What Does The Google Algorithm Update “Fred” Mean For eCommerce Stores? (March 2017)

There has been a huge shake up in the SEO & Marketing world this past week – with a new algorithm hitting lots of sites. This algorithm has been named the Google Algorithm FRED update by the SEO experts. However Google, as ever, are keeping tight lipped about the actual algorithm’s key features and are yet to give it a name. In this quick blog we are going to examine our thoughts about the update, how it may have affected your eCommerce store and what can be done about it.

 Google algorithm FRED Update eCommerce

Why Is Google Algorithm Fred So Important?

At Shopili, we haven’t seen any client movement. But this is not the case across the board. According to a study by SearchEngineLand.com.

“Google won’t comment about the “Fred update,” but based on our own analysis, many affected sites saw up to a 90% drop in traffic.”

This could be a huge drop in ranking for many businesses who use online traffic as one of their main channels for sales. Of course, eCommerce sites – self hosted and ones that use platforms such as Shopify as a host.

How Can I Tell If I’ve Been Hit By The Fred Update?

As a store owner, it is very important to be monitoring where your store’s traffic is coming from. After all, this can really help show you where you should be concentrating on pushing your digital marketing. However, if you are not too sure on how to look at your purely organic traffic – then we have made a quick guide which shows how to read your organic traffic through your Google Analytics account.

  1. Head over to your analytics account and click on your property.
  2. Look to the menu on the left hand side of the screen and click ACQUISITION.
  3. Select OVERVIEW.
  4. Scroll Down and select ORGANIC SEARCH.
  5. This should give you an overview of the last week of your store’s organic search history. Compare it to last week/month/year to get a good overview of your organic search history.


If You’ve Been Hit By The Google Algorithm Update March 2017

Google algorithm update FRED

So What Made My Store Get Hit By The Google Algorithm Fred?

As we said, Google is keeping pretty quiet about what factors have led to these de-rankings. Yet as SEO experts, there are some clues as to what sites have suffered the most, and these are becoming more and more apparent, as SEO experts begin releasing new information.

Algorithms in the past, have focused a lot on ONSITE factors. If you are not familiar with the term – these are factors that are present on the website itself. This could be site speed, how well it loads, how many popups there are, etc. Basically – if you are giving your users a negative experience, you will be ranked accordingly to that. Google can measure this in bounce rate, how long users stay on your site and whether they convert when on the site too.

It makes sense then, that experts predict this particular update is looking at OFFSITE SEO factors. These include what websites are linking to you, what words they are using to link (anchor texts), citations and more. If you have bad quality links, coming for unrelated sources. This really could affect your SEO efforts for your eCommerce store from now on.

How Can I Prevent Getting Penalized In the Future?

The only way to really ensure that your website is safe from future Google Algorithm updates is to ensure that your site follows certain rules of thumb and does not deviate away from certain factors. Some of the most important are:

  • Make sure your eCommerce store works well across all devices such as mobile phones, tablets.
  • Do not use copied content on your site.
  • Do not use quick, risky and fake SEO methods to boost your site. Such as creating bad links that do not relate to your niche.
  • Avoid pop ups on your website that make your site unfriendly to users.
  • & of course, making sure you only have quality backlinks, coming from niche related sources.



Need Extra eCommerce SEO Help?

If you need eCommerce SEO help, we will be more than happy to help. Our team at Shopili have audited over 1000 different eCommerce stores in the past. Helping stores achieve their goals and sales online.  Click here to apply for your free eCommerce SEO audit today.

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