Google's helpful content update is now complete Filtering content for users first

author image Written by: Content Team           Categories - In The News, SEO

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

Content Team

Google Helpful Content Update Still Rolling Out


Update from the future: Two weeks after it started rolling out, the Helpful Content Update is still not showing big ranking changes. Danny Sullivan said the update might get stronger with the next core update. Read more about that here.

More than a week ago, Google announced its biggest drop of the decade – an algorithm update so important no one was ready for. Glenn Gabe shared about this on Twitter, and Barry Schwartz reported on this on Search Engine Land.

Google Helpful Content update is now rolling out and should almost be over.

But, you never know with Google. Just because the update should be rolled out and done in cca two weeks,  the impacts of it and fluctuations can be seen weeks after.

It’s always a good idea to monitor your Google visibility, traffic and ranking and act accordingly. But, sometimes, especially while the updates are in the process of rolling out, it’s better to wait.

What Is Google Helpful Content update?

A sitewide signal that targets websites with high amounts of low-quality content. When I say low quality, I mean not helpful content. What Google means by the same term is: content written for search engines instead of humans.

So, if your content was not directed to humans first and is not helpful to them, but you hit all the right points for Google to rank it well, this update will probably make your website plummet.

The rollout of this update started on August 25th and Google will let us know when it’s finished rolling out.

What If your Website Is affected by this update?

There is a list of questions you can ask yourself about the content on your website. Google shared that a while ago. Some of them are:

  • 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?

Think about these questions. If you answered “yes” to them, chances are – you’re good. If not – you will likely be hit and it will take some time to recover. But, you still have to make changes to your content.

So Far, the Rollout Is Pretty Slow

Given that the update is pretty big and important, everyone thought the hit will be fast and brutal. But at the moment, everything seems kind of calm. For now, most of the chatter in the SEO community doesn’t seem concerning. Is this just the calm before the storm?

Update from the future: The Google Helpful Content Updatefinsihed rolling out on September 9th! Even though not a lot of people reported seeing major fluctuations, the update is still valuable and very important. Read more about it here and find out what to do if you were hit!


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