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Google Fred Update: Crackdown on Low Quality Content

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In the ever-evolving digital landscape, it’s essential to keep up with changes that can significantly impact your website’s performance. One such recent change is the Google Fred Update. A crucial adjustment to Google’s search engine algorithm. This blog post will offer insights into what the Fred Update is, its impact, and the steps you can take to ensure your website meets Google’s latest quality standards.

What is the Google Fred Update?

Announced in March 2017, the Google Fred Update is primarily aimed at penalizing websites. That fail to adhere to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, particularly those producing low-value, low-quality content aimed primarily at revenue generation rather than providing users with valuable information.

How Does the Fred Update Impact Websites?

The Fred Update targets websites that prioritize monetization over user experience. These include:

Online Platforms stuffed full of affiliate links, pop-up advertisements or banners
Sites with low-quality content generated to rank for specific keywords
“Thin content” websites with little original or valuable content

Websites falling into these categories have reportedly seen substantial dips in their search engine rankings and, consequently, their traffic.

How to Adapt to the Fred Update

If your website has suffered from this update, or you want to ensure it won’t be impacted in the future, here are a few key steps to take:

1. Evaluate Your Content

Quality content is at the heart of Google’s guidelines. You should focus on delivering high-quality, original, and useful content, which meets the needs of your audience. Remove or revise content that feels thin, unoriginal, or of low quality.

2. Monitor Ad Placement

Excessive advertisements particularly intrusive pop-ups, impede user experience. Make sure ads are not the primary focus of your site. Maintain a reasonable balance between advertisements and genuine, high-quality content.

3. Prioritize User Experience

Remember, your site should primarily serve user needs, with a clean design ensuring easy navigation.

4. Regular Site Audits

Regular website audits can ensure you’re complying with Google’s guidelines and maintaining quality standards. Review your website for potential issues, including low-quality content, intrusive ads, user experience, mobile optimization, and more.

5. Rethink Your SEO Strategy

The Fred update underscored the shift toward holistic SEO strategies focused on quality content and a strong user experience. Avoid “black hat” SEO techniques that could potentially harm your rankings. Instead, follow “white hat” practices, such as producing useful, relevant content and encouraging natural backlinks.


The Google Fred Update is a reminder that quality and user experience should be at the forefront of your digital strategy. Google has continually evolved its algorithms to favor high-quality content and a great user experience over “quick-win” SEO tactics. Therefore, and designed with user experience at its core not only benefits your audience, it can help keep your website’s rankings in a strong position for the long term.

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