Each year, Google changes it’s search algorithm around 500-600 times. While most of these changes are minor, Google occasionally will roll out a major algorithm update such as Google Panda and Google Penguin that affects search results in significant ways. There was one update in 2017 that caused many sites to see a massive decrease in traffic, the update was known as “Fred” the name was jokingly given to the update by Google webmaster Gary Illyes.
What Was the Google Fred Update?
Many SEOs believe that the primary factor behind Fred was quality- specifically how aggressive monetization tactics used by some sites were, in Google’s view, negatively impacting the experience of its users. The sites that were most affected with all featuring aggressive advertising placement and that were prioritizing monetization over user experience. Evidence also suggested that poor-quality backlinks were also a target of the update as well as thin and questionably relevant content. We have created some initial steps you can take to improve your rankings and prepare for any future algorithmic updates.
Conduct an SEO Analysis
It is vital that you understand precisely what factors could put you at risk of penalization under future algorithmic updates. This means conducting a thorough, comprehensive audit of your entire site. There are two main ways to accomplish a site audit for SEO: you can do it yourself or you can hire an SEO professional. The DIY route is very attractive for obvious reasons, however going at it alone can be a major time-sink and if you’ve never done an SEO audit before you may end up with inaccurate or just plain misleading results. If you are interested in hiring an SEO professional to conduct an analysis of your site, feel free to contact us.
Only Publish Top-Quality Content
If your site is still relying on the “quantity over quality” publishing model it’s time to radically reevaluate your approach. Producing top-quality content consistently is one of the greatest challenges any marketing team can face. The benefits are so great of spending the time to produce quality content, it’s crucial that you focus on producing the very best content that you can. If you need help with content strategy feel free to contact us.
Avoid Over-saturation of Online Ads
Cramming every spare pixel of your site with ads may be temporarily effective, but it also tells Google that you are more concerned about making money than providing useful, relevant content for your users. This not only makes your site significantly less appealing to prospective customers- but also paints a huge target on your back. Tread carefully with ads, and ensure they are only included when they are helpful to your users.
If you would like more assistance or advice on how to evaluate and design your website to meet Google’s standards feel free to contact us. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to SEO, and we recognize that and evaluate each situation with an open-minded strategy.