SEO News You Can Use: September 2023 Helpful Content Update Completes Rollout

SEO News You Can Use: New Updates to Chrome FLEDGE

Do you see any changes in your content rankings? That’s probably because of Google’s September 2023 Helpful Content Update, which wrapped up on September 28, exactly two weeks after Google’s Search team rolled it out.

The Helpful Content System is a set of Google’s ranking factors that “better reward content where visitors feel they’ve had a satisfying experience.”

This update isn’t as vague as the August 2023 broad core update, though, since Google’s help documents clarified how the company’s algorithms will assess the helpfulness of your content in three facets:

  1. Third-party content: Google will process third-party content you host on your website to determine the helpfulness of your content. This means that if these third-party content are irrelevant to the purpose of your website, your ranking may take a hit.
  2. Back-dating and removing pages: If you’re manipulating the dates your content was posted or removing old pages to seem “fresh,” Google suggests you stop. Its updated help document warns that this is a search engine-first strategy you must avoid. We’ve previously covered a statement made by the Search Liaison last August 2023 to address the issue of content pruning. This update just makes things more official.
  3. AI-generated content: You have to read between the lines for this, but Google’s updated guidelines imply a shift in its attitude toward AI-generated content. While subtle, this is in line with its other help documents and the statements of the Google Search team in recent months.

Google’s updates are tracked in this status dashboard. Recovering from the helpful content update is very simple. In a nutshell, you need to follow the same guidelines and steps as before but also ensure that any content is well-written and valuable, whether AI-generated or not.

More SEO News You Can Use

Google Rolls Out October 2023 Spam and Broad Core Update: Just a few days after wrapping up their helpful content update, Google is releasing two major algorithm updates once again: the October 2023 spam update and the October 2023 broad core update. According to an October 4 X post by Google Search Central, this spam update “will improve our coverage in many languages and spam updates.” This update aims to reduce spam in search engine results or SERPs that are cloaked, hacked, scraped or auto-generated. On the other hand, Search Central also announced another broad core update on October 5, barely two months after releasing the August broad core update. We’ll only know these updates’ impact as the rollout continues in the next few weeks. To learn more about the October 2023 spam update, read this article from Search Central. For the broad core update, read this help document from Google.

Musk’s X and Google Team Up For More Ad Audiences: Your Google Ads will soon grace X home feed as the two companies forge a partnership that allows Google’s Ad publishers to tap X’s 200 million-strong user base. The problem? X’s advertising guidelines are more relaxed, risking showing your ads alongside irrelevant and even potentially dangerous content. However, we have yet to determine the exact details of their deal, so we’ll have to wait and see what Google Ads campaigns will look like in X. Read this article from Search Engine Land to dive deeper into the story.

Google’s SEO Made Easy Series Makes Its Debut: If you have burning SEO questions in mind, this new YouTube series, “SEO Made Easy,” might help. In its debut episode last September 28, 2023, Martin Splitt from the Google Relations Team showed how you can help Google display your site name in SERPs. He suggests the following: (1) Applying structured data, (2) Ensuring a consistent site name across your pages and (3) Submitting your updated website to the Google Search Console. This episode is just one of many. So, if you want to learn more SEO tips and tricks, be sure to check out this series.

You Can’t Bet On Google Discover’s Traffic – Google: In an update to its help document, Google finally explains why Discover traffic is “less predictable and dependable” than its keyword-driven counterpart. Google cites changing interests, diverse content types and updates on its algorithms as the primary reasons why you can’t rely on Google Discover for consistent leads and web traffic. What’s the bottom line? If you aim to rank your evergreen content on Discover, you most likely won’t. However, if you’re constantly pumping out fresh, niche-specific content, then you’ll have a chance to get web traffic from this part of Google Search. Don’t get your hopes up, though. Google Discover constantly changes as new content gets “discovered” and displayed. You can check out Google’s help document to read more about Google Discover.

Google Tests “Popular Stores” Section in SERPs: Shopping may get easier as Google tests a new section called “Popular Stores,” which shows prominent stores like Amazon and Target, as pointed out by X user Khushal Bherwani. This can be pivotal for brands who want to generate more sales through Google Search. This isn’t available to all users, and we’ll have to see if Google will roll out this new feature to a larger user base. Read Search Engine Roundtable’s article to gain more insights. 

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

SEO News You Can Use: Google October 2023 Core Completes Its Rollout

Oct 30, 2023 by Arrabon Toribio

Take a look at your rankings because Google has wrapped its core updat...

SEO News You Can Use: Google Business Profiles Now Show If Businesses Are Disabled-Owned or Indigenous-Owned

Oct 23, 2023 by Arrabon Toribio

Google Business Profiles is finding more ways to connect you with busi...

SEO News You Can Use: Google Tests Lighter Version of Search Generative Experience (SGE)

Oct 16, 2023 by Arrabon Toribio

It looks like Google's SGE is here to stay as the company is testing n...