You may have heard of Fred by now. Maybe your page ranks changed abruptly? Maybe your SEO provider called and advised overhauling your backlink strategy? There is a new, unconfirmed, algorithm over at Google people are calling Fred. It’s part of Google’s ongoing efforts to prioritize quality content and discourage blackhat SEO. But what is the real-world impact of Fred on SEO?
According to an article on searchengineland.com, Google pushed content quality updates in February. These updates are aimed at things like repetitive content, keyword stuffing, and ad-heavy affiliate pages. The latest update in March seems to target link spam more specifically. All of this was signaled by sudden volatility in page rankings – not by any announcement by Google. You can learn more about Fred here.
What is the impact of Fred on SEO
Why do we keep saying “seems”? That’s because Google isn’t announcing anything. Fred is just the name the industry gave this series of changes or new algorithms. There are no announcements or any how-tos to explain what is happening. The objective is to make life tougher for link spammers and all myriad varieties of SEO lowlifes who try to game the system and deliver artificially high SERPs. making announcements would be counter-productive
Sure this sometimes unintentionally takes a toll on legit page rankings. It also makes life more complicated for even the most ethical SEO worker. But SEO has always been afflicted with snake oil salesmen and charlatans who promise to trick Google for you in return for cash. Google has one overarching goal (ok two if you count making all the money in the world using Adwords) and that is creating more relevant searches.
Taking the fight to Blackhat SEO
Blackhat SEO backlink techniques like link farms, fake blogs, link exchanges and link buying have been around in one form or another since the dawn of SEO. And Google has been looking for ways to combat those strategies for just as long. With the advent of Rank Brain (Google’s AI), they are finally taking the upper hand in the battle. Of course, that doesn’t mean unethical SEOs are just going to give up and play the game straight-up. But for now, it’s advantage Google.
What’s the takeaway?
So, what is the impact of Fred on SEO? If you are doing your own SEO concentrate on building content that is useful for your potential clients and on building relationships with influencers who might legitimately link to your content. If you are hiring an SEO firm, do your due diligence and make sure they are focused on using ethical techniques to boost your SEO performance.
Interested in how to optimize on-page SEO for content marketing? You can read our blog post here.