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What was the Google Ranking Update Fred?

In early March the webmaster and SEO community were rocked by signals of a significant Google algorithm change, the Google ranking update Fred, as reported by Search Engine Land.  The move to real time search has made Google announcements of major algorithm updates a rarity and, as such, Google has not made any official comment other than a jokey comment from Googler Gary Illyes that all updates should now be called Fred which seemed to stick.

Google Ranking Update Fred, monitored by Mozcast and confirmed in the Moz Algo Change History, seems to have affected:-

“…advertisement, outdated, thin and scraped content, as well as incomprehensible articles made up of 300 word ‘SEO texts’ pumped to the brim with main keyword mentions and void of any useful information or a sense of readability.”

according to SEO toolset data collection company, Sistrix, i.e., the sort of low value, poor quality pages, beloved of sleazy SEO’s stuck in a mid-noughties time-warp and avoided, like the plague, by any self-respecting  webmaster, SEO, Content publisher or inbound marketer.

Again, according to Search Engine Land, Google speakers, at the recent SMX West Search Marketing Exhibition and Conference in San Jose, California, would not elaborate on the update other than to say the update targets specific techniques that are well documented within the Google Webmaster Guidelines.

Google Ranking Update Fred

The Googleplex

Are you worried about your content or SEO?  Have you been affected by the Google Ranking Update Fred ? If you’ve noticed a drop off in traffic since early March please drop us a line to discuss.