It happened again. Google came out with another update to their algorithm this year and the internet lost its mind. Many businesses and online retailers saw their page rank plummet and marketing professionals scrambled to put together new strategies and explain to their clients why they have been paying for internet invisibility. Nobody saw this coming.

Except those of us that did, of course.  The reality is that these updates are really nothing new. Google has been forever changing their algorithm to make it better. There is a reason that the word “google” is used a verb. Most people don’t say “I’ll search for that online.” Ask someone a random question and there is an 80% chance you will hear “I’ll google it.” Odds are good the other 15% are still wondering “What’s a Google?” and the last 5% are still hoping “Bing it On” will become a thing.  It won’t…ever. Even Microsoft gave up on that.

Google runs the search world and staying at the top requires changing the way things are done from time to time.  In its previous Panda update (seriously, who the heck names these projects), Google put more emphasis on ensuring the content websites produced was actually valuable and not just keyword spam. This was a direct result of self-proclaimed SEO experts generating content for the sake of content and not actually providing useful content.  Websites employing this tactic saw significant drops after that update.

Will Google Fred Hurt Your Website

Keeping in mind that the Fred update has not technically been confirmed by Google (which it likely will not be), analytical data definitely showed noteworthy fluctuations early this year.  The websites that were most affected exhibited the following flaws:

  • Ad heavy sites, which usually indicates low content value.
  • Evidence of keyword spamming (targeting certain keywords, mostly for revenue).
  • Sites that showed evidence of link spamming

In short, if any of those are true of your website…well you may want to check your analytics because odds are you also saw a drop.  But if you don’t fall into any of these categories, keep doing your thing.

Good, useful content is what Google wants. Yes, they do want you to spend money on AdWords, but quality content will help you rank just fine without it. Remember, Google users are your customers. When things are done to enhance their search experience, your website can only benefit by complying with those standards.