Helpful Content Update Might Get Stronger?  Google Says The Next Core Update Might Add Strength to The Ranking Signal

author image Written by: Rabije Gashi Corluka           Categories - In The News, SEO

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!


No one really understands the fuss Google made about the Helpful Content Update. Until now, no huge ranking changes have been reported and only 20% of SEOs said they noticed some ranking changes. So, for now, the Google Helpful Content Update seems pretty minor. But, that could change with the next algorithm update, Search Engine Journal reports.

The update started rolling out two weeks ago, and last week, Google’s Danny Sullivan assured SEOs that the update is significant, despite all the evidence showing the opposite.

In contrast to recent updates, such as Panda and Penguin, which immediately changed search results, this update is a continuing effort, so its impact will unfold over time. That means we know when the helpful content update could become more visible: with the next core update. This was confirmed by Sullivan, when he responded to feedback again this week, revealing that other algorithm updates could strengthen the helpful content signal.

“Noticeable doesn’t mean every site sees a change and, why would that happen? Are the majority of sites unhelpful?” – he said.

And he has a point actually.

Read more: Google Helpful Content Update Is Sitewide 

Why are we so concerned the update is not making any changes? Aren’t we supposed to be happy it’s not? After all, it would mean our content is actually helpful and good?! Either that or Google didn’t really do its job all this time.

Update Not Done Yet

So far, the update seems minor, but it’s also not done rolling out. It should be fully rolled out any day now. Until then, we can continue to read tweets between Danny Sullivan and Glenn Gabe. Just yesterday, Sullivan called the update ‘big’ explaining that “it’s an important guidance people should pay attention to”.

Rabije Gashi Corluka

Rabije always enjoyed finding different angles to a story, so it’s not surprising her curiosity influenced a move to a new continent, widening her perspective. She enjoys hearing people's stories and learning about different cultures and places - but most of all, she loves putting her thoughts on a piece of paper. Her love for writing led to her studying Journalism and PR, but she actually became a storyteller during her radio-hosting era. Now, she uses her skills, experience, and love for writing to help your brand stand out.

Link Spam & Helpful Content Update Now Complete


Hey, there Google enthusiasts!

It’s been a wild ride, but the December 2022 updates from Google are finally here. That’s right, both the helpful content update and the link spam update have officially completed their rollouts. But, before we get into the nitty-gritty details, let’s talk about why these updates took a little longer than expected.

What Took So Long?

Google initially planned for both updates to be completed within two weeks, but as we all know, the holidays can throw a wrench in even the best-laid plans.

Read More: Links Spam & Google Helpful Content Update Still Rolling Out  

Due to security issues surrounding the holiday season, Google decided to take a pause on the updates. But, as the saying goes, “better late than never,” and the updates finally went live on January 12, 2023.

What To Do If Your Site Is Impacted?

So, what exactly do these updates mean for your website? Well, let’s start with the “helpful content update.” This update focuses on content that is created to rank well in search, but doesn’t necessarily help humans.

Helpful Content Update

In other words, if your content is more focused on keywords than user experience, you may be in for a rough ride. But don’t worry, if your website was hit by this update, there’s still hope for recovery. Google advises taking a look at your content and seeing if you can improve it to better align with their guidelines.

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

It’s worth noting that this update only impacts Google Search, and not Google Discover or other Google surfaces. However, Google may expand it to Discover and more in the future. Also, unlike a core update, this is a sitewide algorithm, meaning the whole site will be impacted.

Link Spam Update

As for the “link spam update,” this one is aimed at both sites buying links and sites used for the purpose of passing outgoing links.

The goal of this update is to “neutralize” links that Google detects as being spam. So, if your website has been buying links or participating in link schemes, you may see a decline in rankings. But, unlike manual actions, you won’t be notified in Search Console if you are hit by this update.

This update also marks the first time that Google is using its AI-based spam detection, “SpamBrain,” for link spam purposes. It’s a global launch, affecting all languages.

Read More: Impacts From The Link Spam Update  

All in all, these updates may have caused some inconvenience and delay, but they’re here now and it’s important to stay informed and adapt to the changes.

Keep an eye out for fluctuations in your website’s rankings and take the necessary steps to ensure that your content is high-quality and aligns with Google’s guidelines. Happy optimizing!

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Google To Target Sites Creating SEO Content?


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.

Google is releasing a new, site-wide ranking signal that will target content created for search engines, instead of users. Glenn Gabe shared about this on Twitter, and Barry Schwartz reported on this on Search Engine Land.

Turns out a new algorithm change is about to happen, and it might just be the biggest one in the last ten years. Called the “helpful content update”, the ranking algorithm change is supposed to target websites that have a high amount of not-good-enough content, meaning that the content had one purpose in mind: getting that rank. What it should have done instead was be written for the user, not Google.

So, if you might have content that could be labelled as unhelpful or unsatisfying, you better act fast!

What Does “Site Wide” Mean?

Exactly that – it will impact content on your whole website, not just a page or two, unlike many other Google algorithms updates that are page-based.  Google will evaluate your website as a whole and the impact will be just as significant. The sooner you remove the unhelpful content, the better.

Why Is Google Doing This?

Because it wants to help searchers find high-quality content, Google told Barry. The search engine simply wants to reward useful content written for people, not bots and crawlers.

This absolutely makes sense, considering the number of complaints you can hear from users. It must have happened to you too; you were searching for an answer and you keep ending up on highly ranked articles that have no value to you as a reader. You end up opening a bunch of links and improving their traffic, meanwhile getting no answer to your query whatsoever.

So, it sounds fair that Google’s doing this. There’s too much content out there that’s just designed to rank well, instead of actually being helpful to the customer.

The update is supposed to be released next week, and it will take about two weeks for it to fully roll out.

According to Search Engine Land, Google said the content type that will be impacted the most will be online educational materials, arts and entertainment, shopping and tech-related content.

Also, the search engine shared with Glenn Gabe that ANY content on your site that was created to serve the search engine before the reader is less likely to have good results in Search. So even if you do have high-quality content, the bad one can and probably will bring your whole site’s rank down.  Google says you should remove the unhelpful content ASAP.

Google’s Advice On Building People-first Content

Google shared a list of questions to ask yourself when creating content. To create people-first content, you should focus on creating satisfying, actually helpful content while also utilizing best SEO practices. Here are the questions to ask yourself when creating content:

  • Do you have an existing or intended audience that would find the content useful?
  • Does your content demonstrate first-hand expertise and a depth of knowledge?
  • Does your site have a primary purpose or focus?
  • After reading your content, will a human leave feeling they’ve learned enough about a topic to help achieve their goal?
  • 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?

If you answered yes to these questions, chances are pretty high you’re all good. If not, it’s definitely time for a change.

Read More: Google Helpful Content Update Still Rolling Out, Kind of Slow though

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!

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