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Google’s Fred update – How does it affect my SEO?

Google is constantly updating their search algorithm, a few of the past major changes have been Panda, Hummingbird, RankBrain and Possum. In March this year Google released an update, which was jokingly labelled by Google’s Gary Illyes as “Fred” before it was confirmed. Many changes to the search algorithm are small but when a large update happens it is worth understanding what has been altered and how it affects you.

How do I tell if I have been affected?

The first place to check is in your analytics platform which tracks your organic traffic. The graph will show if you have been affected by the Google update with a drop in organic traffic or search rankings to your website. It is good practice to check your website traffic and search volume regularly if you manage your website’s SEO. If you use an agency for your SEO they will be managing this for you.

Fred update – what to improve?

For this latest update in SEO industry has been seeing websites loose 50% of they organic traffic and a few sites have been impacted with more than 90% loss. With such a large impact on websites we have been researching the main components the Fred update:

1. Low Quality Content – Content on your website which is ad heavy and, or thin on the topic you are disscussing will mark you down in the search results. Being an authority on Google with the content you write and publish will improve your rankings. Re the content needs to be user friendly, well-written and answer the topic in detail, this can include media such as images and videos related to the topic.

2. Adverts & Affiliate Links – As mentioned above, adverts and affiliate links which detract from the users experience are getting penalised. Even if you have not seen an impact this time you may be caught out in a future update. Work on reducing the number of affiliate links your web pages and check adverts display to the user are not deceptive or intrusive to their experience on you website.

3. Backlinks – Having quality backlinks are important to increase your authority in Google. Links which are coming from irrelevant pages, have actor text filled with spam words or links from network will lead to penalties from Google. Have you checked the sites who are directing to your content? Auditing your backlinks to remove the bad ones and keep the quality will stand you in good stead for this update and ones in the future.

Prevention against Google Updates

Before Fred search algorithm updates, have always been focused to place the user first and provide quality through easy to read, useful content. Even if you have not been affected this time, here are a few tips we suggest to prevent penalties when Google update their search algorithm:

– Check your site complies to the Google Webmaster guidelines
– Review the content on your website regularly to check relevance, quality and rankings
– Optimised your website for mobile, tablet and desktop versions
– When making changes to your website focus on the users experience

Staying ahead of the curve is the goal for your website too not being affected by search algorithm. Do you need help with your website SEO? Or are you looking for a new website which is SEO friendly?

iPro offer Web Design and SEO consultation services. We work with you to improve the SEO and user experience on your Holiday Rental website. Give us a call today on +44 (0)1380 819474 or drop us an enquiry.


Sources and further reading:
7 Survival Basics for ‘Fred’ & Other Recent Google Algorithm Updates
Google Algorithm Updates Cheat Sheet
Google Webmaster Guidelines

Industry Updates Industry Updates
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