In fact, Google was so unwilling to admit to the update that the company didn’t even give it a name. Eventually, it was called “Fred” by the SEO community.
So how did SEOs find out about Fred if Google didn’t want to talk about it? They noticed their ranks dropping.
Some sites saw pages that were in the top 20 vanish from the search results completely. Others noticed significant rank drops.
Automated tracking tools showed high volatility in rankings. SEOs took to online forums to publicly wail and gnash their teeth about what had happened.
But what caused the rankings to drop?
Although the folks in Mountain View, California are hush-hush about the exact nature of the update, online marketers have reached a couple of conclusions.
First, the update is an attempt to combat against “webspam.” That’s an effort at trying to rank a site by purchasing links on low-quality sites.
According to TechWyse, “Fred seems to be a link quality algorithm update, meaning it measures a website according to the other sites that are pointing back to it. A strong link profile has backlinks from sites with high domain authority, which means it’s not enough to simply get a wide swath of backlinks from spammy sites. Sites with low quality backlinks are taking a serious hit with this new algorithm.”
Second, Fred also affects sites that don’t have quality content, especially as it relates to specific keywords. For example, if a site tries to rank for “faded blue jeans” with an article that uses that keyword repeatedly but doesn’t really offer any valuable content on faded blue jeans, then Fred will push the article down in the SERPs.
According to Search Engine Land, Fred hits content that “look[s] to be written for ranking purposes and then has ads and/or affiliate links sprinkled throughout the article… they seem to have content on a vast array of topics that are not adding all that much value above what other sites in the industry have already written.”
Fred seems to have affected black-hatters the most. That’s understandable, because they look for shortcuts to “rank and bank.” People who play with the dark side of SEO often use webspam and create “spun” content that’s low quality.
Google wants to make sure that people who search for content based on a keyword are getting information that’s valuable and relevant. That’s why the Fred update was released.
For more details about our seo service packages, pls contact us