As you know, yesterday I posted about the big Google algorithm ranking update and it seems to be getting a lot more attention this morning as SEOs and webmasters dig into their rankings and traffic this morning.
First, this update does seem to be to be link quality related and not content quality related - but it is still very early to make such a judgement call. Second, Google has still not confirmed or denied the update. But Gary Illyes from Google did say they are constantly updating and I asked him to name the update and he said he will name all ongoing updates as Fred unless stated otherwise.
John Mueller and Gary Illyes from Google would not yet officially confirm this update out of the typical Google speak:
So we will go with Fred and name it based on Gary's request -- the Fred update. I even used his own photo of Fred, the fish for this story. So Gary gets credit for the name and the photo here, although since he was on vacation for the past few weeks, I don't think we can blame Gary for this algorithm update.
Based on reviewing most of the posts in the various threads at WebmasterWorld and Black Hat World, I do think this update is more link quality related. Typically the black hat space is more link focused and when those forums light up, it typically and generally means there was a link quality algorithm update. Of course, many are saying they never have done any black hat techniques and got hit with this. That can be due to false positives or they did do link building and they don't consider their technique of link building to be black hat. I don't know for sure.
The tracking tools are mostly updated and showing significant updates also, although Mozcast is not yet updated today.
Mozcast is now available:
I asked Glenn Gabe to show me some screen shots of sites he tracks and he shared both individual sites that jumped and declined:
I said yesterday that the sites tanking had horrible link profiles. Well check out the flip side of the drop. This is a HUGE surge. GA data. pic.twitter.com/xRKvmFgoIo— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) March 9, 2017
Here's a site w/a risky link profile that saw a drop in rankings yesterday. Not a huge site, but rankings vanished for important keywords. pic.twitter.com/1NzgqnIGYy— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) March 9, 2017
To see some of the earlier chatter, see our original post from yesterday.
I hope that the Fred Google update treated many of you on the upside and only your competitors dropped.
Update: After reviewing over 75 sites that got hit by this, I believe Google Fred targets ad heavy, low value content sites for the most part.