Google’s “Fred” ranking update

Did you or your SEO agency notice some search ranking fluctuations this month?

In early March, the SEO industry was alerted to an unconfirmed Google ranking update, which the community named “Fred” in a nod to comments made by Google’s Gary Illyes. The update generated energetic online chatter among webmasters, some of whom saw their rankings fall while others experienced increases. Automated tracking tools also showed “significant volatility and fluctuations,” according to Search Engine Land, which is a strong indicator of an update.

Much of the conversation surrounding this suspected update occurred within the “black hat” SEO community, suggesting an update targeting poor quality links. This is good news for SEOs who work within Google’s preferred parameters and avoid spammy link-building practices. Indeed, it emphasizes the important and expanding role your SEO agency places on high-quality, relevant content. At GrowthEngine Media, our foundational principles forbid us from engaging in black hat tactics. Rather, we focus on schema markup, exhaustive keyword research, site speed, engaging content and a variety of other tactics to improve our clients’ search rankings.

But what is ‘quality content’? What does it look like? According to Dave Davies, CEO of Beanstalk Internet Marketing and occasional Search Engine Land columnist, this isn’t an easy question to answer.

“Quality content cannot be defined by a set criteria,” he wrote in a March 8 article. “Rather, it is putting the content your visitors want or need in front of them at the right time. Quality is defined by the simple principle of exceeding your visitors’ expectations on what they will find when they get to your web resource.”

As a Premier Google Partner All-Star SEO Agency with access to valuable insights on Google’s preferred practices, GrowthEngine Media is uniquely positioned to deliver high-quality SEO, content marketing, and paid search solutions that meet rigorous industry standards. Contact us today for more information about how our digital marketing solutions can improve your business.