Have you noticed an unexplained increase or decrease in your website’s traffic? Can’t figure out what’s going on? These three major Google algorithm updates may be the culprit!
“Fred” Update (Unconfirmed)
Update: March 8, 2017
According to webmasters and the SEO community, there’s strong evidence that there was a Google algorithm ranking update. Jokingly named “Fred” by Gary Illyes, he later let people know that it was not an official confirmation of a Google Update. However, this ranking update has shaken up the SEO world, hitting low-value content sites that focus on revenue instead of users.
The general consensus with “Fred” is that this is a spam algorithm update around links. Of course, the Black Hat SEO community has been chattering about this update, which you can read about HERE. Typically, when that happens, it means that the update is more link related than content related.
Unnamed Major Update
Update: February 1-7, 2017
This update began February 1 and continued for an entire week. It peaked on February 6th and is being called a significant core ranking update. According to sources, it’s still unconfirmed whether this was a series of smaller updates rather than one large one rolled out over a week.
This update targeted PBNs (private blog networks) and links, which positively impacted some websites while it negatively impacted others. According to websites that experienced negative impacts from this update, they saw large drops across keywords, which means that Google’s algorithm decided that the website wasn’t as high quality as originally anticipated. On the flip side, other websites received a little uptick when the algorithm decided that their content was more relevant and subsequently more high quality! Good for them!
Read more here:
February 1st Update: Unconfirmed Google algorithm update may be better at discounting links and spam
Intrusive Interstitial Penalty
Update: January 10, 2017
In the beginning of 2017, Google began rolling out a penalty that would punish aggressive interstitials and pop-ups.
Interstitial: a web page that’s displayed before or after an expected content page. Delivered by an ad server, they’re used to display advertisements or confirm the age of a user.
Although rare, Google actually provided a warning five months ahead of time that this penalty would be coming out. The update only impacted interstitials that became present when a user clicked through from Google’s mobile search- it did not impact desktop searches.
According to seroundtable.com, three examples of bad mobile interstitials include:
- Showing a popup that covers the main content, either immediately after the user navigates to a page from the search results, or while they are looking through the page.
- Displaying a standalone interstitial that the user has to dismiss before accessing the main content.
- Using a layout where the above-the-fold portion of the page appears similar to a standalone interstitial, but the original content has been inlined underneath the fold.
If you think you’ve been hit with a penalty and you’re unsure how to fix it, give us a call or fill out our contact form HERE.
We’re always here to help.