The Google September 2023 algorithm update, which was rolled out on September 14, has finally finished rolling out! This algorithm update was a helpful content system update that took about two weeks to complete. The update was designed to identify and reward content that is written for people first rather than for search engines.
Google provided some additional guidance on what constitutes helpful content, including:
- Content produced from a specialised or personal perspective
- Content that is unique and informative
- Content that is well-written and easy to understand
- Content with relevant information to the user’s search query
Google also loosened up its guidance on machine-generated content, noting that it can be helpful if it is high-quality and meets the above criteria.
Website owners and creators can take the following steps to ensure that their content is helpful and relevant to searchers:
- Focus on writing for people first rather than for search engines
- Ensure that your content is correct and current
- Use clear and concise language
- Write about topics that you are passionate about and have expertise in
- Avoid keyword stuffing and other spammy practices
If you think that your site may have been affected by the September helpful content update, you can review Google’s guidance on what to do. You can also use the Google Search Console to identify any specific pages needing improvement.
What you need to know about the helpful content update
In particular, Google’s helpful content strategy targets “content that seems to have been created primarily for ranking well in search engines rather than to help or inform people.”
According to Google, searchers will now be able to more easily access “high-quality content” according to this algorithm tweak. Google wants to promote and reward better content that is more beneficial to users and written with human beings in mind.
Users become frustrated when they find unhelpful websites that are highly ranked in search results because they were built with search engine optimisation in mind. This type of content is referred to as “search engine-first content” or “SEO content”.
Google’s helpful content algorithm seeks to elevate more helpful websites designed for human consumption instead of search engine ranking. This is a part of Google’s “ongoing effort to reduce low-quality content and make it easier to find content that feels authentic and useful in search,” which the search engine giant described.
What to do if you’re affected
Google has presented you with a list of checklist questions for your material content. If your content is consistent with this update, read through the questions we presented here and ask yourself objectively.
If this upgrade has affected you, remember that recovering from it could take several months, even if you follow all the appropriate steps and gradually modify your content.
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SEO is a long-term investment because it takes time to see results. It takes time for Google to crawl and index your website and for your website to build up authority. But once you start getting results, they last a lot longer.
If you need help building a website that is Google-algorithm friendly, please don’t hesitate to contact us today. Your investment will be greatly rewarded!