Introducing Fred: The New Google Algorithm

If there is one thing we all know about the Internet, it is so easy to produce content that can go viral. All you need to do is to create content that is relevant or entertaining enough so that people can share it, and have a working knowledge of people’s online behaviour. That last part is one of the reasons why SEO is such a thriving industry. It concerns itself with ranking websites and making sure that the content you have produced remains on the first page of search engine results.

For this reason, a lot of budding bloggers have been studying how SEO works and how they can use it to their advantage. Right now, anyone can just purchase a domain and take a 5-step website builder, and they are done! However, every seasoned SEO specialist would know that while the basics of optimisation remains the same, the search engine we are all working hard to rank on changes its algorithm every so often. Sometime they do not even announce it – yeah, we are talking about Google.

So SEO beginners, meet Fred – a name given jokingly given by Google’s Greg Illyes – the newest algorithm update rolled out by Google. If your website thrives on content creation, you need to know all about Fred.

Getting to know “Fred”

The first thing you need to know about Fred is it targets low quality content. For those of you who do not know, it’s part of Google’s webmaster guidelines. This details the kind of content people should be churning out on their website. But lately, people have been populating their website with multiple keywords, some of which are placed in content that is not related. There are also sites that have not updated their content. And so Google decided to get a crackdown on outdated, irrelevant, and ad-heavy content by penalising them.

Also included in this update are the backlinks. If you have low-quality backlinks, your site is in danger of getting penalised. Now, to analyse this update; it does not really mean you should be deleting old content. What you can do is constantly churn out new content so that your website remains optimised with keywords on newer content.

How to know if you have been penalised

If you have not been paying attention to your analytics, now is the time to do so. There you will be able to see when your visits have peaked, which content is most popular, and when your visits hit a low. Remember that fluctuations do happen so do not panic when you see months when you had few visits, and then it surges up again. However, if at one point you hit a low and it had stayed low – that is when you panic.

To avoid this, make sure that you keep churning out updated and high quality content. Google has now taken a stand against low-quality and irrelevant content, as well as questionable or misleading content. Now this may not be your content, but users have now been given the power to evaluate websites, which Google will consider as they are refining the algorithm to bury fake and objectionable content.

Review the webmaster guidelines again and look at your content, are both aligned with each other? If they are, then just focus on continuing to create content that Google will deem worthy of ranking. Additionally, if you are already studying SEO, just keep learning about it and digital marketing as a whole. There are lots of advantages in knowing how the Internet can work for you, even if it is as ever-changing as Google.