How Fred may be af­fect­ing traf­fic to your web­site

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS - – Jarred Mailer-Lyons, dig­i­tal me­dia strate­gist at The Me­dia Shop

EV­ERY year, Google changes its search al­go­rithm about 600 times. Al­though most of th­ese changes are in­signif­i­cant to ad­ver­tis­ers and brands, oc­ca­sion­ally there are ma­jor al­go­rith­mic up­dates that rock the in­dus­try. Th­ese changes can be po­ten­tial gamechang­ers for brands and also sig­nif­i­cantly im­pact a site’s rank­ing. You can call the lat­est up­date Fred. For now.

Al­though Google re­mains vague about the fo­cus of this up­date is, Fred has been around long enough to gauge its po­ten­tial im­pli­ca­tions.

Some re­search has shown that the up­date has af­fected the traf­fic and rak­ing of sites that de­pend heav­ily on mul­ti­ple long­tail key­words and if the con­tent that matches those key­words was writ­ten be­fore 2014.Ba­si­cally, if Fred iden­ti­fies the con­tent of any site as low qual­ity, out­dated or too ad-heavy, the site is guar­an­teed to see a mas­sive drop in its rank­ing. The up­date has also clamped down on back­links to old con­tent. Since a low num­ber of back­links and low-qual­ity con­tent of­ten go hand in hand, it is dif­fi­cult to de­ter­mine which fac­tor is driv­ing the change in rank­ings.

Change is the only con­stant in search en­gine op­ti­mi­sa­tion. So let’s em­brace Google’s lat­est up­date, learn from it, and be bet­ter at what we do.

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