Google’s December 2022 Helpful Content Update The Latest System Rolling Out

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

Google’s got an early Christmas gift for users, an update to help user generated content!

This is the latest in a string of updates since the system last rollout in September.

The goal of Google’s helpful content approach is to promote websites made with users in mind rather than search engines. It strives to elevate information that enhances the web above what is generally offered otherwise, reports Search Engine Journal.

What’s The Google Helpful Content System?

As the internet becomes increasingly saturated with content, it can be hard to know what’s worth reading and what isn’t. Google is now using sitewide signals to target websites that contain high amounts of low-quality content.

Read More: Helpful Content Update Might Get Stronger?   

By low quality, we mean content that is not helpful. What Google means is that these websites will be penalized in terms of ranking and visibility. Nor is the content helpful for real people reading.

How The Rollout Is Going

So far the rollout has only been in progress for a couple of days. This helpful content system started rolling out on December 5th and is expected to rollout over the coming weeks.

Here is what Google announced on Twitter about the helpful content’s rollout.

Read More: Google Helpful Content Update Still Rolling Out

What To Do If Your Impacted By This System Update?

You might not notice any impacts just yet but as the helpful content system update continues, theres a chance you might see some impacts. Google has included a set of actions you can take to make sure your site doesn’t experience severe hits.

Here’s their list of questions that you can ask yourself:

  • Do you have an audience that will find your content useful?
  • Does your content show first-hand expertise and a depth of knowledge?
  • Does your site have a primary purpose or focus?
  • Will a person leave your website feeling they’ve learned enough about a topic you wrote about?
  • Will someone reading your content leave feeling like they’ve had a satisfying experience?
  • Are you keeping in mind our guidance for core updates and for product reviews?

Look out in the following weeks for hits to your site or improvements in content written for users first.

Julia Cashion

Google’s December Helpful Content Update Confirmed


Guess what? Google has officially confirmed that the December 2022 Google Helpful Content Update is rolling out. This will be the second launch of this system is getting since its start this past summer. Google started the system update on December 5th but waited until December 6th to announce that it was in the rollout process.

The Specs

The first rollout of Google’s helpful content system was only hitting low-quality content in English. Well that’s changed now since this system update is looking at all languages and weeding out the good from the bad across the board. Another notable feature of this system update is the new signals added.

Google’s list of search ranking systems has been updated with the most recent information about the helpful content system. Remember, this system is designed to single out low-quality content that isn’t written for users first. Sure, ranking on Google is important but writing content for people first is key to having good content. A computer won’t tell you if something is boring to read, but a real person sure will.

Read More: Google Helpful Content Update Still Rolling Out

Google says that the helpful content update will “tackle content that seems to have been primarily created for ranking well in search engines.” While Search Engine Roundtable reports “if you are writing content to drive search engine visibility and traffic, you might be hit by this type of update, and non-English sites are no longer safe from this update.”

How The Last Update Went

Around September 9th, SEOs and users alike started noticing fluctuation and believed that it was attributed to the first rollout of the helpful content update. But after a couple days, it was noted that this could not be the cause for changes in ranking. Barry Schwartz says “I believe a good percentage of that 20% are confused and misattributing the changes they see to the wrong thing – i.e. it is not the helpful content update.”

Basically, everyone thought that the first system update was going to shake things up but in reality it didn’t. So the question remains, will this system supersede expectations or will it flop?

Read More: Google To Target Sites Creating SEO Content?

Your Helpful Content Reference Guide

The good news is that Google has another treated for users alongside this system update. Since the launch, they’ve updated their Helpful Content Update Document.

As we’ve heard from Google in the past few months, the reference is going to be less to update and more to system. So that type of language use has been updated alongside details like its global rollout in all languages. You can check it out on Google Search Central for the full low down.

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Google’s helpful content update is now complete


Last week, Google announced the helpful content update has undergone the final stages and now the update’s rollout is finally complete, Search Engine Land reports. The update was launched on August 25th, 2022 and spanned just a bit over two weeks, wrapping up last Friday, September 9th, 2022.

What is the update and how does it work?

Google’s helpful content update is a sitewide algorithm, meaning that this update will be impacting your entire site. The Google helpful content update is targeted to search engine content on websites, meaning content that is written with the primary intention of ranking in Google search. For the time being, the update is only meant to impact Google Search. But, depending on its performance, expanding the update into Google Discover and other spaces within might be an avenue in the future. In short, this update makes sure that content ranking on Google is something that is written to help your readers, content that they can learn from.

Using the update to improve content

If you’re worried your site may have been impacted by the update, take a look at Google Search Central’s collection of questions to help content creators avoid creating search engine first content. These questions are intended for users who have noticed changes in their site due to the update but they are also there to help you make sure the content you’re producing is helping people and users.

The helpful content update isn’t targeted to anyone type of content or geared toward a specific niche. Google reported that the main types of content that will experience the effects of the update are related to technology, virtual educational tools, entertainment and creative arts, and shopping.

You might be in a position where your content falls within one of these categories, which has left you wondering why isn’t everyone experiencing the same hit. Well, the answer to that lies in the history of the web. In the past, most of the content that is written for search engines, as opposed to users, falls within these categories.

Nevertheless, if you did happen to take a hit because of the update, you can use this as a chance to optimize your content for users by reading over the questions from Google above.

Read More: Are Core Update Ranking Losses A Soft Penalty?

What is everyone saying about Google’s helpful content update?

To begin with, Google’s reasoning for this update lies within the usage of the search engine. They want to reward sites that prioritize user-based content because that benefits the people and the search engine. Better results mean better understanding, right? No one enjoys rifling through pages of search results and ending up on hard-to-use landing pages without useful answers.

Since the helpful content update has only been running for a few days, people haven’t seen huge fluctuations. Before its launch, Google provided a concise discussion concerning the specs of the update. Many say there wasn’t nearly enough detail or time to consider possible site content issues. Although Google did say that this was a pretty significant update, only time will tell how impactful it is.

Read More: Word Count Doesn’t Mean Your Content Is Unhelpful
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