"Don't be evil."
"Do the right thing."
"Organise the World's Information"
With such taglines, Google proves that its heart belongs to people and is driven by generosity. In this light, Google constantly launches updates for its applications, software and search engine algorithm. Like the Core update, Google is rolling out a new update - Google Helpful Content Update, which can potentially change the paradigm for SEO. The new update, namely, Google Helpful Content Update, is a sitewide algorithm, and, as the company confirmed, it began rolling out on August 25. Though it will take two weeks to roll out completely, one thing is for sure; it will devalue the content written solely for SEO purposes.
Basic Facts Behind Google Helpful Content Update
Unlike the other google updates, Google Helpful Content Update is to boost the content written for people and not SEO. This update is expected to change the way of ranking on SERPs pages. Undeniably, Google is always working to make the information more helpful and connect better with the users, and this update will do just that! Before we move on to what the update does, let's take a look at some basic information about the update.
- Rollout: This began on August 25, 2022; the update will take two weeks to roll out completely.
- Who does it target: The prime target of Google Helpful Content Update will be the pages that have created content for ranking purposes and not informing the people.
- Search Only: Currently, the update will only be affecting Google Search. Google Discover and other surfaces of Google will, for now, remain unaffected by the update. However, the possibility of Google expanding it to Google Discover in the future can't be completely ruled out.
- Penalty: For now, Google has not mentioned any such penalties; however, the update itself will feel like a penalty to pages affected by Google Helpful Content Update.
- Core update: While debating whether the update is core, the truth says otherwise. It is NOT a core web update.
- Language: Google Helpful Content Update, after the complete rollout, the update will focus on just ENGLISH content; however, Google plans on expanding to more languages shortly.
- Impact: Until now, Google has not revealed the percentage of queries or searches impacted by this update. Nevertheless, Google did claim that the impact will be "meaningful" and will be more inclined toward online-educational materials, entertainment, shopping, and tech-related content.
- Recover: If this update hits your website, you have only one option, i.e., to revise your content and strategies. You will have to work on your content to align it with Google Helpful Content Update's new algorithm.
Now that the basic information is out in the open let's move on to the mechanics of this update.
How Does Google Helpful Content Update Work?
Once the Google Helpful Content Update is completely rolled out, Google claims to post it on the Google ranking updates page. As aforementioned, two weeks is the estimated time for the complete rollout. Moreover, Google Helpful Content Update will introduce a new sitewide signal, which will be considered on the same plane as any other signal involved with ranking web pages. With Google Helpful Content Update, the system will automatically identify the content which has low value for humans and more for ranking or content that is otherwise not particularly helpful to those doing searches.
Moreover, Google Helpful Content Update is not just limited to low-value content. The update will target content on sites with relatively high amounts of unhelpful content overall. Such websites are less likely to perform well in search, which further means that there will be other content on the web that's better to display. For that reason, Google believes that removing unhelpful content will surge the ranking of other useful content available on the web.
How Long Will An Affected Site Take To Recover From The Hit?
Suppose the Google Helpful Content Update hits a website. In that case, the options for recovering are limited to just one- rebuilding your content and revamping your strategies to align the content with new guidelines. Speaking of recovering, another burning question that eats the mind is how long will it take for a website to do better if it is hit with the Google Helpful Content Update?
According to the claims of Google, a website affected by Google Helpful Content Update can find the signal applied for certain months, though an exact amount is still not revealed yet. The Google Helpful Content Update classifier runs continuously, regularly monitoring new and existing websites. Moreover, the recovery time also depends on the website holder. Wondering how? As soon as Google Helpful Content Update determines that your website no longer contains any unhelpful content and remains the same over a long time, the signal will no longer apply to the site and will be recovered.
How To Avoid Any "Unhelpful Content"?
This update will affect all the websites that ranked solely on SEO strategies and tactics and were not for the people. Since Google is also always working to be better for users and audiences alike, the Google Helpful Content Update will set new guidelines for marketers to follow for ranking and avoid the wrath of the update. Moreover, if you want to avoid benign hit by this update, before uploading any content on your site, you should first ask:
- Is the content solely for ranking purposes, or does it contain helpful information?
- Are you aggressively working on a wide spectrum of topics just to rank your website, or does your website fall in a pattern?
- Is your content AI-based or authentic?
- Is your content summarising what other websites say without any value?
The Google Helpful Content Update is a game changer; however, it is more beneficial for the people than the marketers!