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Google Helpful Content Update - What Does It Mean To You?

Google Helpful Content Update represents a significant shift in the search engine giant's algorithm, where it now values informative and engaging content more than ever before.

Thomas Mitchell
Thomas Mitchell
Nov 24, 20232.7K Shares61.5K Views
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  1. What Is Google Helpful Content Update?
  2. Google Helpful Content Update In 2023
  3. How To Achieve High Serp Rankings For Seo With The New Update
  4. Why Is The Helpful Content Update Important?
  5. How Do You Safeguard Your Website From The Impact Of Helpful Content Updates?
  6. Google Loosens Guidance On Machine-Generated Content In Recent HCU
  7. How Understanding E.E.A.T. Can In-Depth Help In Creating Helpful Content?
  8. FAQs
  9. In Light Of These Facts
Google Helpful Content Update - What Does It Mean To You?

Google Helpful Content Updateis a new algorithm update that is designed to reward websites that produce high-quality content written for people. The update is part of Google's broader effort to prioritize user-centric content at the top of search engine results, ensuring that users only see the most pertinent information.

The update has caused a lot of confusion and speculation in the SEO community, so it's essential to understand what it is and how it will impact your SEO efforts. The update emphasizes the value of producing informative and approachable content, especially for newly launched websites. In this article, we will explore the Google Helpful Content Update and provide tips for SEO success.

Google Helpful Content Update - A Complete Guide for Content Creators
Google Helpful Content Update - A Complete Guide for Content Creators

What Is Google Helpful Content Update?

The concept of Google Helpful Content Update focuses on prioritizing and rewarding web content that is created primarily for people rather than for search engine rankings. This update is part of Google's ongoing efforts to improve the quality and relevance of search results. Here are the critical aspects of this update:

People-First Content

The update aims to promote content that provides a satisfying experience for users rather than content that is created mainly to rank well in search engines. This means content should be informative, helpful, and engaging for actual human readers.

Discouraging Search-Engine-Focused Content

Websites that produce content primarily for the purpose of ranking in search engines rather than to help or inform people may find their content negatively impacted by this update. This includes content that could be more optimized for SEO with more substantive value for users.

Rewarding Helpful And Original Content

The update seeks to reward content that offers original information, reporting, research, analysis, or insights. It aims to give better visibility to content that is helpful and adds value, addressing the needs and questions of users effectively.

Penalizing Low-Quality Content

Websites with a high proportion of unhelpful content, including but not limited to AI-generated content, spun content, or content with little to no added value for the reader, may see a decline in their search rankings.

Site-Wide Impact

The Helpful Content Update can affect the ranking of the entire website, not just individual pages. If a website has a substantial amount of low-quality content, its overall visibility in search results could be diminished.

Focus On User Experience

The update encourages website owners and content creators to focus on creating a positive user experience with high-quality content that serves the interests and needs of their audience.

Continuous Evolution: Like many of Google's updates, the Helpful Content Update is expected to evolve as the company refines its algorithms to identify better and reward content that is truly helpful to users.

Google Helpful Content Update In 2023

In 2023, Google introduced a significant update to its Helpful Content System, marking a notable shift in how the search engine evaluates and ranks web content. This update rolled out in September 2023, was the third since the launch of the Helpful Content System in August 2022, but it stood out as the most impactful and comprehensive revision to date.

Central to this update were changes to the guidelines concerning AI-generated content and the hosting of third-party content. As artificial intelligence continues to play a growing role in content creation, Google's update reflected an effort to adapt to this evolving landscape while maintaining the integrity and relevance of search results.

The implementation of this update spanned over 14 days, starting on September 14 and concluding on September 28, 2023. It had a profound impact on the online ecosystem, affecting over 500 domains significantly. The update's extensive reach indicated Google's commitment to enhancing the quality and usefulness of information available to its users.

A vital feature of the 2023 update was the enhancement of Google’s featured snippets. These snippets, which appear at the top of search results, were transformed to provide more comprehensive and actionable information, catering to the user's need for quick and reliable answers.

This change underscored Google's ongoing dedication to improving user experience and delivering valuable content in an easily accessible format.

How to Recover from Google's Helpful Content Update
How to Recover from Google's Helpful Content Update

How To Achieve High Serp Rankings For Seo With The New Update

With the latest upgrade, you must concentrate on producing informative content if you want to rank well in SERPs. Although it seems easy on paper, successful execution calls for a strategy. Here are some pointers to get you going.

Write For An Intended Audience That Will Find Your Content Helpful

It's critical to identify your audience before you begin writing. Your content needs to be created with your target audience's needs in mind. Should it fail to do so, Google will not deem it beneficial, and your SERP ranks will not improve.

Therefore, how do you determine who your target market is? Examine the information in your Google Analytics account if you already have a blog or website. You will gain knowledge about who is viewing your material at the moment and what interests them by doing this.

If you still need to get a website or blog, you'll need to research to identify your target market. To find out who they are targeting, try doing an online search for comparable companies or goods. This will provide you with a solid foundation.

Will Your Audience Members Feel Satisfied After Reading Your Content?

Is my audience going to be satisfied after reading this? This is one of the finest methods to determine whether or not your material is helpful. You're in the proper place if the response is in the affirmative. In the event that the response is negative, you must adjust.

Remember that just because you're satisfied doesn't guarantee that your readers will enjoy every single thing you write. It is unachievable always to please everyone. That being said, you're doing something correctly if the majority of your audience members express satisfaction after reading your material.

Create Content With First-Hand Expertise

Possessing first-hand knowledge is crucial for producing informative material. Put another way, don't merely repeat something you've read somewhere. Instead, impart your wisdom and experiences.

It's critical to be truthful since your readers will be able to determine whether or not you are an authority on the subject. It's okay if you're not an expert! By conducting research and disseminating your findings, you may still create valuable content. Even if not everyone will be an authority on the topic, you may still offer insightful insights.

Why Is The Helpful Content Update Important?

Search engine optimization for your website will suffer if Google's classifier finds a significant volume of information on it that is not useful. Whether or not your website has informative material is irrelevant. The classification impacts the content of your website as a whole.

Google urges content producers to put users before search engines in all of their creations. The search engine intends to provide more high-quality results that live up to user expectations by establishing this benchmark.

To make sure the latest Google upgrade doesn't have a detrimental impact on your company, you need to evaluate your website. After that, take measures to enhance or eliminate irrelevant content.

Helpful material offers value and fulfills user curiosity. It is unique and hasn't been edited from somewhere else. Content that isn't useful only repeats what has already been said. It lacks a point of view or distinctive viewpoint, leaving holes for the user to fill.

Change or eliminate any useless information from your website that doesn't align with search intent. Taking either step lessens the likelihood that Google may categorize your website and give your content a lower rating.

Google Helpful Content Update - How to Recover from HCU Update
Google Helpful Content Update - How to Recover from HCU Update

How Do You Safeguard Your Website From The Impact Of Helpful Content Updates?

Although the Helpful Content Update will undoubtedly affect the entire website, it will be better than receiving a manual action. It is possible to reverse your rating declines if you adhere to a set of steps. In the event that you are affected by the Helpful Content Update, you can use this checklist.

Avoid Using Content Generated By AI

Many websites use AI systems for content production, which produce material automatically. Not only are such materials useless, but they also bring nothing new and are essentially just paraphrases of already published online stuff.

If you have released material created using AI technologies, take another look at it to make sure it still makes sense. Additionally, be careful to modify appropriately.

Beyond what is presently accessible online, readers should receive value from AI-generated material. Many websites employ artificial intelligence (AI) content creation technologies to create material automatically, although the resultant content is frequently worthless rephrasings of already published works.

Write For A Focused Audience

Google is making an even more vital point with the Helpful Content Update: your website cannot be a master of all crafts. The primary goal of a website that produces material about tech, health, finance, CBD, and other topics is to drive visitors by whatever methods possible.

If that isn't the case, these websites aim to make money by posting guest content, which Google is vehemently opposed to.

Unique Ideas Outclass Word Count

There is a misperception that Google prefers long-form material. Google is more interested in the content and value than in the word count. Of course, some websites rank higher despite having more words, but these websites often offer a lot of content and are simple to use.

Many websites include general material instead of focusing on the core issue in order to get their word count to be at most 2000 or 1000. Few of these websites, nevertheless, are unfairly benefiting from a higher rating. However, these websites may anticipate a reduction in ranking due to the Helpful Content Update.

Focus On E.E.A.T

Experience, expertise, authority, and trustworthiness were formerly exclusively linked to YMYL web pages. However, Google may expand E.E.A.T.'s scope to include all niches with the Helpful Content Update announcement.

Google claims that only a website or someone possessing "real expertise" would be able to offer customers the value they seek. In other words, if you run a website, make sure that it has a strong enough online presence to demonstrate your industry knowledge. Google has been making rapid progress in entity recognition, which will allow it to compile a brand's domain knowledge.

Google Helpful Content Update 2023 Explained
Google Helpful Content Update 2023 Explained

Google Loosens Guidance On Machine-Generated Content In Recent HCU

Google stressed in its earlier guidelines on machine-generated content that human-generated material is given priority in the Helpful Content scheme. In order to better reconcile it with other seemingly conflicting guidelines on AI material, that portion of the guidance has been deleted, suggesting a shift in Google's position regarding AI content.

Google's previous statement was, “Google Search’s helpful content system generates a signal used by our automated ranking systems to ensure better people see original, helpful content written by people, for people, in search results.”

Now, the updated statement by Google is, “Google Search’s helpful content system generates a signal used by our automated ranking systems to ensure better people see original, helpful content created for people in search results.”

How Understanding E.E.A.T. Can In-Depth Help In Creating Helpful Content?

Understanding Google's E.E.A.T. concept is crucial for creating helpful and compelling content in light of their search algorithm updates. E.E.A.T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, and it's a set of guidelines used by Google to evaluate the quality of web content. Here's how each component can help in content creation:


Expertise refers to the depth of knowledge or skill that a content creator or a website has in its field. To demonstrate expertise, content creators should focus on providing detailed, accurate, and insightful information in their area of specialization.

This involves thorough research, citing credible sources, and presenting information in a way that showcases a deep understanding of the topic.


Authoritativeness is about the reputation of the website or content creator in their field. Establishing authoritativeness involves building a reputation through user engagement, peer recognition, and citations from other authoritative sources.

Content should be well-regarded by experts in the field and endorsed or shared by reputable figures or institutions.

Google Helpful Content Update - Latest Google Update
Google Helpful Content Update - Latest Google Update


Trustworthiness focuses on the reliability and honesty of the website and its content. To ensure trustworthiness, content should be transparent, accurate, and unbiased. It's essential to avoid misleading information, clearly disclose affiliations, and provide evidence to back up claims. Secure and user-friendly website design also contributes to trustworthiness.

By focusing on E.E.A.T., content creators can align their work with the factors that Google values in its search rankings. This not only improves the likelihood of a higher search ranking but also provides real value to users, as the content will be more informative, reliable, and relevant to their needs.

In addition, it's essential to keep in mind that Google's algorithms are constantly evolving, so staying informed about the latest updates and adapting content strategies accordingly is essential for continued success in search engine rankings.


What Is The Google Helpful Content Update 2023?

Google changed the terminology in their helpful content system description for this third Helpful Content Update in September 2023. It now reads "content created for people" rather than "content written by people for people."

Does Updating Content Improve SEO?

Yes, updating your content can improve your SEO. Google favors websites with engaging, timely, and original content.

What Are Google Updates In SEO?

Google updates are modifications to the company's algorithms. Keeping up with these adjustments is crucial since they may have a significant effect on your search engine optimization.

In Light Of These Facts

Google Helpful Content Update, particularly its 2023 iteration, represents a significant shift in the SEO landscape. The update underscores the importance of creating high-quality, user-centric content. It aims to prioritize content that offers real value to users, penalizing sites that rely heavily on AI-generated or low-quality material.

This move is a clear message to content creators: focus on the user experience and provide authentic, informative content. The update emphasizes originality, user satisfaction, and the importance of E.E.A.T (Experience, Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness) across various niches, not just in YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) categories.

Google's evolving stance on AI-generated content, as seen in the recent relaxation of guidelines, reflects its commitment to adapting to technological advancements while maintaining content integrity. For SEO success in this new era, websites must adapt to these changes, ensuring that their content strategy aligns with Google's user-focused approach.

This means a shift from keyword-centric tactics to a more holistic, value-driven content creation strategy, offering a unique perspective and addressing the specific needs of the target audience.

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