10 Reasons Why You were Penalized by the Google Fred Update
Every once in a while webmasters across the globe hold their breaths as google releases a new update which may affect them drastically and this time it was the Fred update.
If you think you have experienced a sudden drop in incoming traffic in recent times where you are unable to generate the amount of traffic you had been able to previously or have you not been able to generate any visits at all then there is a good chance that you have been hit by a penalty and unfortunately it might be because of the fred algorithm update.
Yup i know what you are thinking,why did google name it Fred when all the previous algorithmic updates were somewhat named in a subtle fashion such as penguin and panda,and most importantly everyone is thinking what tricks this new release has under its sleeve and if were you hit by it what are the reasons,Keep reading as we list out the major reasons and also how to avoid them.
In recent times there have been a quite a large number of instances where mass penalization occurs which induces panic among web developers or people who own any sort of websites,an interesting thing to note is that thousands of updates are released by google every year but only a handful of them gain popularity or become infamous among the web community.
People try their best not to face a penalty but then lack of knowledge or overdoing a few things also result in your website in losing its rankings or also even getting completely de-indexed.
Why Your Website Was Hit By The Fred Update
1. AD HEAVY SITES
Biggest mistakes done by a website owner is to quickly monetize their site and bombard it with ads,if you seem to have used a lot of advertisements which makes the site look very spammy and also extremely ad heavy either by including a banner ad and then having different ad sets repeating all across your page also having floating ads as well as ads even at the bottom of the page then your site will be considered as ad heavy and will mostly get penalized because you are forcing the visitor to click on an ad.
2. THIN CONTENT
Also if you have a lot of pages on your website with many products or articles and do not seem to have a lot of content to support that page or the text is less than 50 or words in most of your pages which is usually the case with many affiliate sites which write 2-3 lines product description and include an image but do not have anything more than than that thus your website will be considered to have thin content.
3. TOO MANY AFFILIATE LINKS
Everyone loves to make some money here and there and what better way than having some affiliate commission but things get nasty when you start putting affiliate URL’s everywhere on your website and almost every other page has more that 5-6 different affiliate links all over the place which is is bad indicator for a website which wants to build trust.
4. LOW VALUE CONTENT
Recently people started using others content and used to spin them using software’s available on the internet to make it seem like its fresh content,you may think it works but let me tell you it certainly does not as at first glance the spun content looks like gibberish and also the search engine bots have such high level of machine learning that they know instantaneously that wrongful methods are being used by the following site.
5. LOW QUALITY BACKLINKS OR BEING PART OF BIGGER LINK NETWORK
A major ranking factor which google considers to efficiently position a site on its search results is the amount of links which the site has pointed to them and also the authority of the backlinks as websites which have bad authority will most likely have notorious links pointing back at them so consider removing those bad links as soon as you can.more and more people try to buy links or are usually part of a large link network which makes sites benefit each other by pointing at each other which is obviously unnatural and certainly not organic.
popup are a major concern and are considered one of the worst things to have happened to the internet and any website which is trying to build its brand and a trustworthy reputation will mostly stay away from popup ads and avoid similar practices.
7. ADVERTISEMENTS COVERING PAGES
The ratio of advertisements you choose to display on your site is very important as it should not weight out the actual content on the page and also should nor cover parts of the page or in many cases the entire pages.doing this will look like a good idea to increase your revenue by ads but it invites a fred penalty.
8. UNNECESSARY DOORWAY PAGES
A big amount of websites were hit by the fred update penalty which had meaningless doorway pages which provided no or little value for example a lot of categories and catalog pages or a unnecessary call to action pages which were made just to provide one more window to display a link or an ad.
9. DEEP NESTING OF PAGES
Also a technique applied by many web designers is to nest their pages deep so the user has to go through many different pages to actually reach the content and it really disturbs the SERP’s for a page or the entire website ,usually an unwritten rule is that a visitor should be able to reach the page he/she is looking for in 3 clicks or less from your main home page.
10. CHURN AND BURN SITES
Not long ago most of the folks on the internet who wanted to make a quick buck using affiliate links used to make really bad looking single niche sites websites with old themes bad structure and copied descriptions and also images from e-commerce sites to urge a visitor to hit the affiliate link so they can make money out of it.these sites were built with only having a goal of making money out of it without providing any sort of value to a user.google fred update hit these sites hard and most of them slipped really bad in rankings and few were also deindexed so if your website is built around for just revenue generation without actually providing the visitor any sort of meaningful value or even an answer to the query he puts in the first place on google to reach your site then you are bound to be hit by a penalty.
If you are practicing any of the above techniques then obviously you are inviting a google penalty,so i recommend that you clear your site of any bad links and disavow them on webmaster tools also while you do this delete or modify the affiliate links and also remove the ads which hinder with user experience so that your site is not ad heavy anymore.
Recovering from this update is a must if you want back your rankings and receive a lot of organic traffic,in some severe cases the entire website has to be restructured from the ground up and every aspect has to be redesigned so you comply with the guidelines of a good site.
It is certainly a hard task and will not be easy so in the future to steer clear of google algorithmic updates like Fred and more to come make sure you apply white hat SEO techniques and avoid any quick fixes which will hurt you badly in the long run.
Leave a comment down below if you have any questions regarding this topic.