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:
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.
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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.
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