Google Helpful Content

Google rolled out its new content update named “helpful content update” on 14th September 2023 to refine the search experience in profound ways. It will take approximately 2 weeks for it to be fully implemented. The update has rolled out to enhance the quality of search results by spotlighting content that is both helpful and informative. The big thing to know about this update is, it is not a core update.

Google's Helpful Content Algorithm Update is more than a minor adjustment; it's a fundamental shift. It aims to reward content that offers genuine value, so aligning with Google's updated criteria is no longer an option—it's a necessity.

Quick Facts About September 2023 Google Helpful Content Update

  • Goal: The primary goal of this update is to improve the quality of search results. Google aims to prioritize content that offers genuine value to users, as opposed to content that's been optimized solely for search engine ranking.
  • Timing: 14 September, 4:20 pm ET
  • Effect: It affects not only Google Search but also Google Discover.
  • Impact on Website: The entire site will be impacted by this upgrade because it is a site-wide algorithm.
  • For all Languages: The Google September update is not limited to English-language websites. It has a global reach, affecting content in all languages. This is crucial information for international websites and multi-language platforms.
  • What’s New: One standout feature of this update is the 'improved classifier.' This tool helps Google better identify and subsequently reward or penalize the content based on its quality.
  • Who Will Be More Affected: Google has specifically mentioned that certain sectors would feel the brunt of this update more than others. These sectors include online educational materials, entertainment content, shopping sites, and tech-related articles. However, Google declined to provide the quantity of queries or searches affected by this update.

Official Guidelines and Advice from Google

Guidelines and Advice

Third-Party Content: Google has explicitly warned against hosting third-party content that lacks close supervision. If your website is engaged in this practice, it's high time to re-evaluate this strategy.

Ignoring this warning could lead to a significant drop in your website's overall ranking.  The Google content update is designed to consider the "helpfulness" of the entire website, including any third-party content it hosts.

Additional Guidelines: Google has updated the help page with additional information about deleting content or modifying dates on how to produce dependable, useful material that puts the needs of people first.

Self-Assessment: To assist you in coping with these changes, Google recommends a self-assessment of your content. Make sure it aligns with their fresh criteria; otherwise, consider updating it.

Impact on Content Creation and Management

Role of AI and Expertise: Written By People: There's more, though. In the previous version, Google stated that this approach was designed to "better ensure people see original, helpful content written by people, for people, in search results." Google changed the phrase "written by people" to simply "helpful content created for people in search results." So, perhaps, artificial intelligence or machines can create the relevant information.

Here is google After and Before Screen Shots

google After and Before

Penalties and Recoveries: Although the word 'penalty' hasn't been explicitly used by Google, the Google content update certainly seems like one to the sites that have content generated to rank higher only.

Websites that fail to align with Google's quality benchmarks may see a decline in their rankings. If your website gets affected by this helpful content algorithm update, you should review your content to improve it as per the guidelines provided by Google.

What to Do If You're Affected

Initial Steps: If you find that your website's ranking has dropped, the first step is not to panic. Google has provided a set of guidelines and a roadmap for recovery. Start by thoroughly auditing your current content.

Google changes the rankings often, however, there are timeout and validation periods, and it might take some time to recover from the Google September update.

Recovery Timeline: Google changes the rankings often, however, there are timeout and validation periods, and it might take some time to recover from an update. Patience, along with a focused strategy, will be your allies here.

Prepare and Adapt

Best Practices: To align with the Google helpful content update, the focus should be on creating content that is genuinely helpful and informative. Utilize your unique expertise and experience to offer value to your audience.

Monitoring and Analysis: Regularly monitor your website's performance metrics and make data-driven adjustments to your content strategy. This proactive approach will help you stay ahead of any future updates.

Read More - Instructions to Deal with Duplicate Content

Future Implications

Google's helpful content update is a part of Google's ongoing efforts to improve search quality. This change opens up new possibilities for content strategies, especially for businesses and platforms that leverage AI for content creation. However, the focus should remain on generating valuable, user-centric content, whether it's created by humans or machines. Future updates are likely, and staying informed will be key to ongoing online success.

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