Google made an announcement in its official blog post that its Helpful Content Update will be rolling out on Aug 25, 2022. It is estimated that the update will take two weeks to fully roll out.
This update is part of Google’s greater attempt to make sure that users only see the best content possible in search results.
With this update, Google will be demoting low-value content from search results. The update is anticipated to be as large as Panda, which targeted low-quality content, and Penguin, which targeted webspam.
Google’s Official Updates Announcement
On Aug 18, Google announced an update that will improve the quality of content people see online. The “helpful content update” will prioritize original, helpful content written by people, rather than content made primarily for search engine traffic. The update will take two weeks for Google to fully roll out.
This update incorporates a site-wide ranking signal that will be one of the numerous signals Google takes into account when ranking pages in search results.
Google’s AI system will constantly analyze and detect pages that are unhelpful and offer little value to users.
This classifier is always active, and in contrast to broad core updates and product review updates, this classifier does not need a periodic refresh.
Consequently, if your site is impacted by this update, it will take months for the demoting ranking signal to be decreased or removed.
Does It Affect All Websites?
This update is said to target sites that Google mostly sees as having low-quality or insufficient content. This usually occurs when a site is made solely to get traffic from Google without providing any actual value to users.
If your site has a lot of low-quality or thin content, it’s probable that you’ll be impacted by this update.
Not every site will be affected, though. If you have a site with high-quality, informative content, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about—you could even see a traffic boost from this update.
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Regardless, it’s crucial to keep an eye on this update and see how it affects your website.
What Is People-First Content?
People-first content is composed mainly for searchers instead of search engines. In other words, it is original and useful while still following SEO best practices to make sure your content can be easily found.
Google’s guidelines cover how to create people-first content to avoid any negative effects from this update. Even though it can be difficult, it is worth it if you are hoping to be successful with this update.
What Should I Do If My Traffic Decreases?
If you witness a decline in traffic after an algorithm update, it is crucial that you take a step back and analyse your content. There are a few questions you can ask yourself to help determine if your content is still useful and engaging for your audience, such as:
Is the content still relevant to my audience’s needs?
Has the content been updated to reflect any changes in my industry or niche?
Is the tone and style of the content still appropriate for my audience?
Is the content engaging and easy to read, or is it dull and challenging to get through?
If you can answer YES to all of these questions, then chances are your content is still on the right track. Nevertheless, if you are uncertain about any of them, it may be time to consider making some alterations.
It is crucial to regularly update the content on your blog or website to retain a successful audience. By frequently renewing your content, you ensure its continuing relevancy and engagement.
If there is a traffic decrease after an algorithm update, do not fret.
instead, inspect your content and explore if there are any areas that could use some work. Rank Math’s Analytics module can help you pinpoint pages that are demoted with this ranking signal, and our Content AI can give you suggestions on what searchers are looking for with your specified keyword.
Note: The Helpful Content update finished rolling out on Sep 9, 2022.