strategies. Al blogs often about latest SEO, SEM and digital marketing trends and tactics.