By Charlie Brown
Search engines or to say Google keep on refining its operations through the release of updates in the hope of serving searchers better. The primary intention is to provide users with the best possible answers to search queries. Another purpose of Google updates is to maintain a level playing field for all participants of the search engine optimization game that has now become part of any marketing activity. Effectively, the quality of search marketing campaigns gets a boost through the updates as all practitioners of SEO have to abide by the rules and diktats of the search engines.
It thus becomes imperative that to stay tuned with the best practices in search engine optimization, you have to be very watchful about what keeps happening around. It becomes more necessary because Google rarely announces and acknowledges the release of updates officially. Releasing updates is a way of life for Google that keeps on happening. The onus is on users to discover that it has happened, except for some major updates like Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird that were highly publicized.
Being caught unaware of any Google algorithm update, it can jeopardize the marketing campaign that takes a hit. To avoid it, you must stay highly proactive so that you can detect updates as quickly as it happens and take proper measures to avoid attracting penalty. In this article, we will discuss ‘Fred’ the major algorithm update of 2017 that created quite a stir and how marketers can avoid its negative effects.
The enigma named Fred
Marketers are always at the receiving end of Google updates just because most of them keep surfacing without any official intimation but could have a major impact on the search engine marketing activities. Just about a year ago, in the first week of March 2017, marketers and webmasters picked up some strong signs that pointed to the fact that an update had happened. In the absence of any official declaration from Google people referred to it as ‘Fred’ – the generic name of all updates. Many websites experienced a massive drop in traffic almost overnight, and on further investigation, it came to light that sites with low-quality content were the ones most affected.
The affected websites
Further digging revealed that websites that are more inclined to earn revenue from advertisements instead of providing quality information to users are the ones that took a hit in traffic as well as ranking. Websites that carried articles loaded with keywords with plenty of advertisement interspersed within the content or slideshows that necessitated clicking through several pages to access the actual content were the main culprits. Incidentally, these sites were also poor in its backlink profile. Thus, began the quest of marketers to find out ways of meeting the expectations of Google that would help to neutralize the ‘Fred’ effects.
Create content that conveys value to users
To keep out from harm’s way and to remain compliant with Google’s expectations, it is essential to understand what prompted Google to release the update. Although the update might seem a harsh action, the real intention behind it is to encourage the creation of high-quality content that conveys considerable value to users. Users should be able to find answers to their queries and find solutions to problems that they might be facing. By ensuring that you publish only quality content, you not only comply with the needs but also experience the rewards of earning higher ranks in search results. By following the Webmaster guidelines, you can understand what you have to do to ensure that you follow the best practices.
Review the quality of backlinks
It has been a few years now that Google had made it clear that it is more important to build a backlink profile comprising of the high quality of links instead of just having a bagful of low-quality links. Keep away from the black hat practices of trying to boost rankings artificially by linking with sites that exist only to offer links to other websites just for the sake of it. Inability to garner quality links could pull down the search rankings. Therefore, review the inventory of backlinks so that you can remove unwanted links that can harm search prospects because even unknowingly you might have quite a few of them creeping into your home. You can do it by using a backlink audit tool.
Use advertisements judiciously
Make proper use of advertisements on websites so that it does not mar the user experience by taking a deceptive approach. Avoid using advertising tactics like pop up ads that seem to encroach on users’ privacy and restrict the number of ads to a reasonable level so that it meets the expectations of users.
The above measures should insulate the marketing campaign from any harmful effects of ‘Fred’ and allied updates.
About the author
Charlie Brown is a social media expert and a top influencer in SEO marketing. He spends his leisure hours by watching movies and television. He also devotes time for his blog that has become a passion for him.