A report from Search Engine Journal claims that an unconfirmed algorithm update is “shaking up the SEO world.” Due to Google’s Gary Isles playful suggestion that algorithm updates from now on be called “Fred” the SEO community has chosen to run with it, and so the name caught on.

In the report, Barry Schwartz writes that much of the talk around the update is coming from the  “black hat” community which “generally means that this is a spam algorithm update around links.”

The Bisk SEO team focuses much of their link building efforts around the education and/or policy communities, as well as reputable sites that report on the respective verticals pertaining to the programs. If the so-called Fred update centers on spam links, the main threat would come from “negative SEO” tactics in which attackers place links to a website on spammy or disreputable sites in order to damage the victim’s ranking.

The team is keeping an eye on any potential gains or losses from this update, which, for now, the full nature is unknown and not yet confirmed by Google. Though it is speculated to have rolled out on the 8th of March.

Currently there are no major anomalies to report in light of the latest reports of Google’s gavel. Here are the current week-over-week stats on Google Organic Sessions for Bisk client sites since the 8th:

  • VU is up 1%
  • FT is up 4%
  • JU is up 1%
  • MSU is up 3%
  • USF is down 3%
  • ND is down 7%
  • Valpo is down 8%
  • NEC is down 11%
  • Scranton is down 25%

Potentially, any algorithm updates targeting spammy links or websites is a good thing for our client’s websites. We take all reports of algorithm updates seriously and attempt to leave no stone unturned as we dig into the data to ensure we align with best SEO practices from a Google standpoint.