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Remember Fred? That elusive and mysterious Google update that was never really confirmed or denied earlier this year?

Google’s Gary Illyes was interviewed last month at Brighton SEO and when questioned about Fred – a name he created as a Twitter side-comment, Gary clarified that rather than a single algorithm Fred is in fact a collection of algorithms within the same umbrella.

Unlike Panda and Penguin, Fred actually refers routine algorithm updates that Google makes on a daily, twice daily or thrice daily basis. We can see how there are only so many animals to name these updates after.

Illyes went further to explain, “Right, so the story behind Fred is that basically I’m an asshole on Twitter. And also I’m very sarcastic which is usually a very bad combination.” The name Fred was borne out of a Tweet from Barry Schwartz requesting a name for the algorithm to which Gary recalls, “And I just told him that, you know what, from now on every single update that we make – unless we say otherwise – will be called Fred; every single one of them.”


So basically we had it all wrong, Fred isn’t one update, it’s all of them and we’re livin la vida Fred everyday we use Google.