How to Recover from Google Fred Update – A Step by Step Guide

how to recover from Google Fred update

My this Blog LimitlessReferrals was penalized by Google Fred Update and I have searched a lot since my Site was penalized but I didn’t find any concrete Information telling how to recover from this update. Everyone is telling what this update was but no one was telling properly how to recover from it.

I have searched a lot and then I’ve taken my own steps according to my experience to recover from this update and surprisingly I recovered from this within a month.

So, let’s begin with the recovery process!

First, I want to tell you…

The Main reasons for Fred Penalty

  • Spammy Backlinks
  • Sitewide links from PBN
  • Same anchor text everywhere

Fred Penalty Recovery Tips

  • Do not build sitewide links
  • Do not build PBN Links
  • Remove all the duplicate content

Now, I’ll tell you my complete case study which will help you in recovering your own site from Google Fred update.

According to a survey, more than 50% of the sites are affected, some sites have vanished from Google and some are partly affected, means there some keywords are dropped from search rankings.

Now without wasting any time, let’s begin with the recovery process from this update. Here is the screenshot showing a decrease in traffic of my Blog.

Google Fred Update

How I Recovered From Google Fred Penalty?

If you really want to recover your site within a month then you have to follow my steps completely. I have done all this which I’m showing you, so you also have to do the same.

1. Remove Ads from your Site

This is a very crucial step. You have to remove all the ads including your affiliate links from your site. But you can keep Google Adsense ads. But this does not mean that you can place these ads without any limit. Do not put more than 3 Ads on a page and do not place the ads above the fold.

2. Duplicate Content Issue

This update is especially targeting duplicate and thin content. When I talk about duplicate content, this does not mean that I am blaming you for copying content from other websites. I know that all the serious bloggers do not want to cheat Google by copying content from other sites. Instead, they have worked day and night to produce quality content.

Here the duplicate content means here that your categories, meta tags, archive pages, and other non-useful pages are also indexed by Google and they are causing this issue.

Now the question is, how to solve this issue?

Do not worry as now I’m going to tell you how to fix this issue. First of all, type this to check if your tags and categories are indexed in Google or not. If they are indexed then you have to take the following actions otherwise this issue has not caused the penalty.


Method 1

If you are using WordPress and the Yoast Plugin then you have to go to the Taxonomies under Titles and Metas. There you have to no-index your Meta Tags and Categories. See the settings in the screenshot. In the screenshot you are only seeing the settings for a category, do the same settings for the Tags.

Google Fred Update

Method 2

There is another method to no index your content which is causing the duplicate content issue. For this, you have to go to the Google webmaster tool under Remove URLs in Google Index.

Google Fred Update

After reaching there you have to click on the tab Temporarily hide URLs. As you click on it, you see a box to type a URL which you want to no index.

As an example, if you want to no-index your tags then you have to type this.


When you type this and click continue then you will the following as shown in the screenshot. There you have to take care of one thing that you select an option of hiding directory by scrolling it. As not selecting it will not remove all your tags from Google Index.

Google Fred update

After this click, the button Submit Request and you are done. Now you have to wait 24 to 48 hours to see the results. After this you can see your all the tags have been removed from Google.

Similarly, do the same for categories.  In this way, you can tackle with the duplicate content issue.

3. Remove Bad Backlinks

This is also a very crucial step. I am pretty much sure that all the victims of this update have spammy links.

First of all, you have to find all your backlinks. For this, you can use different tools like,

  • Ahrefs
  • Majestic
  • Google Search Console
  • Openlinkprofiler

Use all the tools to extract as many links as you can. Remove the duplicate links and then you have a list with almost all the Backlinks.

Now the second step is time-consuming as you have to check all the links manually.

So, download the Mozbar extension in your browser to check the Spam links. In this tool, there is an option of spam score which you have to consider a lot along with Domain and Page Authority. Remove all your links which are on sites having spam score of 3+.

  • The question is, how to remove Spam Links?

In order to remove such links, you can use Google Disavow Tool. Separate all your bad links in Word pad and submit to this tool. When you submit your file to this tool than Google will not take into consideration these links while ranking your site. So this will help in recovering your site a lot from Google Fred Update.

Wrapping it Up!

So guys, if you follow all these steps you will for sure recover your site from Google Fred Update. I have done all these steps which I have mentioned and I’m again in the game of Google Rankings. Hope you will be too!

Usama is a professional Blogger and a Digital Marketer. He is in this field since 2014 and writes on different topics like SEO, Online Money Making, etc.


  1. Caleb J Staples says:

    I really like your article because this article is very informative & well descriptive. keep continuing your writing.

  2. khushbu says:

    This is a further proof that the most recent Google update aims at raising the quality of the websites.Thank for sharing with us.

  3. Pradeep Kumar says:

    How did you came to know that your website is hit by Google Fred.

    My Website Organic Traffic is also suddenly disappeared, I have followed the steps whatever mentioned in your article. Any idea how much time google take to reconsider my website.

    • Usama says:

      My all keyword rankings were gone. I was not in top 100, for keywords which I was ranking. My site took almost 2 to 3 months to fully recover from this penalty because at that time I don’t know what to do. But if you follow this complete case study then you will be able to recover within a month. Many experts say that Google refreshes this update each month to see which sites have made the appropriate changes so these sites could be recovered.
      Hope it helps and best of luck.

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