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Google’s Fred Algorithm Update Is Out – Here’s Everything You Need To Know Right Away

A few months back, Google rolled out a new algorithm update that not only created hysteria among the SEO community but shook up the entire world of SEO owing to ranking fluctuations and loss in traffic. This new algorithm update, which Google’s Gary Illyes, has jokingly named “Fred” caused a huge shift in search engine rankings and a whopping 90% drop in website’s traffic for sites practising black-hat techniques and heavy ad monetization tactics.  

Find out What We’ve Covered in This Blog Post Regarding Google’s Latest SEO 2017 Update  

  •         What is Google Fred?
  •         What sorts of websites were affected by Google Fred Update?
  •         How to know if your site was affected by the algorithm update
  •         Google Fred recovery
  •         Google Fred update SEO tactics   

#1 What Is Google Fred Update 2017?  

Google Fred is the latest search engine algorithm update rolled out on March 8th, 2017 that targets black-hat SEO tactics tied to aggressive monetization.  This latest Google updates include an overload on ads, affiliate sites, poor-value content, and little added user benefits. Websites affected by this algorithm update seem to have been designed solely for generating a profit by incorporating a large number of ads rather than solving a user’s problem.   


The above website was penalized by Google Fred Update. Why? As you can see in the image the ads displayed in the most prominent part of a page and the content is very thin and unclear on the page.  

#2 What Sorts of websites were affected by Google Fred Update?   

The websites which were affected by Fred algorithm update had one (or more) of the following:

  • Aggressive monetization
  • The large presence of ads on the web page
  • Thin content
  • Deceptive ads (looks like a next  button but actually it’s  not – Trick someone into clicking)
  • Aggressive affiliate setups
  • Content created almost on all sorts of topics for higher ranking purposes
  • UX barriers
  • Mobile problems

#3 How to Know If You’re Website Was Affected By The Fred Algorithm Update?If you see a huge rank shift and a large drop in search engine rankings around the middle of March, you are one of the victims of Google Fred.#4 Google Fred Recovery – How to Overcome From This Penalization?The Google Fred algorithm update attacked on the black-hat SEO tactics for aggressive monetization, so the best possible way to overcome from this penalization is to scale down your ads, avoid content thinning and increase the value of your content by solving users’ query rather than focusing on generating revenue.Warning: You may not see an instant improvement in your ranking and website traffic after fixing the problems. You have to wait for some time maybe a couple of weeks, or a month or even a year to see positive results. The best thing you can do is focus on improving the user experience of your site by putting quality content, reducing content thinning and scaling down excess ads.   For a complete recovery of Google Fred, we recommend the following activities:

  • Review the placement of the ad on your website. Do these ads contribute to poor user experience? If so, fix it asap
  • Review the content of your website and make sure it serves a purpose
  • Scale down the number of ads on your website, if they are in excess   
  • Review the Google Search Quality Rater Guidelines (QRG) and strictly abide by them
  • Periodically review the UX of your site and if it requires any changes, do it immediately  

The best way to monitor whether your site is up to the mark is by manually browsing throughout your site and check whether it is user-friendly or not. Is your content very thin or scraped?  Are you seeing ads everywhere on your site? If it’s not, there is no need to worry about – you can stay stress-free.  

Atul Kumar

Atul Kumar is a Digital Marketing Manager at Impressico Digital with over a decade of experience, making him the go-to expert for SEO, PPC, Social Media, Email Marketing, and Content Marketing. With a deep understanding and expertise, Atul has helped numerous businesses improve their digital presence and strategies to maximize ROI.

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