The SEO industry has been watching an unconfirmed Google ranking update that seems to target more of the link quality aspects of the overall algorithm.
Many are calling this the Fred Update, a name we’re also adopting. That came from Google’s Gary Illyes, who has jokingly suggested that all updates be named “Fred.” It’s sticking with this one.
We’ve seen more chatter and reports of changes from within the “black hat” SEO community, which generally means that this is a spam algorithm update around links. Last time we reported a link spam-related update was in early February, and that update also was unconfirmed by Google.
There was also a large content quality Google update on February 7 that was never confirmed. As you expect, Google is very unlikely to confirm algorithm updates these days — but that won’t stop us from reporting large shifts in the search results that convey an algorithm update has happened.