avatar

how-to-recover-fix-google-maccabees-update-fred-update

Published Date : December 27th, 2017     Posted by : Bhaskar Garibidi

There have been many gossips in Facebook Groups and SEO forums of websites losing 25-35% traffic.If you have Customer or websites which have lost 25-35% lately, the Google Maccabees aka Fred Update update may have hit or penalize your websites.

Barry Schwartz Tweet

Barry Schwartz from SERound table has been collecting information and examples from friendly and sharing SEO’s to analyze this Google Fred update which has been framed ‘Maccabees’ update by Barry himself. With 100+ websites now reviewed that have been hit/penalized by the update, it seems the fugitive for this is sites with numerous page targeting multiple keyword permutations.

So what exactly “Google Maccabees aka Fred Update” mean?

Targeting many keyword permutations on multiple pages is an old tactic but still used widely today in affiliate websites, real estate, travel & e-commerce.

Targeting multiple keyword permutations

Different pages for each area with short/similar content

It used to work especially well to catch all the alternative/permutations of keywords in the long tail. Longtail keyword which is dedicated to a particular page would give it the first choice in google search results. Repeat this over all the keywords in your business and you could accomplish on the comparatively easy and high converting keywords.

For Ex: Travel websites may have different pages targeting each of the following:

  • cheap Honeymoon packages to Goa
  • low-cost Goa Honeymoon packages
  • cheap Honeymoon packages to Goa
  • etc

An Affiliate website may have a different page targeting each of the following:

  • How to get rid of bedbug
  • how to get rid of bedbug in the house
  • how to get rid of bedbug in your house fast
  • how to get rid of bedbug at home
  • etc

Now, the keywords above, even though are same, have very high traffic on their website and you can accept why SEO’s were proper targeting for each of them with different pages

But…

This is a horrible User Interface(UI) experience. Targeted pages in this update will be low quality, short content, and friendly for search engines.

How To Fix This Issue?

or

Except there is a very good logic for different pages for each keyword, you shouldn’t load your website with these low-quality pages.

trivago

Some sites like the screenshot above, have very good logic to have a page for each permutation or location. The site in the question above shows average house prices, unique local info, and maps on each page. It is not just a short content page designed to attract visitors from search, there is value on the page.

If there is no hope for value for your site or your customer’s website when searching for target permutations, consider a separate approach.

Use one page to target numerous similar keywords. This should be done within the used page keyword. But don’t need to worry about getting google bot about this and targeting each keyword permutation within the anchor text using frequent and keyword stuffing.

Anyhow, use keyword tools, but most importantly write for humans. Google is very good at counting out customers i.e searchers intent, and it’s getting much better day by day. You need to have the exact keyword anchor text on your website page to have it rank and be exposed to customers i.e searchers.

For example these keywords:

  • How to get rid of bedbug
  • how to get rid of bedbug in the house
  • how to get rid of bedbug in your house fast
  • how to get rid of bedbug at home

Could all be targeted from one page.
and so could these:

  • cheap Honeymoon Packages to Goa
  • low-cost Goa Honeymoon Packages
  • cheap Honeymoon Packages to Goa

This is a much more user-friendly and evergreen approach and way of thinking that will give your site more durability. If you have a high page authority and site are well-loved by users, it shouldn’t be a problem ranking a page for the permutation keyword traffic you were picking from different pages.
If you are targeting locations, consider specifying these, but you really need a low-quality short content page for each one?

I hope this helps you, I will keep this page updated with more as I find out!