What was the Google "Fred" update targetting?

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What was the Google "Fred" update targetting?

Several sites are reporting lost rankings due to the Google Fred update. I haven't noticed any decrease in rank though. What was this update targeting? Some users on forums thought it was a link targeting update but we already have Panda (or penguin, can't remember which) for that.


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This update was released on March 9th, 2017. Several SEOs claim the update targets low value and ad heavy sites while several other claim it is targeting backlinks, specifically spammy, unrelated backlinks pointing to websites.

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Very interesting! There's been quite a few large updates recently that people are dubbing "stealth updates" as they have been released without any notification from Google about them. But then, Google do release hundreds of updates to current algorithms and new ones too and don't always tell people about them. As the video says it's unconfirmed what the update is even for and it's all just speculation until someone from the Google web spam team actually officially release something about it or someone is badgered into doing so lol.

What I'd really like to know is how the define a "low value site". I mean, some sites don't have much content on them sure. But does that mean to say they are a low value site? And some sites don't have a lot of "high quality, related backlinks and social signals" sure. But again, does that mean to say that site is also a low value site?

It doesn't seem quite fair on the face of it from this side of the fence. I mean, what about fairly new sites (started in the past year). Because they are so new and haven't had much work done on them yet and don't have a lot of unique content and don't have a lot of high quality backlinks and big social signal count. Should those sites be punished for that? Hmmmmm :/

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I personally haven't been affected by this Fred update. If it targeted low-quality websites with heavy ads on them, then find, good for them, I don't really care because it doesn't affect me. I always try to be as clean as possible, if the nasty websites go down it means I have a chance to gain new heights.

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