Google’s ‘Fred’ algorithm – necessary or unnecessary alarm?

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Google ‘Fred’ is Google’s new algorithm

In early March, it was reported that Google had released a new update and that it “allegedly” affected numerous websites that caused them to lose rankings in Google, something that alarmed those of us in the SEO business and left many others confused.

Deciphering ‘Fred’

This mysterious update called ‘Fred’ was said to be aimed at hunting down websites that focused their efforts on increasing revenue rather than satisfying the user. This includes monetizing websites through ads and affiliates, as well as those with suspicious links and low quality content.

However, Google has not yet confirmed the update. So, while many industry professionals have been quick to research and comment on the impact it has had on Google rankings, it is still too early to decipher and determine what this update is all about.

Big impact

“Fred” is just one example of how misinformation posted on websites and social networks can create an “alarm” effect on users.

Some industry professionals are saying that ‘Fred’ has hit most of their websites, however, most of us who do White Hat SEO techniques and high quality, have not seen major changes or impacts on our clients’ rankings. Penalizing low-quality content has been an algorithmic focus for Google since 2011, and it’s no secret that the search engine favors web pages that have been designed with the user in mind.

The User is the important thing

The reality is that, every day Google makes small updates to its algorithms that often go unnoticed. Because of this, the SERPs fluctuate and the position of a website can change at any time.

Every Google update, big or small, is increasingly focused on penalizing BlackHat SEO or black hat techniques. Companies that have lost rankings, most likely would have been penalized by previous updates and along with “Fred” have been affected.

That said, it is important to take note of the overreaction that “Fred” has caused. Those who use suspicious BlackHat tactics and focus primarily on generating advertising revenue will at some point come under attack from Google.

If you don’t want to be affected, remember to design websites with a clear objective in mind: the user.

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