Google’s “Fred” update disrupts SEO

An unconfirmed Google update on March 8 saw a number of sites fluctuate dramatically in rankings.

The name was coined after Google’s Gary Illyes jokingly suggested that this and all future updates should be called Fred.

Further analysis by data-collection company Sistrix identified that this update may be penalising sites with ad-heavy, low-quality content.

Google gives recommendations on SEO hiring

Google has created a new video on hiring a search engine optimisation service.

The video features Google employee Maile Ohye offering realistic advice on what to look for in an SEO service and how to sort the reliable companies from those that offer the impossible.

New podcast structured data type

Google has recently added the ability to display rich results for podcasts and their episodes in search results.

By including the appropriate markup on the podcast’s website, episode information and an embedded player can be shown directly in the SERPs.

This currently only applies to searches conducted on the Google Search app v6.5 and higher and Google Home, though support will be extending in the near future.

Google Posts program opens in US and Brazil

Google Posts is a new way for companies to pass information directly to Google. These posts then show up for relevant search queries.

The program was originally only available to a small handful of users, including the Clinton and Trump presidential campaigns. It is now being opened up to more organisations, including museums, cinemas, musicians and sports groups.

Hacked sites increased 32% in 2016

In Google’s recently published State of Website Security 2016 report, they outlined that the number of hacked sites increased 32% in 2016 compared to 2015.

This is an incentive for more webmasters to verify their sites in Google Search Console, as the platform is able to provide email notifications if the site has been compromised.

Google also documented 3 common types of hacks and how to recover from these.