It was reported last week that there was a new unconfirmed Google ranking update that is going by the name of Fred, although Google hasn’t confirmed this update. Google told Search Engine Land that they had no comment at all on the update.
Barry Schwartz spent the weekend collecting sample URLs of webmaster who claimed to have been hit with the update. Once he reviewed the list of over 100 different sites, he believes tht this update targets low-value content sites that put up revenue above actually helping their users.
A big majority of the URLs that Barry looked up showed the same sort of website, which was in the form of blogs, but not always, that had content on various topics. They looked to be written for ranking purposes, and then has ads and/or affiliate links sprinkled through the article. A number of the sites weren’t industry expert sites, but instead had content on a large variety of topics that didn’t add up to much value above what other sites in the industry already wrote.