Around the 7/8th March webmasters winced as they noticed clear and substantial changes in web traffic and analytics. The rumour mill was in over-drive until Google confirmed it's Fred update. Blue Shark Digital has a list of 6 things you need to check and resolve to firstly check if your domain has been penalised and second, to reverse the penalty as quick as possible. 

When Google confirmed the Fred update, they were typically tight-lipped about the algorithm update. The only clue was that this update targeted websites not abiding by Google guidelines. Experts have suggested that ad-heavy sites and sites with low-quality and irrelevant content are worst affected. 

Blue Shark Digital recommend you do the following 5 things now:

1. Check and study your analytics. First off, do you see a drop in traffic in March 2017? Secondly, study your organic traffic, and how has your ranking been affected for they keywords you measure. A sharp drop between Feb/Mar and Year-on-Year could indicate you have been penalised. 

2. Keywords. Are the keywords than have lost ranking linked to low-quality or ad-heavy pages? 

3. Categorise your main pages into low and high-quality content. Compare individual pages over time- Feb/Mar, over the last 6 months and Year-on-Year - this will further identify pages that have been penalised. 

4. Update this content with interesting, current and engaging content immediately.

5. If you have more than 2 ad blocks on these pages, particularly above the fold and if they are intrusive, you need to remove these. You seriously need to consider if ad revenue is a long-term viable option as your traffic (and thus ad impressions) will continue to decline. 

6. Use a backlink tool to identify toxic links to your site. Then submit a disavow list to Google immediately. 

In summary, if Fred sees your content as invaluable, outdated, or too ad-heavy, you may see some rankings drop. 

Consider and review your content strategy and consider an overhaul and update to keep your content current.

Another top tip is display ads and their use. Google consistently through updates in 2016 and 2017 is penalising websites that are ad heavy, with annoying intrusive ads. If your business model is dependent on display ad revenue, your long-term business viability is at risk. Consider content, link and advertising partnerships as the way forward. 

For move advice and to understand Fred and other Google updates more, contact Blue Shark Digital for a free consultation now.