SEO News You Can Use: Google December 2022 Helpful Content Update Has Rolled Out

SEO News you can use

Google has rolled out yet another content update. On December 5, 2022, the tech giant announced the December Helpful Content update had started and would take approximately two weeks to complete.

This content update aims to improve the first Helpful Content system or HCS (previously referred to as the Helpful Content Update or HCU), a Google algorithm augmentation of the ranking system that rolled out earlier this year in August.

The HCS is geared toward elevating unique content that adds value to users and provides a unique perspective on the topic – essentially pushing content created for humans, rather than search engines, to the top of the ranks.

The December Helpful Content update is expected to improve on new signals and potentially add new signals to the system and will roll out in all languages, according to Search Engine Journal.

At the moment, there is no clear indication of what to expect with regard to the effects of this update. However, if your website was hit by the August Helpful Content update, your site will likely see some improvement. Regardless of whether the effects were positive or negative, you should see a change in your results. 

Many have criticized the Helpful Content update as having little to no effect, making us wonder if this update’s result will be felt more significantly.

More SEO News You Can Use

Google Release New Feature To Help Users Find More Useful Results: Google has released a new feature that could help users find more relevant results in search engine results pages (SERPs). The new search refinement/related topics feature can be found in the top Google Search bar in the top bar filter. This was previewed at Search On a few months ago and is now finally ready to roll out. What does this look like? In short, after typing a search, users will see a + symbol in front of related topics below the search bar. These refined topics change as you click on them to help further refine your search queries and results. This means less typing for users and, hopefully, quicker, more useful results. This feature will be made available to English users in the U.S. This could affect your organic traffic – both positively or negatively, depending on how your website’s results are shown. Although uncertain, you could see a boost in search volume for long-tail keywords or more detailed search queries. However, it’s important to keep the December 5 helpful content update in mind when monitoring changes in rankings and traffic. For more valuable insights, check out Search Engine Journal.

Google Brings Continuous Scrolling to Desktop Users: Google has added a new continuous scrollable feature for desktop, available to U.S./ English users. This feature was first introduced to mobile in October 2021 and has finally been introduced to desktop search results. Continuous scrolling is similar to infinite scrolling, except it stops after a few pages (about four to six). This feature rolled out to U.S. users only in English on December 5, 2022. It has yet to be announced when it will roll out globally or in other languages in the U.S. This feature may affect your Google Search Console results and Google Ads as users may scroll less. Text ads are now distributed between the top and bottom of the search results pages (SERPs). As a result, you may expect different user behaviors, such as a higher number of impressions yet a lower click-through rate (CTR). For more information, visit Search Engine Journal here.

Google Adds 3 New Search Site Shortcut Features to Chrome: Google has announced three new site search features for Chrome. These features allow you to search your tabs, bookmarks and history using shortcuts built into the address bar using @tabs, @bookmarks and @history. This is particularly helpful if you have a lot of search results/bookmarks in various folders to sift through. What’s more, you can also customize your search shortcuts. This new feature helps to speed up search, especially if your job entails a lot of online searching. By typing @bookmarks, @history or @tab in the search bar, hitting space and entering the search query, bookmark or tab title, you’ll see a bunch of suggestions dropping down in the search bar. According to Search Engine Land, this feature has rolled out to Google Chrome 108 for desktop, so make sure you’ve applied the latest update for this super useful feature.

Google’s October Spam Update Could Be the Cause of Location Pages Being De-Indexed: If your service area business (SAB) website’s pages have dropped in rankings or experienced de-indexed pages, you’re likely experiencing the effects of an October spam update. This started in late August/October as the helpful content update and spam update coincided, causing fluctuations in ranking results. According to Search Engine Land, most sites experienced issues related to duplicate content, mostly on location or doorway pages. These sites were being de-indexed, causing an indirect effect on rankings. This pertained predominantly to sites with low authority or a lack of helpful content, according to Schieler Mew, admin of the Google SEO Mastermind group on Facebook. Scheiler posted a video explaining the results compiled after analyzing more than 200 SAB websites. Since doorway pages may no longer be, there are various other ways to optimize local search engine optimization (SEO). This includes utilizing H1s and page titles to target specific areas, a general service area page, projects, pages and local newspaper press releases or joining a local Chambers of Commerce, suggests Search Engine Land.

You Can Now Organize Keywords by Ad Groups in Google Keyword Planner: In August 2022, Google implemented a new feature to its arsenal known as the Keyword Planner tool. This tool can be used to arrange keywords by ad groups. Months later, Ginny Marvin, Google’s Ads liaison, announced that the tool was finally live and available in English. The tool is expected to be released in more languages in the near future, said Marvin, according to Search Engine Roundtable. The tool organizes keywords according to relevant ad campaigns. These can be reviewed, adjusted, or downloaded; users can also add suggestions. You can also discover new keywords, see monthly searches, determine costs related to keyword searches and create new campaigns. This could help improve keyword targeting and campaign performance; the best part is that it’s free.

Editor’s Note: “SEO News You Can Use” is a weekly blog post posted every Monday morning only on SEOblog.com, rounding up all the top SEO news from around the world. Our goal is to make SEOblog.com a one-stop-shop for everyone looking for SEO news, education and for hiring an SEO expert with our comprehensive SEO agency directory.

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