Last month, Google released the Fred Update, an algorithm ranking update which is thought to penalize low-value, ad heavy content.
What Does It Mean?
The search engine giant confirmed that the update focuses on sites that do not comply with its webmaster guidelines, specifically those with overall quality issues. Since the update was released, sites with low-value content, a focus on increasing their own revenue over helping users, and heavy ad placement, seem to have been impacted. Affected sites saw 50-90 percent traffic declines from Google organic search, according to Search Engine Land.
Search Engine Land also reported that the vast majority of websites impacted by the algorithm had similar formats. They were content sites, often blogs, containing content on various topics which appeared to be written for ranking purposes. The sites had various ads and/or affiliate links throughout the content.
What Can You Do?
There are a few actions you can take to determine if your brand has been impacted and to recover from potential impact.
- See if any of your publishers' metrics (number of sales, revenue, or ranking) in the affiliate program, have dropped month over month. If they have, it could be a result of the algorithm change.
- Categorize your publishers into two buckets – low quality and high quality. Improve your publisher vetting process by using data metrics like Alexa Rank.
- Monitor compliance of each publisher in your program. As long as your publishers are within compliance of the program terms and service agreement, you should be fine.
At Rise, our SEO experts take a customer-centric approach to search engine optimization and our affiliate experts use a strict, data-driven vetting process for our campaigns. If you are wondering if your site has specifically be impacted, or if you have seen a significant decrease in revenue or leads, reach out to Rise.