What are Google Fred Updates and Why do They Matter for Your Website?
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What are Google ‘Fred’ Updates?
Google makes thousands of changes to its algorithms throughout the course of a year. Some of these changes are huge and have a wide impact on search rankings and some, on the other hand, are much smaller. Unlike other Google updates such as Penguin (web spam and manipulative link building strategies), Panda (thin content), and Pigeon (accuracy of local search results) the Google Fred updates do not target a specific element of your website. Instead, ‘Fred’ is the name given to updates that aren’t named by Google. Fred updates happen daily and have an impact on search results but those in the know at Google do not divulge information on the semantics of these changes. Although this sounds confusing it’s really simple when we consider all Google is trying to do is provide the best possible results for any user query. Taking into account how Google is trying to index web content and best serve it to users is crucial to getting one step ahead of the next ‘Fred’ update and making sure your website is ranking well in the SERP’s (Search Engine Results Pages).
What is EAT (Expertise Authority & Trust) and how does it relate to Fred?
When thinking about what Google wants to see from your website and how to best future-proof against ‘Fred’ updates it is important to take a look back at how the search landscape has changed in recent years. One of the most frequent things Google has talked about in 2019 is that websites need to demonstrate expertise authority and trust to achieve high ranking positions in the search engine results pages. Consumers need to be able to trust your business or brand and if your website is focused on financial or medical advice and information then this section is even more important. Whether searching online for a local dentist or looking to take out a mortgage, being able to trust the company is incredibly important to consumers. Because of this website owners need to make sure they’re doing all they can to ensure their website is trustworthy from a user perspective. For a search engine, providing value to its users means serving up results that distinctly demonstrate expert, authoritative and trustworthy opinions and there are myriad ways in which website owners can do this.
- A regularly updated blog page on your website with posts from actual people from your company or business adds a deeper sense of expertise to users browsing your content. Particularly so if those people have specific industry-recognized credentials which you can mention in author bio pages.
- Displaying any industry awards, accolades or achievements your business has gained will tick the authority box for Google and allow users to develop a better relationship with your brand. From a user experience perspective, visitors to your website will be reinforced by the knowledge that you’re affiliated with well-known institutions.
- Reviews provide social proof to your users but they also show Google that you’re a well-regarded business within your industry or niche. Building an onsite Trustpilot reviews widget for your website allows your users to see that you’re a reliable business but also provides a solid signal to Google that you’re trustworthy. Reviews can even be generated based on the topic of a particular page and in doing so provide more relevant information to Google and your users.
When looking to improve your website and be on the offensive against ongoing Google algorithm updates it’s important to work with experts who truly understand what will work. Here at Click Intelligence, we create compelling digital marketing strategies and offer search engine optimization services for your business to help you achieve better online visibility in the search engine results pages. Working with experts who have experience and really understand what Google wants from your website is one of the safest ways to be sure you’re on the right path and won’t be affected by upcoming updates to ranking algorithms.
Build High-Quality Backlinks to Your Website
Thinking about Google from the perspective of a machine is the best way to get to grips with just how important it is to have incoming links from other well-regarded websites. Websites reaching out to one another is a ‘vote of confidence’ in the eyes of Google and making sure you’ve got a solid backlink profile can boost your pages to higher positions. Having links pointing towards your website from other high-value domains is one of the best ways to show Google and other search engines that your website is SERP worthy. Despite all your best efforts in creating the perfect content for your users, coupled with sleek and friendly user experience, without SEO link building, you’ll scarcely appear within the first page of Google search results. Links have been a major part of how Google assesses content on the web and although they make major and minor changes to their ranking algorithms daily and links are still an incredibly important piece of the puzzle. Failing to neglect to implement a proper link building strategy for your website wouldn’t be a wise move. Working with those who understand the complexities of the search landscape is essential and at Click Intelligence we’ve gained years of SEO industry experience, and we’re adept at placing links to your website from the most relevant sources on the web.
Get Familiar with Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines
The search quality rater guidelines offer a unique insight into how Google crawls and indexes content from the web. Google works with around 10,000 ‘search quality raters’ around the world with the sole purpose of evaluating their search results. With all the confusion and mystery that surrounds ‘Fred’ updates and the effect these changes to Google’s ranking algorithms have on websites, it’s no wonder that business owners and webmasters are looking for more information on the topic. Fortunately, the Search Quality Rater Guidelines shed a tremendous amount of light on what exactly a ‘perfect’ website looks like in the eyes of Google. The Search Quality Rater Guidelines is an invaluable 167 page PDF document given to ‘raters’ and made available to the public by Google. Essentially, this is the blueprint for how Google sees the world of websites and taking the time to familiarise yourself with this document will provide you with a huge advantage over your competition. As an example, the Google Fred updates of 2017 sought to penalize sites for low-value content, abuse of advertisements and affiliate links as well as a lack of representation of industry expertise. By following the Search Quality Rater Guidelines closely and making sure your website checks the relevant boxes that Google is looking for, you’ll be well-positioned for future ‘Fred’ updates.
In the coming years, Fred updates are going to affect webmasters and business owners alike and although when Gary Illyes of Google first coined the name ‘Fred’ in jest, algorithm updates will play a big part in shaping how websites need to adapt to better serve users. All in all, going the extra mile and considering what your users require from your website is the safest bet to place when it comes to future-proofing your from forthcoming Fred updates.
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