On March 7, 2017, webmasters, site owners, and search engine optimization professionals started to panic. Some sites had seen a massive decrease in traffic overnight. Frantic SEOs tried to appease their clients, some of whom had seen a drop in traffic of up to 90%. This is how most people learned of Google's latest major algorithm update, known as the 'Fred' update, the joking name given to the update by the expert. in webmaster analysis Gary Illyes.
Google constantly adjusts and updates its search algorithms throughout the year. Few updates, however, have the kind of immediate impact that Fred did. Today, nearly six months after deploying Fred, some sites are still struggling to regain the traffic they lost – some, but not all. In this article, we will take a detailed look at the Google Fred update. We'll look at the immediate and longer-term impacts of the change, its purpose, and what you can do to plan for and mitigate potential traffic drops cell phone number list as a result of future updates.
What is Google Fred Update?
The Fred Update was an adjustment to Google's search ranking algorithms that was implemented on March 7, 2017. Initially, Google chose not to announce the update. It was this lack of warning that caused many SEOs and webmasters to panic when they looked at their analytics data on March 8.
To date, Google has yet to officially confirm Fred's update, even after the update's fallout spread widely across the search marketing media ecosystem.
What was the purpose of Google's Fred update?
Unsurprisingly, Google is reluctant to reveal the motivation behind the Google Fred update, just as it has been with previous major updates such as the Hummingbird update which rolled out in September 2015. Many SEOs believe, however, that the main factor behind Fred was quality — specifically, how aggressive monetization tactics some sites use negatively impact its users' experience, according to Google.
Which sites were the hardest hit by Fred?
In Fred's wake, many SEOs have started exploring the sites hardest hit by the update. Although Google has yet to confirm any of the speculation regarding its latest algorithm change, there is compelling evidence to support the theory that Fred was designed to penalize sites that prioritized monetization over to the user experience. In an analysis of 100 websites affected by Fred's update, Barry Schwartz found that the majority of the sites he studied shared similar characteristics, namely that they were all primarily content-driven and had a aggressive ad placement.
Obviously, these criteria could apply to millions of websites, but millions of sites weren't decimated by Fred's update. So what happened? Well, the evidence certainly seems to suggest that sites prioritizing monetization over user experience have been hit the hardest, especially sites with very heavy ad inventory and thin, questionably useful content.