Google has announced that the helpful content update will be released next week. It seeks to elevate content written for people while undermining content written primarily for SEO.
This helpful content update is available throughout the site. As a result, it has the potential to affect all pages. This update includes a new signal that Google will use to rank web pages.
Google Helpful Content Update
On Twitter, Google made the following announcement:
The tweet includes a link to a blog article with additional information, including details on how websites can continue to thrive after the helpful content update.
This update focuses on content that appears to have been created primarily for ranking well in search engines rather than to help or inform people. According to Google, the purpose of this algorithm update is to help searchers find quality content. Google desires to reward better and more beneficial content written for humans and to assist users.
Content written to rank in search engines, also known as “search engine-first content” or “SEO content,” has been hugely written and discussed on social media recently. In short, searchers are frustrated when they arrive at unhelpful web pages that index high in the search result because they were created to rank well.
Google’s new algorithm aims to degrade “search engine-first content” while elevating more useful, human-designed websites above search engines. According to Google, this is part of an “ongoing effort to reduce low-quality content and make it easier to find content in search that feels authentic and useful.”
How Google Helpful Content Update Works
This update will start rolling out next week. According to Google, the helpful content update will take up to two weeks to fully roll out. Google stated that they post when it begins and when this finish. This update adds a new site-wide signal to the mix of signals that Google considers when ranking web pages. Google systems detect content that appears to have little value, low added value, or is otherwise unhelpful to those conducting searches.
Any content – not just unhelpful content on sites determined to have a relatively high amount of unhelpful content overall is less likely to perform well in Search. Assuming there is better content elsewhere on the web to display. As a result, removing unhelpful content may improve the rankings of your other content.
Some may wonder how long it will take for a site to improve after removing unhelpful content. The signal may be applied to websites identified by this update for months. Google’s classifier for this update runs indefinitely, allowing it to monitor newly launched and existing sites.
This update uses a machine-learning model. So, the classifier process is fully automated. It is neither a manual nor a spam action. Instead, it’s just a new signal, one of many that Google considers when ranking content.
It means that some people-first content on sites with unhelpful content may still rank well if other signals identify that people-first content as helpful and relevant to a query. This signal is also weighted; websites with a high volume of unhelpful content may see a more emphatic impact.
This update initially affects only English searches globally. Google intends to expand into additional languages in the future. Google will also continue to improve how the classifier detects unhelpful content in the coming months. Also, launch new efforts to reward people-first content.
Why we care
Google’s Helpful Content update will most likely remember as a catalyst for change in terms of advice given to SEO clients when creating content. It is too early to tell how much of an impact this update will have on Google’s search results, your site, or the sites of your clients. As the update rolls out, keep an eye on your analytics and, if necessary, rethink your content strategy in light of Google advice.
If Helpful Content Update Impacts You?
If this update hits you, Google suggests withdrawing unhelpful content from your website.