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Exploring Google's Fred Update & The Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines

As with many of the unconfirmed/unnamed algorithm changes, March’s “Fred” update caused much chatter and debate among technical SEO’s across the industry. In my talk, I willl examine the update’s main areas of focus and which sites have been adversely and positive impacted.

Now the dust has settled, we have a good picture at Banc of just what the Fred update has meant for the web and Google’s result pages. Come to my talk to find out what comes to light when one really digs into the data and how you can apply this to your own SEO campaigns.

In addition to this, I wil explore the newly updated search quality evaluator guidelines and their relationship with the Fred update, if indeed there is one at all.

If you’re still not quite sure what happened in March and are struggling to turn around a decline in organic performance since the update, then you may well find some answers from my talk!

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Exploring Google's Fred Update & The Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines

  1. 1. #SAScon@WhitworthSEO Charlie Whitworth Google’s Fred Update & The Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines
  2. 2. 2017 – busy time for the algo February 1st and 6th – Links & Spam? March 8th - Fred 3 of the 4 unnamed or unconfirmed #SAScon@WhitworthSEO January 10th – Intrusive Interstitials
  3. 3. march 8th @WhitworthSEO #SAScon
  4. 4. march 28th @WhitworthSEO #SAScon Coincidence? Rater Guidelines
  5. 5. @WhitworthSEO #SAScon which sites were affected ? losers
  6. 6. low quality content sites content written for rankings #SAScon@WhitworthSEO
  7. 7. random mix of subject matter remember the old “create a site that is an authority in its niche” adage? • Specialist? • Insight? • Stale? • Designed for quick ££? @WhitworthSEO #SAScon
  8. 8. saturation of poor content New WP sites added p/day: 50,000 WP posts: 2.5 billion Monthly WP page views: 24.6 billion Monthly WP blogs: 87.6 million @WhitworthSEO #SAScon
  9. 9. blogs was this an attack on saturated, sub-standard blogs? • Selling links • Lack of editorial guidelines • Churning out articles @WhitworthSEO #SAScon
  10. 10. ad heavy sites… @WhitworthSEO #SAScon
  11. 11. adsensers aggrieved? #SAScon google removed its ad limit for AdSense just 6 months previously
  12. 12. doesn’t need to be pulitzer prize winning… More Could Be Less Think Engagement @WhitworthSEO #SAScon
  13. 13. link spam targeted once more @WhitworthSEO #SAScon
  14. 14. hand in hand: low quality, shameless ads and bad links affiliate sites not a witch hunt, they just tend to break rules #SAScon@WhitworthSEO
  15. 15. disavows still vital despite baked-in penguin @WhitworthSEO #SAScon
  16. 16. winners which sites benefitted? @WhitworthSEO #SAScon
  17. 17. those who held their nerve @WhitworthSEO #SAScon Panda turned up to 11 freed up SERP real estate removed the rubbish
  18. 18. @WhitworthSEO #SAScon many have seen fluctuations as fred rolled out tumultuous roll out
  19. 19. ad etiquette, natural links & compelling copy @WhitworthSEO #SAScon Quality & Authority In Their Niche
  20. 20. penda updates? days of traditional updates over “search quality” updates focus on offsite and onsite factors together @WhitworthSEO #SAScon phantom | fred | unnamed
  21. 21. obsession over updates and terminology @WhitworthSEO #SAScon quality | relevance | UX hence unconfirmed & unnamed
  22. 22. synergy between SEO & UX/CRO @WhitworthSEO #SAScon back to engagement always been important, now vital work together to remove UX barriers
  23. 23. banc’s CRO/UX methodology @WhitworthSEO #SAScon
  24. 24. mobile & tablet optimisation @WhitworthSEO #SAScon crucial mobile first is her e
  25. 25. @WhitworthSEO #SAScon google does give us the answers Google Webmaster Guidelines Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines
  26. 26. #SMX @WhitworthSEO #SAScon
  27. 27. search evaluator guidelines whittled down to 157 pages post “fred” desktop-first criteria removed #SAScon@WhitworthSEO
  28. 28. quality rater guidelines: a snapshot @WhitworthSEO #SAScon no direct influence on the rankings, but test the algo changes how well do pages achieve their purpose? rater guidelines give us greater insight into “quality”
  29. 29. paywalls First ever mention separate to ad-blockers no negative impact implied #SAScon@WhitworthSEO
  30. 30. #SAScon YMYL – Your Money or Your Life @WhitworthSEO #SAScon • Shopping • Financial • Medical • Legal • News • Other
  31. 31. #SAScon YMYL - “wealth” changed to “financial stability” could a page negatively impact a user’s happiness, hea lth or financial stability? @WhitworthSEO #SAScon better clarification of “wealth”
  32. 32. #SAScon tabs are hot again due to mobile first “note that tabs on some pages lead to even more information (e.g., customer reviews) and can sometimes be considered part of the MC of the page” #SAScon@WhitworthSEO
  33. 33. #SAScon ads (desktop & mobile) #SAScon moved to the top of the guidelines “ads may contribute to a good user experience” obtrusiveness, relevance & quantity where do they take you? @WhitworthSEO
  34. 34. #SAScon ads (desktop & mobile) #SAScon however…. “some low quality pages have adequate content present, but it is difficult to use due to disruptive, highly distracting, or misleading ads” @WhitworthSEO
  35. 35. E-A-T Expertise Authority Trustworthiness mentioned in a lot of content/page “quality” sections @WhitworthSEO #SAScon
  36. 36. page quality rating main content quality and amount website information & information about who is responsible for the website website reputation all E-A-T indicators #SAScon@WhitworthSEO
  37. 37. websites are rated based on type hobby or interest sites & blogs not necessarily downgraded they need to conform to E-A-T & YMYL #SAScon@WhitworthSEO
  38. 38. supplementary content removed seems strange at first, but think mobile still useful if engaging device specific #SAScon@WhitworthSEO
  39. 39. deceptive pages back to the theme of making a quick buck ads, monetized links, dodgy & hidden downloads “take an action which will benefit the owner of the website rather than help the user” #SAScon@WhitworthSEO
  40. 40. sneaky redirects interestingly, removed… could be harder to detect on mobile devices #SAScon@WhitworthSEO
  41. 41. just a snapshot #SAScon@WhitworthSEO be sure to read in full not ranking factors, but an excellent insight into “quality” **supplementary content and E-A-T**
  42. 42. Questions? @WhitworthSEO