So yesterday, in an effort to try to help a lot of people, I posted my theory on what type of sites/content the Google Fred update targets. I said low value content aimed at revenue generation over helping their users. I unintentionally upset a lot of people, so I am sorry. But I will say it again, now that I am up to over 100 sites shared with me that were hit, I am confident that is the overall theme of this update.
That being said, Gary Illyes posted a tweet this morning, one of his 'did you know' DYK tweets which kind of sums up my theory on thread:
DYK there's no inherent problem with affiliate links? The problem is when a site's sole purpose is to be a shallow container for aff links pic.twitter.com/y149XZ0JP6— Gary Illyes ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ (@methode) March 14, 2017
He then added:
Many of the sites shared with me not only monetize with AdSense or other ads, but also using affiliate methods. But the reason they seem to have been built and maintained were solely based on generating revenue and less about helping users. That is the overall theme I get from MOST of the sites sent my way.
I am sure that there were plenty of link penalties happening around the same time, but the vast majority were hit by Fred based on the overall theme of making a web site to generate revenues and not help users. Is that a bad thing and something Google should penalize over? Not for me to say - but that is my theory.
At the same time, Gary and John or anyone at Google refuses to confirm or acknowledge this as anything other than a normal day. It was NOT a normal day, many many businesses got hit harder than ever, more than a normal day. This was a relatively big update that really devastated some business owners.
@AlanBleiweiss I would really like to categorise this as business as usual. We make updates. All the time. Literally.— Gary Illyes ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ (@methode) March 13, 2017
Again, I don't mean to upset people but interesting timing on Gary's tweet.
Forum discussion at Twitter.