The industry has been abuzz about a new Google algorithm update that potentially rolled out this week. We have the scoop here.
Who Does This Algorithm Impact?
This algorithm is mostly impacting the “black hat” side of the industry—those who teeter outside Google’s Search Quality Rating Guidelines in attempt to gain more page one traction and manipulate the rankings in their favor. This segment of the industry (and thus, likely the algorithm update’s focus) primarily encompasses the work of black-hat or spammy link building techniques.
Many have reported (on industry forums) that rankings have tanked or sites have been delisted from Google completely. Overall, the changes and update has caused volatile results in the search rankings, so the update may still be rolling out and settling.
How Can I Tell If I’ve Been Penalized?
Ranking drops would be an initial indicator that your site has been impacted by the Fred Update, since that’s the first sign of movement and change whenever Google makes an update.
It’s also important to check your organic traffic in Google Analytics, specially from Google as a source. Without rankings, you don’t receive impressions, clicks, or visits to your site, so your organic traffic would start decreasing starting March 8, 2017.
On the flip side, there has been some indication that some sites with less-risky backlink profile have seen increases in organic traffic, thanks to those with spammy profiles dropping from the search results.
What Does Google Say?
Google has not confirmed any major algorithm update, and is providing typical updates that Google makes updates all the time, in real time.
Why Is It Called “Fred”?
The industry has been calling this the Fred Update as a suggested joke from Google’s Gary Illyes that all updates be named “Fred.”
We will update this post as we learn more or see more ripples in the industry. Currently, no Blue Corona clients have been impacted by this update.
About The Author: Hannah is the SEO Team Lead at Blue Corona. If she's not busy daydreaming about the training session for her team, you can find her improving client conversion rates and planning her next trip.
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