Author Archives: frank lampard

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Best tips to get an effective Google Adwords Campaign

Category : Google Ads

The key to increasing sales with Google Ads lies in testing and optimization. But where to start? Whether you are a new store owner or a seasoned advertiser, there are a number of must-test Google tips you should be implementing in your optimization strategy.

Up Your Negative Keyword Game

Negative keywords are one of the most powerful elements of your Google Ads campaigns. Although often overlooked by novice Google Ads advertisers, negative keywords ensure that you’re eliminating searchers that aren’t relevant to your products and niche. The three key benefits of using negative keywords are that they:

Keep ROIs on point, as they prevent spending money on keywords where you won’t get a good return
Ensure searchers are only shown ads that are relevant to what they are searching for
Increase the likelihood of more targeted traffic, which in turn increases conversion potential
Negative keywords are one of the first optimization steps you should take to improve the performance of your campaigns or ad groups.

To increase sales from your Google Ads, you want to test adding negative keywords to campaigns or ad groups that have poor metrics. This includes ads that have low CTRs or your high-cost ads that are yielding few or no conversions.

Finding Negative Keywords

There are three ways you can discover possible negative keywords for your campaigns:

– Use Google’s autocomplete feature to point to the relevance, or lack of relevance, of your keywords.

– Use Google to search for the keywords you’re advertising with or want to test, to see who is advertising with those keywords as well as what organic search results come up. For example, you may be considering glasses as a good search term for your homeware product, but it is more likely to bring you a lot of people looking for eyeglasses and thus negatively affect your CTRs.
negative keywords affect search

– Use keyword research tools such as SEMrush or Kparser

Assess what search terms are showing your adverts and tune out irrelevant searches through keyword search terms and negative keyword management.

Monitor what phrases people are searching for that click through on your advert, but you may not have considered. Add these terms to your keyword list, or if they are not relevant then add them to the negative keyword list to prevent your ad showing. Adding negative keywords help you focus on only the keywords that matter to your customers. Make sure you prepare a Negative keyword list for your campaign from the start too, what type of visitor do you not want to attract?

For example, if you are not wanting job hunters consider adding job, jobs and apprentice to your negative keyword list.

Find this on the new UX: Left hand side panel: Keywords – Tab: Search Terms – Tab: Negative Keywords

Spread the impressions around

In addition to collecting enough data, you also need to make sure your data is properly distributed among your ads. The temptation is to use the AdWords default option to “optimize for clicks,” but doing this might cause more traffic to go to certain ads over others. In the first stages of optimizing, it’s more important to spread out clicks so you give all ad variations a fair shot. Set ads in new campaigns to “rotate indefinitely.”

Block bad Display Network placements

The Display Network is a great source of cheap, high-volume traffic. But if you’re not careful, you’ll end up paying for a ton of clicks that don’t convert into leads and sales.

If your Display Network CTR is suffering, try running a Placement report in Google AdWords. This report will show which Display Network websites are showing your ads, as well as metrics such as impressions and conversions from each of those sites. Identify which websites don’t send converting traffic and block them in your campaigns. Oftentimes, you’ll find these websites have little to do with the goods and services you’re marketing.

Google Adwords Campaign

Stretch Your Budget With Long Tail Keywords

Another way to refine your campaigns to ensure you are getting more targeted traffic that converts is to test and add long tail keywords. Long tail keywords mean less competition and a higher chance of converting, and even though they are seen as ‘unpopular’ they can lower CPCs while increasing sales. In one ahrefs study of 1.9 billion keywords, they found that 29% of keywords with 10k searchers per month consist of three words or more.

You can find long tail keywords with the help of either Google’s autocomplete, or ahrefs or other keyword research tools. However, you also want to look at your current organic traffic data to find possible long tails people are using to get to your products that you haven’t thought about.

There is one additional approach worth outlining here specifically, and that’s using sites like Answer the Public to find questions people are asking. Questions are a great way of using long tail keywords to your advantage.

Always split test new ads

A good online advertising strategy is always evolving. Riding the performance of a single high-performing ad is only a recipe for temporary success. Split testing at least two ads per ad group is essential for maintaining success and staying ahead of the curve.

Early on in your campaign, don’t waste time split testing ads that are just slight variations of each other. Instead, write ads that employ different sales tactics. Try one ad that touts a benefit of what you’re selling, then another that mentions your limited-time sale. You can also write ads that appeal to emotions using simple, powerful words such as “imagine” and “discover.”

Don’t instantly give up on ads that you’re split testing. Go through your standard steps of optimization. That said, don’t hesitate to shut down a struggling ad and replace it with something completely new.

Audit Your Keywords and Remove Duplicates

As you’re growing your Google Ads campaign list while optimizing and adding keywords, it’s common for even experienced advertisers to forget to remove duplicate keywords.

Why is it so important to stay on top of your keywords and remove duplicates? Because they impact your Quality Score while eating up your budget unnecessarily. If you’re bidding on the same keyword more than once, both are submitted to auctions and thus you’re essentially competing with yourself and unnecessarily increasing CPCs.

That’s not to say there aren’t instances where you should bid on duplicate keywords. Duplicates are effective when:

– Bidding on the same keywords that will be used for different placements, search and display ads.
– Using different match types for duplicate keywords.
– Ads are segmented to serve difference locations; you would then bid on the same keyword in each campaign that services a different place.

Read more How to increase your sales by Google Ads


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How to make your Facebook Ad Campaign successful

All the ads within each Facebook ad campaign will have the same objective, but you will have the ability to change the audience, budget, dates, image, and creative in the ad sets within each individual campaign. Each campaign must have its own objective, but don’t worry, you can set up multiple Facebook ad campaigns to help you reach your Facebook advertising goals.

Lookalike Audiences from Custom Audiences

With your Custom Audiences in place, you’ll have a base from which to start building Lookalike Audiences. As Facebook Ads expert Rick Mulready points out, Lookalike Audiences are more lukewarm than super cold. For small business owners who are having a difficult time reaching the masses or generating new leads, creating a Lookalike Audience from a Custom Audience list or an existing customer list is a great way to reach new people who have attributes in common with people you already know convert on your ads.

Think about your buying cycle when using Custom Audiences.

For example, for a luxury furniture company, it would make sense for them to retarget an audience for a longer period of time; it might take someone a couple of weeks or months to hem and haw over a sofa before purchasing it. For lower-priced products, it might make more sense to retarget audiences within a shorter amount of time (like several days or just a couple of weeks) after they browsed products.

“If you’re running a site-wide sale for a short period of time, try running a retargeting ad for that duration with a higher budget for maximum reach during the sale. Make sure to mention the sale and add a nice call to action in the copy.”

Basic Custom Audiences

The first Custom Audiences you should build are those based on your buyers’ journey—the stages your audience moves through to become customers. At the first stage, they recognize there is a problem that needs to be solved. At the second stage, they are considering the different options they have for solving that problem. At the third stage, they are deciding which purchase they should make to solve the problem.

To create a Facebook Custom Audience using this approach, separate the most important pages on your website into three groups:

– Cold: Visitors to these pages are least likely to make a purchase today
– Hot: Visitors to these pages are most likely to make a purchase today
– Warm: Visitors to these pages are somewhere in between.

You can then build three Custom Audiences to whom you can serve the right ads at the right time. For example, you might show your hot audience your special offer of the week, while you might show your cold audience a branding or process video that encourages them to ask more questions about your service.

Facebook Ad Campaign

Adjust the way you review performance & prospecting ads.

As it differs from retargeting ad performance. Retargeting ads are shown to a “warmer” audience that has already browsed products on your site at some point. On the other hand, prospecting ads are shown to new “colder” audiences who may not know about your brand. It may take a long period of exposure for that prospective customer to learn about the brand, educate themselves about the product and ultimately make a purchase. For this reason, it’s important not to simply focus on conversions, but to measure the success of prospecting ads by looking at metrics such as number of add-to-carts, the number of website clicks, and average daily click-through rates.

Don’t Just Rely on the Button for Website Traffic

Facebook ad objectives should be something easy for users to do, and something they’ll actually want to do.

One way of accomplishing both of these things is by including a link to your website/landing page in the ad copy.

Sure, the call to action button will direct users there, but the button can really feel “ad-like.” What I mean by that is just about everyone knows if a Facebook post has “Sponsored” on it and a call to action button, then it’s an ad.

Users, just like yourself, don’t like to be advertised to and forced to do something. We’d rather make the choice ourselves, knowing where we’ll end up.

Psychologically, it can feel more comfortable for users to make the decision on their own to leave Facebook by simply clicking on the link within the ad copy. They know exactly what they’re getting themselves into and they’re choosing to go to that destination, versus clicking on “Learn More” not knowing where they’ll actually go.

Aside from the “feelings” side to this reasoning, adding the URL in the ad copy also gives the user the option to act quickly. If they like what they’ve read and want to respond, give them the option to do so without having to get all the way down to the button.

Avoid Using the Color Blue in Ad Creative

Facebook’s primary color is blue — #3b5998 to be exact. Using images and videos that have blue tones in your ad campaigns isn’t going to help your ad stand out in the News Feed.

By the way, I’m not referring to a solid blue image with text. I’m talking about anything that has a blue hue to it such as a sky background, ocean waves, or a person standing in front of a blue wall. These blue tones will make the ad blend in with the News Feed, which is exactly what we don’t want an ad to do.

Instead of focusing on blue tones, try using colors that match your brand especially if they’re vivid colors like orange, green, and red.

Orange is blue’s complementary color so not only will it stand out, but it will look darn good in the News Feed.

Remarket Based on Website Activity

Once you’ve begun driving traffic to your website and building Custom Audiences, it’s time to formulate offers to cater to these visitors based on their activity on your website. As we stated above, one way to start this is to make offers to your three core Custom Audiences based on the pages they viewed when they visited your website.

There’s a lot more to web activity targeting than just pages viewed, however. One thing to consider, if you have a reasonably capable developer or even some programming chops of your own, is to target based on Custom Pixel Events. A Custom Event might be something like who clicked on a button, who added an item to their cart, or who viewed more pictures of an item.

With some creative thinking, you can come up with actions that indicate a person is ready to become a customer, and with the right Custom Events, you can target the people who take those actions.

Read more Facebook Ad guide for beginners


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All the best Facebook advertising tricks for small business

Structuring a Facebook ads campaign for success includes determining your campaign objective, determining your target audience, creating an ad plan, setting up your campaign, ad sets, and ads on Facebook, and looking at your ads’ metrics to determine which ads are helping you reach your goals. If you want to get the most out of advertising on Facebook but don’t quite know how to run a successful Facebook ads campaign, this post is for you.

Start targeting your Facebook ads on a Thursday.

When it comes to lookalike ads, it takes Facebook a day or so to find an audience that looks the most like your visitors/buyers and to start targeting those who are most likely to engage with the ad. I’ve spoken with several Facebook ad experts who suggest starting campaigns on Thursday so you’ll be ready to target the right people – in the most optimized fashion – over the weekend.

Set Up Your Pixel

If you aren’t using the Pixel, you are throwing money away. Even the most liberal of estimates suggests that less than 2% of people end up converting upon the first exposure to an ad, and if you’re just starting out, you’re likely to see an even lower percentage.

The Facebook Pixel is a snippet of code that gets placed on your website and lets you know what actions your website visitors (who have arrived there from your ad) are taking. You can then segment these visitors based on their behaviors and retarget them separately, catering the content more specifically to each group.

You can use Pixel data to create several types of Custom Audiences, but we’ll first start with the basics.

Use Lookalike audiences & ad demographic: Location.

Interested in using buyer Lookalike campaigns? Narrow down the ad demographic to ‘location. When doing this, your Source Audience should include at least 1,000 people (but more is better). Many of our customers simply choose a target country and let the Facebook algorithms work their magic to find an audience closest to their actual buyers. Facebook typically does not suggest adding demographic information (like interests, gender, or age) for buyer Lookalike ads as this can hinder the process of finding the most accurate lookalikes. Take a look at your Facebook Audience Insights to double check your LAL’s.

Stock Videos Are Better than No Videos

Tired of hearing that you need to create videos but have no idea where to begin? You aren’t alone.

Not every business has the time or capability to make videos at the drop of a hat for a Facebook advertising campaign. Yet we all know how important video creative is for social media these days.

A video on Facebook receives on average 135 percent more organic reach than a Facebook photo. Photos used to be the most engaging type of creative on social media, but video has quickly surpassed images and is now the thing.

Remarket Based on Video

Another way to target your Facebook ads is based on how much time users spent viewing your video advertisements. (Not running video ads? It’s time to start. Video is quickly becoming the superior way to advertise on the internet, and it’s already the preferred way for most people to consume information.)

The good news is, it’s easy to get started with video, even if you only use your smartphone for shooting. With your video message running, you’ll be able to retarget an audience based on how much of the video they watched, gearing longer form or sales-oriented videos to your more engaged viewers, while serving more informational or branding-based content to viewers who disengaged but might still be in your target audience.

Facebook advertising tricks

Optimize your CPC, average ad spending and relevance score.

Once your ads are running, don’t just focus on ROAS. Take a close look at metrics such as CPC (cost per click), average spend and relevance score. You can also check to see how much exposure you’re generating by looking at reach (in Business Manager), clicks, impressions, and by calculating CTR. All of this information can help you compare the current ad you’re analyzing with results of similar ads you’ve run in the past.

Design an Ad Your Audience Will Be Attracted To

I know, seems like a common sense type of tip, but it’s actually one of the biggest tips people forget about. Facebook even offers this in their very black and white “Creative Tips” because it’s so important for advertisers to focus on.

Not only does your ad copy need to speak to your demographic, but your imagery and video, too. Let’s dissect Facebook’s example.

To the left, you’ll see an ad for a restaurant that focuses on a cocktail. This ad is targeting a younger, millennial type of audience that most likely has a 9-to-5 job and enjoys going out with coworkers at the end of the day for a drink. This is a very specific type of person, even though we can probably all relate, and the ad is created just for that part of the restaurant’s demographic.

The photo to the right is by the same restaurant but is targeting their older demographic, the portion of their customer base that comes in just for the food. If the restaurant had used the same cocktail photo to attract that older audience, say 50+ years old, they may have turned the audience away by looking too much like a bar atmosphere and not a restaurant.

It’s quite rare for a business to only have one profile of a customer. This is why it’s so important to create multiple ads, each speaking to your different customers.

Work with Facebook ad strategies for the holidays.

Retail-friendly holidays like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, Fathers day, Mothers day and Valentine’s day have one thing in common: they’re prime time to increase ecommerce sales. Prepare for the spike in traffic by planning out a winning Facebook ad targeting strategy well before the shopping craze kicks off. For some social inspiration, check out 4 Facebook Ad Strategies to Prepare Your Store for Black Friday Success where we explain how to make optimal use of your ad spend and ad creative, re-target existing clients and maximize your sales during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Read more All the best facebook ads you should learn about


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Tips to reveal Google Panda Penalties

There’s no doubt that Panda blew a lot of websites out of the water. From spammed articles, and keyword stuffed content to affiliate links buyers, many website owners found themselves on the wrong side of Panda’s algorithm updates.

As a result, many myths started swirling around and some of them are still in existence. Some of the myths about Panda that you shouldn’t waste your time on include:

  • There will be another Panda update soon –While there were various Panda updates in the past, the last one was rolled out in 2016. Google chose to integrate Panda as a core part of its search engine and has never published another update. In essence, there is most likely no Panda update that will come about anytime soon. You should therefore focus your energy on making your website Panda-friendly by following the already existing guidelines.
  • Duplicate content filter is part of Panda – Even though your website can face a Panda penalty for duplicate content. Panda isn’t solely aimed at duplicate content. In fact, a duplicate content filter and Panda are two separate and independent tools.
  • Too much UGC will be penalised – User-generated Content such as guest blog posts used to be and continues to be an important part of the web. So, do not be misled that publishing guest blog posts might attract Panda. All you have to do is to ensure that they’re of high-quality and actually possess information users would want to read.


The two ways that your site can be affected by Google penalties may either be Manual Action or Algorithm Penalty.

In most cases, detecting Manual Action penalties is much easier. This is because Google is nice and polite enough to send you a message to notify you about the penalty. Manual penalty notices are issued through Google Search Console.

On the other hand, algorithmic penalties are quite hard to detect because Google will not notify you about such penalties. You will have to find them by yourself, or better yet find a reliable SEO agency or consultant to do it for you.

These are 2 ways to determine whether your website may have suffered from a penalty:

  • Traffic & ranking drops – Your first clue will be a dramatic drop in traffic.If you have been impacted, your visibility will not improve and traffic will not return to your site until you fix the issue on your website that caused it. And as Panda is an algorithmic penalty, this means that even once you’ve resolved the underlying issue(s), you’ll have to wait for the algorithm to be run again for the penalty to be lifted to get your rankings back, which could be several months. Head into your Google Analytics and take a look at your Google traffic and rankings. If you notice a massive sudden drop in traffic on the upwards of 75%, this might be an indication that your site has been subjected to a Panda penalty. You should however, keep in mind that other things such as the rise of competitors, manual penalties and normal seasonal drop in consumer interest might also cause such drops.
  • Drop in phone calls & leads – If you’ve noticed a severe drop in email leads or phone calls in a short time-frame then that may also be a result of a penalty. Most websites generate a large portion of their total traffic through search engines such as a Google. If you’ve noticed a significant decrease in leads and calls, then you may have been impacted.

If either of the top two points applies to your situation, then apply the following steps to confirm whether it was Panda:

  • Identify – Check your website stats and jot down all major dates where you’ve noticed a significant decline in calls, leads or organic traffic.
  • Cross-reference – Google algorithm forecasting tools such as MozCast and Dejan SEO’s Algoroo may show big spikes in major SERP changes. Cross-reference this data with your own traffic stats to see whether they align. Additionally, Moz’s Algorithm Change History and Search Engine Land’s algorithm update page are also great resources to check whether a new update has rolled out.

Read more The basical knowledges of Google Panda Algorithm


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How will Google Possum Algorithm change local SEO

The latest algorithm update, called by SEO experts s Possum algorithm affects the local search and appearance of the business listing. The ranking of 3 pack and local results are affected by the algorithm.

Many local businesses that have an office address outside the main city but found it difficult to get ranked in the searches. The Possum update is going to boost the local rankings of these businesses. This is good for the businesses as they can now get listed for the keywords including the city name for their services though they are having their physical address outside the city.

Google filters the results of the businesses with the same domain name or phone number. It only shows one or two search results. The latest Possum update is now filtering more such businesses. Now any business can not show up in the search results if they are located in the same building or if the owner is the same even if the business names are different etc.

The Google Possum update made the local search result filtering more sophisticated. There is no need to worry about dropping of local rankings as the update is not going to hurt the rankings. The rankings actually will go up organically for competitive keywords.

Separation between local and organic search

Local and organic search are drifting apart with the latest update. For example, in the past if the URL you were linking to in your GMB listing was filtered organically, it would have had a negative impact. Since the update, this no longer seems to be the case.

Many local businesses will likely see positive results from this, while businesses without a local market might face some competition for rankings.

Location and affiliation

Google is now filtering based on address and affiliation. For businesses that fall outside city limits, ranking for keywords that included that city name was difficult. Since Possum, these businesses have seen a huge spike in rankings.

Conversely, this may cause rankings to drop for clients with one main GMB listing and several affiliated GMB listings.

For example, we have a client who owns a clinic with a primary location, but has separate GMB listings for individual doctors. Google isn’t necessarily removing the listing or enforcing a penalty, but is simply picking the most relevant listing and filtering out the others that are too similar – in some cases, Google is suspected to be going as far as to find an affiliation by owner, even if addresses, phone numbers, websites and Google accounts are separate.

These listing haven’t disappeared, and can be viewed by zooming in further on the local finder.

The location of the user

If you’re searching from a different physical location other than that of the business, you’re likely going to encounter a completely different result. As a general rule of Possum: the further the distance, the lower the ranking. This is unsurprising as many local businesses are looking to optimize for “near me” searches, which doubled from 2014 to 2015.

Read more How does Google Possum Algorithm change search results


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How does Google Possum Algorithm change search results

Here are the changes the search engine giant has incurred through its Possum update:

  1. Ranking Advantage For Businesses Beyond The City Limits

Previously, it was a major pain for businesses located outside the city limits to appear in the Local Pack Search Results. A lot of local establishments with their services within major cities and the brick and mortar locations outside the perimeters found it enormously tough to get listings in local searches. In spite of putting all their efforts in getting highly optimized accounts, they were stuck in ‘ranking purgatory’.

Possum has fixed the issue by making the geographical proximity of a business a less important factor to get top ranking. Now, a business that is not within the physical limit of a city but close to it can experience a huge spike in ranking as the algorithm has been running a proximity test prior to preparing the listing.

  1. Filter Enhancement Based On Address And Affiliation

In local search, there are tons of businesses with multiple listings, which lead to the appearance of the same listing repeatedly in search results. Till the Possum update, Google used to detect such duplicate listings based on the phone numbers provided by the businesses or their domain names.

Now, Google has enhanced its local filters by adding two new dimensions – ‘address’ and ‘affiliation’ to them. It essentially means, if the physical addresses of multiple listings in the same category are similar, only the ‘best’ and the ‘most relevant’ one will be shown in search results whereas others will be filtered out.

However, Possum is not penalizing the other listings. Rather, it is simply working as an organic search algorithm to push other listings down lower in the SERPs and ensure a better user experience.

  1. Listings Made Sensitive To The Locations Of Searchers

The geographical locations of the searchers were never so crucial for ranking in local search results before the launch of Possum. Earlier, it was only the keywords or the search terms which influenced search results heavily, but now, as the latest algorithm has changed, the physical location of the searcher matters the most.

Google has decided to offer an outstanding search experience to the mobile community with the help of this location-sensitivity. It is now using IP addresses of the searchers to provide tailored search results and hence, it has become of utmost importance to set the right location in order to trigger the most accurate listings.

  1. Search Results Affected By Slight Keyword Variations

In the past, two different searches with almost similar terms used to yield same results in local searches. The scenario has changed these days as Google has turned finicky about even the slightest variations in search terms with Possum.

As the local listings have become extremely sensitive to keyword changes, the results are also varying widely for two slightly different search terms. So, make sure that you test and evaluate your Local SEO efforts by using multiple iterations of a particular key phrase and pick the one with the maximum search volume.

  1. Local Search Filter Precedence Over Organic Search Filter

Before the arrival of Possum, Google’s local search filter was dependent on its organic search filter. As a result, a lot of businesses, linked to certain websites which are filtered out from the organic results, were listed out from local search results.

The change in algorithm has separated local search filter from the organic search filter in order to facilitate its independent functionalities. Hence, businesses with poor listings in SERPs can now achieve good rankings in local search results.

Read more How will Google Possum Algorithm change local SEO


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What can you do when Google Fred Penalty hits your website

As we’ve seen, Google won’t tell you exactly what’s in the Fred algorithm. That’s why some SEO professionals had to make some inferences.

However, Gary Illyes did offer an important piece of advice about how to avoid getting hit with a Fred penalty.

This past April, at the AMA session during the SMX West conference, Illyes said that the answer to Fred is in the webmaster quality guidelines.

So here’s what you can do to stay in the good graces of Google:

  • Provide high-quality content – In your content marketing efforts, make sure that your articles are top-notch. If you have to, hire a professional writer to give you the best quality. Also, strive for longform content as that tends to cover subjects more exhaustively.

The Ultimate Guide to 10x Content - Avg Content Length- Google Fred Penalty

Google Fred Penalty

  • Avoid “forced” backlinks – If you’re in the habit of buying backlinks from people who own their own private blog networks (PBNs), stop that practice immediately. Even “honest” guest-posting can get you into trouble if you’re forcing unnatural backlinks from low-quality sites. Instead, strive to produce quality content (see above) and let Google’s algorithm push it to the top of the SERPs.
  • Avoid excessive ads – The Fred update also hit sites with an abundance of ads. Although it’s unclear how many ads is “too many” for Fred, you can use common sense. If you think people will find your site annoying because it has a couple of pop-ups, a video ad in the corner, ads in the middle of the content, and banner ads all over the page, you can be fairly certain that you have “too many” ads.

Avoid creating pages with too many ads or you will be penalized by Fred - Google Fred Penalty

Avoid creating pages with too many ads or you will be penalized by Fred – Google Fred Penalty

If some of your content lost rank because of Fred, you might not be able to fully recover it. However, going forward, you can make sure that your future content ranks well. Do that by producing quality articles, avoiding backlink spam, and showing only a few ads on your site.

In addition, make sure your website is focused and does not try to cover general topics.

Read more How to protect website from Google Fred Algorithm


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How to protect website from Google Fred Algorithm

Did you notice a substantial drop in organic traffic on your site? If so, what can you do to recover from Fred, and how do you protect yourself from future content, back-link, and advertising display algorithm updates? Following are five solutions that will have positive impacts on your website’s SEO.

Create More Engaging Content:

When creating new content, make sure it’s relevant and of the highest quality. Don’t skimp on resources for quality; hire only the best content producers, especially those completing the copy-writing.

The writing should be written for humans, not search engines. Google’s algorithms get smarter and smarter everyday, and the latest Fred update is just a continuation of Google’s path to having nothing but valuable content across the web, which includes good writing flow, spelling, and grammar.

Above all, content should be free of grammatical errors, fact checked, and also educate and entertain your readers. Remembering to chunk content into smaller sections with sub-titles (H tags for you SEOs), and stray far from “black hat” SEO techniques like keyword stuffing, as has been the norm for many years now, but we will continue to issue warnings here until we see compliance. Resistance is futile.

There also used to be a case for shorter content due to modern attention spans while online, but based on studies like the Searchmetrics’ Ranking Factors & Rank Correlations (, Google rewards websites with longer-form content. The days of 300-word blog posts are gone for those who want success.

Update Outdated Content:

Most of the websites affected by the Fred update had outdated content that caused some concern for irrelevancy–something Google obviously frowns against.

Update your content, paying close attention to any content that’s not worth any value, such as products no longer available or events that have passed. Along the way optimize each piece of content with updated targeted keywords and call to actions. Make sure all of your lead forms are concurrent with the latest versions, and any outbound links are not directing clicks to dead webpages.

If you must delete content–like a page about a temporary sales page or past job postings–don’t simply hit the delete button or unpublish it. The best SEO practice is to redirect it to another page through what SEOs call a 301 redirect. Point old product pages to the newest product, or old job postings to your careers page.

Check those Back-links:

Back-links are simply other websites that have linked to a page or post on your website for a reference. The problem is some of those websites linking back to you are of poor quality, or even worse, unknowingly display porn or other unwaned links deployed by malware or blackhat spammers. This is where it’s imperative to have an SEO perform some back-link analysis and resolve any bad back-links.  We suggest using webmaster tools (search console) first, but also use third party tools such as MOZ tools to identify and formally disavow bad links.

Less Intrusive Advertising and Affiliates:

From our studies, the Google Fred algorithm update had the largest impact on content-heavy websites. Many of these types of websites, such as a news blog or product review platform, create income through advertising and affiliate marketing.

The problem is some of these ads–you know, those annoying pop ups that are impossible to click off without losing the page you’re viewing–are too intrusive. The same goes for some affiliate ads such as the ones within the text you are reading.

The Fred algorithm penalized those sites with the most intrusive ads, which take away from user experience. Again, user experience is the main focus for Google, and always will be.

Read more Something important about Google algorithm update


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Smart tips to recover website from Fred Algorithm update

As Google has not released any official statement regarding this update and given a hint to the types of links this update will be targeting, there are certain steps you can follow if the rankings have been hit from the update.

  • It is imperative you have built a natural anchor text cloud including – business and generic keywords, naked URLs, and brand name.
  • You must have seen a number of sites ranking with site wide-do follow links, but make sure you are cautious of such link profile. It has a risk of going down anytime.
  • Make sure that the backlink is related to the context.
  • Avoid using automated tools or bots in order to create backlinks for example – mass blog commenting bots
  • Always remember that the quality of the links has more relevance than the total number of the links.
  • If a link can be claimed easily by everyone, then the chances are high that it has less value.
  • Make sure you have avoided paid links, link pyramids, and link exchange.
  • You can use affiliate links but make sure they should not be the sole motive of the page. Make sure affiliate links are only added when they are according to your content and avoid overdoing them.
  • The focus should be on the users instead of stuffing keywords strategies.
  • Inclusion of various other content forms such as gifs and videos should be encouraged.
  • Just because you have a chance to claim a particular link, it does mean that you have to go for it. Almost every website is after such links and moreover the search engines don’t value these links. Instead, you should go for the high-quality links.

Here are some important bullets to consider:

  • Perform a crawl analysis of your site and audit heavily through the lens of Google’s core ranking updates focused on quality.
  • Identify major problems (including UX, content, and aggressive advertising), and fix them as quickly as you can. But don’t rush the changes… make sure they are implemented flawlessly. Don’t inject more problems onto your site.
  • Read the Quality Rater Guidelines (QRG) thoroughly – and then read it again. Like I’ve said many times, it’s packed with amazing information directly from Google detailing what should be rated low and high quality. I’ve seen a serious connection between what I’m seeing in the field and what’s contained in the QRG.
  • Don’t put band-aids on the situation. Fix as many of the problems as you can. Band-aids will keep you in the gray area of Google’s quality algorithms and you might not see much upward movement during subsequent updates.
  • Work hard on publishing killer content over the long-term, building links naturally, building your brand, and improving user engagement. Again, Google needs to see significant improvement over the long term, not just over a few weeks.
  • Periodically audit your site through the lens of “quality”. Don’t make changes and never revisit the situation. That’s how problems creep in. And when enough problems creep in, sites can get hammered. Don’t let that happen.
  • You’ll need to wait for the next major core ranking update focused on quality in order to see movement. There’s not a set timeframe for those updates to roll out, although the past few have been almost exactly one month apart (1/6, 2/7, 3/7, and then 4/4). Google needs to refresh its quality algorithms, and when it does, you have a chance of recovering (or at least starting to recover). Keep your head down, work hard, and keep enhancing quality. If you do, you absolutely can recover. Don’t give up.

Read more Something important about Google algorithm update


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How does Google Fred Algorithm affect on your website?

After Fred rolled out, it was clear that it was a significant core ranking update tied to quality. If you’ve read my previous posts about Google’s major core ranking updates, you will see many mentions of aggressive monetization, advertising overload, etc. Well, Fred seemed to pump up the volume when it comes to aggressive monetization. Many sites that were aggressively monetizing content at the expense of users got hit hard.

With that quick intro out of the way, let’s hop into specific examples of impact from Fred update

Example1 – Getting smoked.
A major hit based on UX Barriers, aggressive monetization, and low quality user experience.
The first two examples detailed a major surge and then a site dealing with the gray area of Google’s quality algorithms. Now it’s time to enter the dark side of Fred. There are many sites that got hammered by the 3/7 update, with some losing over 50% of their Google organic traffic overnight (and some lost up to 90%).

The next site I’m going to cover has dealt with Panda and major core ranking updates in the past. It’s a relatively large site, in a competitive niche, and is heavily advertising-based from a monetization standpoint.

When Fred rolled through, the site lost over 60% of its Google organic traffic overnight. And with Google representing a majority of its traffic, the site’s revenue was clearly hit hard. It’s also worth noting that Google organic traffic has dropped even further since 3/7 (and is down approximately 70% since Fred rolled out.)

Drop from Fred update.

UX Barriers Galore
If you’ve read my previous posts about Google’s major core ranking updates focused on quality, then you’ve seen many examples of what I call “low quality user engagement”. Well, this site had many problems leading up to the 3/7 update. For example, there were large video ads smack in the middle of the content, deceptive ads that looked like download buttons (which users could mistakenly click thinking they were real download buttons), flash elements that don’t load and just display a shell, and more.

And expanding on the deception point from above, there were links in the main content that looked like internal links, but instead, those links whisked users off to third party advertiser sites. Like I’ve said a thousand times before, “hell hath no fury like a user scorned”. And it looks like Fred had their back.

To add insult to injury, the site isn’t even mobile-friendly. When testing the site on a mobile device, the content is hard to see, it’s hard to navigate around the site, etc. Needless to say, this isn’t helping matters. I can only imagine the horrible signals users are sending Google about the site after visiting from the search results.

This is why it’s so important to analyze your site through the lens of these algorithm updates. Understand all “low quality user engagement” problems riddling your site, weed them out, and improve quality significantly. That’s exactly what Google’s John Mueller has been saying when asked about these updates (including Fred).

Example 2 – Tired of the gray area. Better late than never.
The next example I’m going to cover is a large-scale site driving a lot of traffic from Google organic historically. The site has been in the gray area of Google’s quality algorithms for a long time and has seen major drops and surges over time.

The company finally got tired of sitting in the gray area (which is maddening), and decided to conduct a full-blown quality audit to identify, and then fix, “low quality user engagement” problems. They began working on this in the fall of 2016 and a number of the changes did not hit the site until early 2017. In addition, there are still many changes that need to be implemented. Basically, they are in the beginning stages of fixing many quality problems.

As you can see below, the site has previously dealt with Google’s major core ranking updates focused on quality. Here’s a big hit during Phantom 2 in May of 2015, and then recovery during the November 2015 update:
Impact from Phantom 2 in May of 2015

When a site is in the gray area of Google’s quality algorithms, it can see impact with each major update. For example, it might drop by 20% one update, only to surge 30% during the next. But then it might get smoked by another update, and then regain some of the losses during the next. I’ve always said that they gray area is a maddening place to live.

When Fred rolled out on 3/7/17, the site dropped by approximately 150K sessions per day from Google organic. Now, the site drives a lot of traffic so that wasn’t a massive drop for them. But it also wasn’t negligible. In addition, the site increased during the early January update, so the company was expecting more upward movement, and not less.

Here’s a close-up view of the drop. More about the second half of that screenshot soon (not shown). 

Initial drop after Fred rolls out.

It can be frustrating for site owners working hard on improving quality to see a downturn, but you need to be realistic. Even though the site has a lot of high quality content, it also has a ton of quality issues. I’ve sent numerous deliverables through to this company containing problems to address and fix. Some of those changes have been rolled out, while others have not. Currently, there are still many things to fix from a quality perspective.

Example 3 – Soaring With Fred
The first example covers an amazing case study. It’s a site I’ve helped extensively over the years from a quality standpoint, since it had been impacted by Panda and Phantom in the past. It has surely seen its share of ups and downs based on major algorithm updates.

When Fred rolled out, it didn’t take long for the site owner to reach out to me in a state of Google excitement.

“Seeing big gains today. Traffic levels I haven’t seen in a long time… Is this going to last??”

Needless to say, I immediately dug in.

What I saw was a thing of beauty. It was a surge so strong that it would make any SEO smile. The site literally jumped 125% overnight (and this isn’t a small site with a minimal amount of traffic). Google organic surged by 110K sessions per day and has remained at that level ever since. Here are screenshots from Google Analytics and Google Search Console:

Surging after Fred rolls out.

Clicks and impressions surge after Fred rolls out.

Reviewing the audits I performed for the site revealed many low quality content problems and “low quality user engagement” barriers. And that included aggressive monetization. So the remediation plan covered an anti-Panda and anti-Phantom strategy.

Read more Something important about Google algorithm update


Please contact us for seo service packages at TDHSEO.COM.


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Thank you!