Many Webmasters in the SEO Industry has been observing an unnamed and unconfirmed update from Google since 8th March. Later to which Garry Illyes gave a name and John Muller confirmed as “Fred” with a symbol of “Fish”.
Webmaster world is full with the chatter of major drop in traffic by 50% – 90% and a big change in SERPs. Many are saying that this is spam algorithm update around links and others are saying that it is for the low quality content websites heavy with Ads placements because they are more of generating revenue over informational content for users.
Many webmasters shared their URLs with Barry Schwartz with few snapshots showing the affect. Those sites are almost Blog and news sites. Some of the webmasters told Schwartz about the huge recoveries after removal of ads from their websites. Now SEOs are assuming, Fred is a bigger version of Phantom (Which was also unconfirmed).
Luke Ward told his domain is 8 years old and has unique and informational content. He removed the ads week ago and in return his website stats got back to normal again within 15 hours after that change made on site. To check the possibilities, he re-enabled the ads on his website and lost the traffic again. So, he removed the ads including a large above the fold ad and stats returned back to normal.
Right now, everyone is eagerly waiting for comments from Google to clear the confusion. On Twitter, John Muller and Garry Illyes said, Google makes updates every day. To review the chat, please see the snapshot below: