An update to the Google algorithm, named Fred, has been confirmed by Google’s Gary Illyes as of 7th March.

What is Fred?

Whilst Google hasn’t officially confirmed whether or not an algorithm update has been pushed, trusted members of the digital marketing industry have begun their own analysis of different websites to see what impact has been had.

On the sites that they checked, they noticed a 50-90% drop in organic search traffic. This is a massive drop in organic search traffic.

The update seems to have targeted ad heavy, low value content and affiliate sites.

So how can you avoid the hit?

Being aware that this algorithm update is targeting websites with significant portions of content on, means that you need to make sure you carry on writing good quality content for SEO.

If you are the owner of a low value affiliate website, there are a few things you can do:

  • Design your website to be visually appealing for users, not search engine robots.
  • Check your ad ratio to ensure it’s not over the top!
  • Remove tag pages – if you’re running your site as a blog.
  • Don’t write similar or the same content over and over.

Final Thoughts

Whilst most of the evidence suggests that ad heavy and affiliate sites are the sites that are being targeted from this latest ‘unconfirmed’ update, it is not to say the update is limited to only ad based sites.

Typically, ‘real’ businesses that have an actual web presence and offers products and services should be immune to this kind of algorithm update.

Focus on producing quality content, user experience and stick to white hat SEO Techniques. If you’re already adopting these strategies, you are on the right track!