What is the Google Fred Update

What is the Google Fred Update?


The Google Fred Update describes a Google quality update that was released by Google in 2017. This update mainly affected pages that contain low-quality content with no added value and pages that have a lot of advertising banners and other advertisements.

Background to the Google Fred update

In March 2017, the Google ranking was jumbled up again. It was therefore quickly assumed that Google had carried out an update to the ranking algorithm at this point in time. Google has not officially confirmed this update, but the analyzes of the SEO experts showed clear patterns in the rise and fall of certain websites. Due to the focus of the Fred update on quality, experts initially “only” assumed an extension of the Panda update and did not see the Fred update as an independent update.

Why Fred?

According to phonecations, the name “Fred” was actually just a joke by Google employee Gary Illyes. When the operator of searchengineroundtable.com, Barry Schwartz, asked Gary Illyes on Twitter for a name for the update, the latter replied with “Sure! From now on every update, unless otherwise stated, shall be called Fred ”. Since then, the update has been referred to as the Google Fred Update among experts.

Features of the Google Fred update

Which websites were affected by the changes to the algorithm? SEO experts were able to quickly pinpoint some features that were penalized by Google after the Fred update. In summary, it can be said that a lot of advertising and bad content no longer have a good chance after the adjustments.

Excessive advertising that keeps interrupting the content, and especially aggressive affiliate marketing, could cost websites a few places after the Fred Update. So-called “thin content”, i.e. content that does not offer the user any added value, could no longer keep up afterwards. The same applies to content that was only produced for ranking reasons and that is neither easy to read nor has any added value.

Pages that prioritize monetization over user friendliness were penalized after the adjustments to the algorithm. This includes, among other things, a lack of mobile optimization. Even a poor quality link profile can lead to a penalty on the part of Google since the Fred update.

The Google Fred Update and SEO

What can webmasters do if your pages have lost their ranking due to the Fred update? The technical and content quality of the site is relevant. In order to improve the technical quality of the website, a mobile optimization should be carried out, for example. Improving the loading times can also help to improve the technical quality of the website. If the website does not yet have SSL encryption, it would make sense to set it up.

Optimizing the quality of the content primarily requires good content with added value for the reader. Texts should be professionally prepared and spelled correctly. Information that is important in terms of content belongs “ above the fold ”, so it should be immediately visible without the reader having to scroll.

Google has not commented on the algorithm changes as part of the update, but Gary Illyes has pointed out that webmasters should focus on Google’s guidelines for webmasters and that pages should be created primarily for users and not primarily for search engines.

What is the Google Fred Update

Tips for optimization at a glance

  • Mobile optimization
  • Page speed improvements
  • Set up SSL encryption
  • Content with added value for the reader
  • Important information “above the fold”
  • Follow Google guidelines for webmasters
  • Create pages for users, not search engines