Google’s Helpful Content System Updated in September

Discover what you need to know about Google's Helpful Content Algorithm update. What to do if your website is affected? How did the update impact Rock Content?

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Google’s Helpful Content in Search has been updated once again! The algorithm update began on September 14th and is expected to be completed within two weeks.

This algorithm generates an indicator used by automated ranking systems, allowing original and useful content to appear with higher rankings for users in search results.

Learn how this update can affect your website and online content!

What Is the Helpful Content System Update?

The purpose of this update is to display increasingly better content for people searching on Google’s SERP. Google announced that this update aims to “address material that appears to have been primarily created to gain better rankings in search results.” In other words, Google will remove from top rankings content primarily created using black hat SEO strategies, content made solely with the intention of ranking high on the search engine.

The company also emphasized that this update is meant to “ensure that non-authentic and lower-quality content is not favored in search results.”

So, if you’re producing content solely to improve visibility and traffic on search engines, it’s likely that your site will be affected by this update. Additionally, it’s important to note that this update does not discriminate by language; websites in other languages are not exempt from its impact.

Here are the key points added to Google’s helpful content guidelines:

  • Reduced requirements for guidelines on machine-generated content (AI);
  • Hosting third-party content on subdomains;
  • Providing additional guidance on what to do if your site loses traffic due to a helpful content update.

How Does Google’s Helpful Content System Affect Traffic? What to Do If Your Site Is Affected?

Here at Rock Content, since September 14th, after the update was announced, we have already seen some positive changes, albeit small. Within about a day of the update, we experienced a 7.85% improvement in keywords in our rankings and a 12.39% increase in new keywords compared to the previous day (September 13th).

Since May of this year, we have been working diligently on updating old content and focusing on creating new content that can be of great value to our readers.

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I understand that no update works miracles alone and is not solely responsible when declines occur. Both the latest Core Update and now this Helpful Content update are much more effective when we follow Google’s best practices.

My Site Is Affected. What Now?

If your SEO strategies still focus solely on ranking on the first pages, it’s a fact that, at some point, you will see a drop occur.

So, what can you do for better results, or what if your site is affected? It’s simple! We’ve talked several times here about the importance of content updates, thinking about an editorial calendar with new content that truly delivers value to the user, and not producing overly mechanical content.

Additionally, something I have emphasized here is that you should always follow the source of these changes: Google itself and the official pages of Search Central.

One of the changes in Google’s guidelines regarding this update and if your site is affected was:

“If you’ve noticed a traffic change that you suspect is related to this helpful content system, you should self-assess your content and fix or remove anything that appears unhelpful. Our help page on creating helpful, reliable content that prioritizes people has questions you can use to self-assess your content for success with the helpful content system.”

Also, check out the guide on creating helpful, reliable content that prioritizes people. Remember that any changes you make today won’t show positive results tomorrow. Things can take a few months to become more stable, just like all or most SEO results.

Want to stay updated with the best marketing practices? Then subscribe to The Beat, Rock Content’s interactive newsletter. There, you’ll find all the trends that matter in the Digital Marketing landscape. See you there!


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