Less than a week ago, the SEO world started stirring with rumors and suspicions of a Google ranking update that may have caused some websites to plummet in SEO results and others to jump in the lead. Could this be linked to SEO link building? The unconfirmed ranking algorithm update is being called “FRED,” due to Google’s Gary Illyes previously tweeting that any future updates should be called “FRED” (after a fish named Fred, many presume).

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Talk of FRED began shaking up the SEO world on a morning just a few days ago, as those in the SEO community, webmasters, and Google tracking tools noted changes in search results for websites that primarily dealt in black hat SEO link-building strategies. Websites that didn’t contain supposed spammy links seem to be surviving just fine as of this posting and many are said to be thriving.

Strong Evidence Suggests FRED is Real

John Mueller from Google has stated that the search engine giant makes updates to its algorithm all the time and Illyes put us on notice that updates sometimes happen 3 times a day. So, an unequivocal FRED confirmation from Google is not likely to happen.

But, this mystery update seems to be a major one, seemingly causing fluctuations in ranking results that were apparent across many tracking tools and that were the conversation of the day (and still are today) among those concerned with SEO. The last time we suspected a major ranking algorithm update was in February when it appeared a content quality update took place.

Black Hat SEO Link Building Strategies – Beware!

FRED seems to be directly targeting links and penalizing websites that that focus on black hat SEO link building strategies, while rewarding websites that offer meaningful and useful links to other websites and social media channels. The black hat space has lit up and chatter has been non-stop since the update in question, which probably means that those who presume a spam-busting algorithm update has taken place are probably right.

There are some people, however, who are reporting that they don’t deal in spam linking and that they’ve still got hit with falling results in ranking. This might be a case of false positives or it could be due to use of a linking strategy that they don’t believe is black hat but may actually be.

Quality SEO Link Building Strategies Matter.  And Get Rewarded by FRED.

Some SEO bloggers are chiming in on FRED, sharing that the tanking websites are those that had abominable link profiles. They note that the flip side of the drop is a huge surge for sites that utilize quality link-building practices. What this reinforces for a marketer is that link building as an SEO strategy helps if it’s done with concern for providing value to the reader and that it can ruin your website’s rankings if done for the sole reason of spamming to get noticed.

Links that are created to strong websites offering collateral value, and links that can legitimately be seen as guiding the reader with the intention of establishing trust and earned authority, are good links that websites need to keep building.

SEO Link Building Strategies as Part of Managed SEO Services

How do you build good links that position you as a leader in your industry and allow you to reap the unconfirmed benefits of FRED and possible future updates? You talk to an SEO company like Galileo Tech Media. We help businesses create a comprehensive SEO strategy that includes link building and creating quality content, among many other techniques and tools. Galileo Tech Media provides Managed SEO Services for businesses and we reach into our toolbox of SEO tactics to tailor an SEO strategy to a company’s unique needs.

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Email us today to harness the power of FRED, because there will be future algorithm updates and you need to know how to stay on top of the strategies that will position you to come out on top.