Google: New Search Ranking Changes and Volatility Connected To The Delayed Helpful Content Update?

author image Written by: Julia Cashion           Categories - In The News, SEO

Every few months or so, Google comes out with a new update or system. Ultimately this is to help users find their way around the search engine better and to present them with relevant content. However, sometimes these systems impact users sites, or updates start to cause more volatility, like right now.

Read More: Google: Helpful Content Update Extended Rollout  

Ranking Fluctuations and Spiking Volatility

In fact SEO Roundtable reports that just after December 26th, there are some fluctuations in volatility and ranking. Barry Schwartz notes that he’s seen “Some of the automated tracking tools are picking it up, and I am seeing some renewed chatter in the SEO industry.”

One probably reason for spikes in volatility could be related to Google’s recent helpful content update. This installment of the helpful content update started rolling out prior to the holidays but seemed to slow down around that time.

Read More: Impacts From The Link Spam Update

It’s also possible that the reason for volatility is connected to the link spam update. This one has also been taking its sweet time rolling out.

What Are The SEOs Saying?

SEOs are always on top of the latest updates, especially when it comes to Google. With this spike in volatility, comments seem to be many on WebmasterWorld.

Member @RedBar offered their take on the sitation, here’s what they had to say:

“Wednesday’s traffic was steady for me at 65.3% however I’ve already had a siginificant bona fide widget trade Canadian spike this morning but, hey ho, this happens. Previous years would suggect that from tonight my traffic “ought to” decline rapidly until Monday / Tuesday … I cannot see any reason why this year would be any different.”

Read More: Google: Helpful Content Update All Around The World  

Tracking Tool Reveal

As always, checking the tracking tools are always a great way to shed light on the reason for spikes or dips. Here are some snapshots that Barry Schwartz shared from Rank Ranger and SEMrush.


Both of these snapshots show similar curves but volatility isn’t looking super concerning. Google says that they’re trying to slow things down over the holiday while everyone takes a much-needed rest.

So, for the time being keeping an eye on tool seems like the best bet.

Julia Cashion

Links Spam & Google Helpful Content Update Still Rolling Out


Over a month now, Google launched the December 2022 Helpful Content update. It is also approaching a month since the Link Spam update was launched on the 14th of December. Users must starting to wonder what’s taking so long because these two updates are still rolling out.

Status of Helpful Content Update

In the past, Helpful Content updates have taken maybe 2 weeks to roll out, but no not this time.

Its possible that this extended rollout has something to do with the scale that the helpful content update is on. A global scale that is. Back in 2022, Search Engine Land reported some research on how the update would impact content in different countries.

Read More: Google: Helpful Content Update Extended Rollout  

From Mexico to Germany and everywhere in between, it seems like this update’s reach is globally taking a while. Barry Schwartz from Search Engine Roundtable also noted the extended rollout. He says that the helpful content update should have concluded around three weeks ago by now. But, here we are.

As for further noted, impacts, there hasn’t been all that much more noticed aside from Search Engine Land‘s statement on the algorithm rollout.

Here’s what they had to say:

“For top publishers in most countries, the first Helpful Content Update in August seems to have had a more significant impact on their visibility than the second one in September. It cannot be clearly said that publishers’ visibility was only negatively impacted by the updates, since some clearly benefitted from them.”

Read More: Impacts From The Link Spam Update

Link Spam Update Progress

In terms of the Link Spam update, we’re seeing the same kind of progress as we are with the helpful content update. Danny Sullivan from Google did give up a tip off of when we can expect to see things wrapping up. Maybe.

Last Friday he tweet that both updates might take another two weeks to rollout.

Here the tweet explaining things:

Another reason for the extended rollout might have to do with the holiday season. Not to mention, Google also indicated that another reason for the delay had to do with security concerns over the holidays. Either way, we now know that these updates are going to take longer to rollout. Kinda like watching grass grow.

Read More: Google: Helpful Content Update All Around The World
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Google: Helpful Content Update Extended Rollout


We all love a good Google algorithm update. But it always sucks when things take longer than expected. That’s exactly what’s going on with the December 2022 Helpful Content Update.

Read More: Helpful Content Update Might Get Stronger?

With the first update rolling out this past summer, the projected time was about a week or two. However, this update appears to be extended.

December 2022 Helpful Content Update Progress

It started rolling out on December 5th and was projected to wrap up around the 19th of December. Search Engine Roundtable says that “Google’s Search Liason, Danny Sullivan, mentioned the Google December 2022 helpful content update would take longer to roll out than originally expected.”

Many have been wondering what the hold up is and why there hasn’t been much word from Google about its progress. However, just yesterday Google Search Liason did respond to a tweet questioning the progress of the system. Basically, Google says that they expected the update to be finished by now but for the time being they aren’t done. Take a look at the tweet below.

Read More: Google: Helpful Content Update All Around The World

Maybe the extended update has something to do with the specs of this update. For instance, this helpful content update rolled out globally in all languages. It could be that Google is taking longer to pick out low-quality content in different languages. But that’s just speculation of course.

So When Will The Update Be Complete?

As for when this update will be completed, we don’t have a definite date. At the same time that this system is rolling out, Google also has the December 2022 Link Spam Update going. This could be another reason that the update is taking longer.

Read More: Google’s Helpful Content Update Is Now Complete

Either way, this update is intended to help weed out content written for search engines first. Mainly it’s picking out the user written content, which actually helps people. So far, there hasn’t been any drastic impacts noted. But, we think the full system will need to complete before the full impacts can be determined.

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