Google SEO Algorithm Update: “A Helpful Content Update”

Google SEO Algorithm Update: “A Helpful Content Update”

Google has launched a Helpful Content Update to provide people with more practical, original, and relevant information, reinforcing content production for people instead of search engines.

The Google Helpful Content update is a new algorithm that ranks websites based on the quality and usefulness of their content. Websites that provide helpful, well-written, and informative content will rank higher in the search results than those that don’t. 

This update aims to improve the quality of search results and make it easier for users to find the information they need. 

What do we know about the Google Helpful Content Algorithm Update?

The Google Helpful Content update will affect all websites that have content. On the other hand, websites that don’t have any content or only have a few pages of content will not be affected by this update. (Obviously, if you don’t have content, better not to have a website, or perhaps your site is using web flash.)

However, sites with a lot of content that is not helpful or informative will see a decrease in their search engine rankings, more so if the content is a re-hash, rephrase, or was written by AI bots. This means that users will find fewer websites in search results that seem very promising but hardly have valuable insights. 

The Google Helpful Content Update was rolled out last August 25, 2022. So, it took effect in the Philippines between the 26th and 27th of August, 2022.

How do you know if you got affected by the Google Helpful Content Algorithm Update?

If you have seen your traffic and keyword rankings go down, it may signal that your website has been affected by the update. We expect the update to affect about 20–30% of search engine rankings, particularly in the News sector, specifically on the Knowledge Panel and People ask SERP features occurrence (US) based on SemRush Sensor.  We can also expect the same impact on the PH market. (Unfortunately, SemRush doesn’t have data on PH yet.)

SERP Volatility on News Websites in the US with 5.7 changes (High Range)

SERP Volatility on News Websites

Still, we can see that the August 9 Google Algorithm update glitch is still a more significant change than the Google Helpful Content Update. 

How are big SEO Companies in the Philippines faring on this Helpful Content Update?

Looking at the SEO Philippines landscape, we can see that some of the country’s SEO companies are affected by the algorithm update. We can see that SEO-Hacker and Spiralytics are on the downturn trend while Truelogic is picking up the pace. 

LeapOut competitor's organic traffic trend

LeapOut (yes, our website) has been affected slightly, with a 17% drop in traffic versus July (full August data is not yet complete). However, according to SemRush trends, we can see that we shouldn’t be worried so much. 

SEMrush sensor

Tips on how to recover from Google Helpful Content Update rollout

Write content primarily for people, not for search engines. 

Come up with relevant content and provide your audience with helpful information. When users click on your website, they expect to find answers or valuable insights that will fulfill the purpose of their search. 

Ensure your content adds value to their visit by satisfying these expectations. SEO is for people, not bots, as Ashley Rodriguez emphasized in her piece, “Put people first before the rankings.” 

Use relevant keywords to help users find your content.

When writing helpful and valuable content for your audience, you also need to help them find it. Incorporate relevant keywords into your titles, headings, page descriptions, and the like. When you do, you’ll be more likely to appear in search results for those terms, and people searching for those keywords will more easily find your site and benefit from your content.

Use images, videos, and infographics to break up your text and make your content more visually appealing. 

By using these elements, you can add another layer of information to your content that can help engage readers and keep them coming back for more. Images, videos, and infographics can also help to strengthen your message and make it more memorable. When used correctly, they can add a level of sophistication and professionalism to your content that may add to the overall satisfying experience of your audience.

This effort by Google significantly helps people gain access to the information they need more easily while rewarding sites that are efficient in providing it. It encourages and reinforces creating content with better quality, higher relevance, and original, human touch. 

The update may take up to two weeks to fully implement. Check the Google Search ranking updates page for details and new posts.