Google Algorithm Fred Update
14 March 2017 | James Jezusek

New Google update ‘Fred’ further hits sites with spammy links

Although unconfirmed, multiple sources have reported Google has likely rolled out a new algorithm update to crack down on sites with poor link profiles.

Google is continually updating its algorithm in order to demote sites practising bad link acquisition techniques, or ‘black hat SEO’ methods, and this update follows a succession of rollouts which we last saw in early February, although again unconfirmed by Google. Recently, Google confirmed they make changes to the algorithm on an almost daily basis (around 500 times a year).

The folks at Search Engine Roundtable have been carrying out tests to better understand the type of sites affected by the latest Fred update with crowdsourced data from the community.

The sites all seem content driven, either blog formats or other content like sites and they all are pretty heavy on their ad placement. In fact, if I dare say, it looks like many (not all but many) of them were created with the sole purpose of generating AdSense or other ad income without necessarily benefiting the user.

Of sites affected by this new update, which seems very similar to Google’s Panda updates, the majority are seeing a 50 – 90% drop in organic traffic.

Bonus: The Entire History of Google Algorithm Updates in One Infographic (since 1998!)

Google Penalties

Google is less likely to confirm updates specifically around spam penalties these days, however major shifts in results can usually be detected by automated Google tracking tools, which have shown an increase in fluctuations over the last few days.

It is a reminder to ensure that good, ethical and natural link practices are used as part of a wider strategy, as Google’s algorithm will only get smarter and quicker at devaluing sites following bad practices.

If you are concerned about your website’s link profile or want to shift your strategy to future-proof your business from further Google updates, our team at Tamar can help. Just get in touch!

James Jezusek

James Jezusek

Head of SEO at Tamar.

  • Jim Stewart

    It’s not about backlinks. It’s about site quality. We have already restored one site that got hit.

    • https://www.botond-inc.com bbotond

      be more specific. My sites restored and increased traffic without a single touch to it.