Have you noticed an unexplained decline or increase in traffic to your website since March?
If so, Fred might be to blame.
“Fred” is the unofficial name given to the Google update that was implemented during March. This is where Google updates their search algorithm … the data they use to decide where each web page should show in the search results for specific search terms.
If you use the Google Search Console to monitor your traffic you may notice that there was no traffic – or not traffic STATS, at least – for a small time around the 8th-9th March. This is when the update was brought in and stats don’t seem to have been recorded during that time.
While Google will never say exactly what changes were made and what they’re now looking for, sharing of on-going monitoring and research can give us an idea of what sort of sites might be affected.
From what those investigating these changes are saying, it appears that sites with “shallow” content are the most affected by a drop in the search engine rankings. That is, sites that have more ads than content or where the content is not of particular value and is there to support lots of ads and/or affiliate links.
That said, it’s important to note that ads and affiliate links themselves are okay. They’re not the issue, when they’re used properly. It’s when the main focus of the site is those ads or links, rather than being able to offer genuine value to readers.
On 13th March Google’s Gary Illyes tweeted that:
“DYK there’s no inherent problem with affiliate links? The problem is when a site’s sole purpose is to be a shallow container for aff links”[NB: DYK = Did you know]
So, affiliate links and ads on a site are still okay. You just need to use them properly.
If you do include ads or affiliate links on your website, make sure that:
Other things that seem to be targeted during this update are issues such as slow page speed, duplicate content, duplicate titles and other quality factors.
There’s a good post on the FatJoe.co site – The Google Fred Update – What It’s Targeting And How To Fix It – that shows an example of two sites that are both making money by selling affiliate products or advertising. However one is offering value to readers and is a higher quality than the other.
Here are my top 10 suggestions to help your site if you think it may be one of these “shallow” sites. In fact, these suggestions are worth following regardless of whether or not you were negatively affected by this Google update.
Sure, there’s other things you can do to improve your site. But focus on those 10 points above and you’ll be off to a good start.
Remember … Google is not your enemy.
They simply want to ensure that people searching for information are provided with suggestions for the most helpful sites for their searches. So by giving people what they want you’re giving Google what they want and helping your site too.
I’ve been helping business owners grow their businesses for almost 20 years now and there’s one question I get asked more than any other. That is:
“How can I get more traffic to my website?”
Now to be honest, that’s probably not the right question to be asking. Getting more traffic doesn’t necessarily mean anything. If it’s the wrong type of traffic, all it means is that you get more people visiting your site (and possibly leaving again before even reading a single word!)
What you really want to know is:
“How can I get more quality traffic to my site;
visitors who like what I offer and who will buy my products or services?”
Am I right?
Well, the short answer here is that there are a number of things you can do and some traffic generation strategies are going to work better than others for some markets. There are also strategies that might work for a little while, but then something changes and they’re no longer as effective.
Or in some instances, they can cause LESS traffic to come to your site. Take, for example, some of the now-outdated back-linking and black-hat SEO strategies that were so popular just a few years ago.
Then Google made some tweaks to their search algorithms and overnight, 1,000s of websites lost their high-ranking positions in the search results or were removed from the search results altogether.
Some online business owners who relied on that traffic lost their entire income stream quite literally overnight. (HINT: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket … or one income stream. More on this another time.)
What I’ve been working on in recent months is a system that helps you to not only get more traffic to your website, but to also increase your leads, subscribers, customers, repeat customers and referrals. All this then leads to an increase in profits as well as helping you (or your business) become a leader within your industry. Or as an INFLUENCER.
Actually, it’s a system that I’ve been using with great success for years now, with solid foundations that will last long-term. But in recent months I’ve been documenting the process and refining it further. I want to make it as easy as possible for others to implement too.
Now I’m working on a fantastic video for you, to explain this system in the simplest way possible.
This video contains my answer to that most-asked question:
“How can I get more traffic to my website?”
I hope to have this video ready for you by next Tuesday. If you’re subscribed to my email list for updates, keep an eye on your inbox then. If you’re not already a subscriber but would like to receive updates via email, enter your details in the form in the top-right of the sidebar of this page. That way you won’t miss out.
If you’re wondering if WordPress is a suitable software to use to build your website, you are not alone. In fact, many business owners find it a huge struggle to find the best website builder. Many business owners either:
1) know their business needs a website, but they don’t have the time or the money to create one (or research it more and find someone to build it for them), or
2) they already have a website, but it’s not what they want it to be and they constantly find themselves making excuses for it.
So if you can relate to this, like I said, you are not alone in this. The best solution to both problems is to begin using WordPress as your website builder.
When considering the right builder for your website you usually must decide whether you want flexibility and functionality in the system, or if you want it to be user friendly. The good news is that you do not have to sacrifice either factor with WordPress.
WordPress gives you all the flexibility and functionality you need while it remains user friendly. Anyone, with only a few hours to dedicate to learning how to build their website can begin using WordPress immediately.
WordPress is high on the search engine friendliness scale. As a business owner, you want your website to rank high in search results. Using WordPress as your website builder will help you do this.
There are several useful built-in features that do most of the work for you. Options such as using headings, meta-tags, and other plug-ins (add-ons) as locations to insert your keywords will help you rank higher on search engines. I recommend adding the Yoast SEO plug-in to make it easy to optimize each of your site’s pages and posts for the search engines.
The advancement of mobile technology makes this a high priority for any business owner who wishes to succeed in business. Plus, it’s also something the search engines are looking for in a good website.
You need a website that is easily viewed on all mobile devices (mobile responsive) as well as desktops and laptops. Increasingly people are beginning to check websites on the go from their cellphones, tablets, and other mobile devices.
If you are concerned about whether or not your website is mobile responsive, you do not have to do much more work than to find a theme on WordPress that is already mobile responsive. You will save time and money trying to code mobile responsiveness into your website or create a second website.
You need a website that is easily viewed on all mobile devices (mobile responsive) as well as desktops and laptops.
There are thousands upon thousands of plug-ins that you can add to your website that will give it additional features and functions.
One of the most important is that you can easily add plug-ins that connect to other online software such as autoresponder programs to automatically add all website subscribers to your mailing lists.
Also, you will find that there are options for plug-ins from most of the socially active companies that easily integrate into WordPress.
WordPress also allows you to connect all your social media platforms to your site without wasting time learning to code it in.
You can write multiple posts at one time and schedule them to be published on a certain date and time. This allows you to manage your time better if you want to block off a certain chunk of your time to write posts instead of having to make sure you write them so that they can go out in time.
For example, you can set aside one day each month – or every two to three months – to write and schedule all of the blog posts you’d like to share over that coming period. They won’t be visible to your blog’s readers until the scheduled date and time.
WordPress includes a updates feature which will allow you to update your plug-ins and themes quickly and easily. This can be done from within your dashboard. It will also send you notifications about these updates so that you do not have to search for the update schedule. Plus, you have the added ability to schedule automatic backups of your site.
Although the internet is an uncertain place, WordPress is created with security a top priority. It is built to be safe and secure for all websites. There are also some great security plug-ins you can add to boost your site’s protection further.
Just be sure to keep your WordPress software, themes and plug-ins up-to-date. As an added safe-guard, schedule regular back-ups of your site.
This could be listed as your number one reason. It is highly affordable for any business. You can download, install, and modify it for free. You just need your own domain name and hosting account to store your WordPress website’s files. Using your self-hosting site of choice, you can freely create any type of website.
These are only a few of the popular reasons why WordPress is highly recommended for any business, large or small. It will become an extremely valuable resource for your business. WordPress is affordable, while still allowing you the ability to create what you want using its wide range of themes, features, and plug-ins.
WordPress is a top content management system. You can keep your website up to date, rank high in search engines, backup your website, and much more from its easy to use dashboard.