A mysterious update has sent shockwaves throughout the web over the last few days, but Google isn’t ready to comment yet. Find out how it could affect your site in this blog.

Google updates its algorithm hundreds, even thousands of times per year, but most of the tweaks they make have very little effect on anyone. Every once in a while, though, an update earthquake shakes the ground across the web, leaving many unsuspecting sites lying in the rubble.

As long as you are staying in line with current best practices and providing valuable content and services for your customers, you are in little danger, but a Google algorithm update from the past few days is seriously shaking up results. Google is mysteriously staying quiet on the whole issue, but from what the results are showing, you only stand to benefit from the updates that they’ve made.

The higher-ups at Google are ironically calling every update “Fred”, so that’s the name we’re going to stick with (who exactly Fred is will have to be learned later).

Here’s what we know so far and how it could affect you:

Tremors detected from a Google algorithm update

Just like a team of seismologists sitting around a machine that detects the ripple effects of tremors, devoted SEO pros patiently watch metrics every day to monitor the behaviour of Google’s algorithm (exciting!). In the past day or two, they’ve noticed a lot of activity taking place. This is a clear sign that a big update has gone down.

This has resulted in a major shakeup of the rankings. All signs point to it targeting those who don’t practice good SEO or use “black hat” tactics. Google is clearly trying to push spammers out of the results. That’s a big win for all of us.

What’s been changed

Google’s algorithm takes hundreds of different factors into account, including:


  • Keywords
  • Content
  • Domain name
  • Web authority
  • And local SEO directories


On top of this, they also look at people who link to your site. If you put out high quality content and provide good services, then people will inevitably begin to tell others about you, hence more links coming in from around the web.

Google’s algorithm change is focusing on pushing those who are trying to cheat the system out. If you aren’t putting in good-natured SEO work to rise up the rankings and instead looking for shortcuts, then you will be penalized.

Another target has been content quality. Putting out unique, informative, and keyword-rich content is the #1 way to rise up the rankings. This has also lead to many companies trying to cheat the system by producing a lot of useless, copied material. That won’t cut it.

Learn more about the SEO and sales value of content here

Google still quiet

Google’s only response to this so far has been “yes, we update our algorithm many times per year”. Perhaps trying to build a more mysterious brand or keep webmasters and SEO companies on their toes (we always are anyway). We can’t confirm that link and content quality have been targeted, but we can confirm what we’ve observed happen in recent days. Other recent updates from the past few months have also shaken up results, so keeping updated is key.

Google’s recent (probable) update is helping to push bad SEO out of the rankings, increasing the importance and value of honest search engine optimization techniques. We’re always on the watch here at BHM, so stick with us to stay updated on all recent Google activity.