Have You Met Fred?

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Google's latest update was jokingly named "Fred," as a dig at SEOs who like to name every "big" thing that happens in the SEO sphere. Something is happening, though - and it's causing a lot of chatter on Black Hat World and WebmasterWorld.

Here's a general overview of Fred from March 9 on SearchEngineLand. There was some confusion at first about what happened, who was hit, etc. Some of the data has been put together now, though, and it looks like most of Fred's targets were ad heavy, low quality content sites.

There are challenges to this narrative, though. Some folks are saying that "Fred" has always been out there - Google may have just run it again or turned it up recently. Some say that Fred is new version of Google's Phantom updates. Some folks are saying that we need to look beyond the data collected so far and dig deeper - what part do external factors play in Fred?

Give the WebmasterWorld thread about Fred a read.

NickMNS writes, "Gary Illyes' Fred comment was a facetious remark, essentially to tell the SEO community to stop worrying about what the name of an Algo update was going to be. He never even confirmed, tacitly or otherwise, that there was an update or that it had a name."

Martinibuster writes, "Is he doing that to hide what they're up to? Or is he (and Mueller) telling the truth, this isn't really an update but just a tweak in the algo? My feeling about it is that how the SEO industry believes the search engines work and how the search engines actually work sometimes differ. I don't believe that th inking in terms of 'updates' is an accurate representation of how search engine algorithms actually function and that the concept of 'updates' might introduce a confusion of what is really going on."

I kind of agree with that, personally. What do you think?