In a new announcement on August 25, Google says that the company has released the August 22 helpful content update.
The release may take around two weeks to take effect.
If you think your website or blog may be impacted by the new Google helpful content update, you will need to carefully observe if your traffic increases or decreases.
You can keep a tab on the above link to know when the update has been fully rolled out.
If by then there is no big difference in your traffic, you are fortunate, and it means that your website or blog hasn’t been impacted by this major update.
If you are hit by the update, Google says that it may take months to recover after making changes according to the update.
The update is meant to help people find “high quality content” through Google.
The algorithm will be specifically targeting websites where the content seems to have been written primarily for search engines, without providing much help to humans.
The new algorithm update, for the time being, will only affect English-language websites.
Such rollouts are not fool proof.
Even those websites may also be hit that have useful content on them, but the content has been written in such a manner that it draws traffic from search engines.
In that sense, everyone needs to keep his or her fingers crossed.
The algorithm will have a sitewide impact.
It means even if a few web pages and blog posts that seem spammy to Google are found, the rankings of even good web pages and blog posts will be negatively affected.
The types of content impacted by the algorithm may be
- Shopping-Related Content
- Tech related content
- Educational material
- Reviews websites
- Arts and entertainment
These websites mostly have click bait content supposed to generate traffic.
What is the primary purpose of the Google helpful content algorithm update?
Google wants its users to be able to find high-quality content.
Many searchers are frustrated that through the search engine when they click certain links, they contain meaningless content, simply aggregated, or written, for higher search engine rankings.
These web pages and blog posts provide no value.
This is bad for Google.
People using the search engine won’t blame websites and blogs containing low quality content.
They will blame the search engine for not being able to find helpful content.
It is the job of the search engine algorithm to differentiate between low quality and high quality content.
Although Google tried to tackle low quality content through its Panda update, it has been more than a decade since it was rolled out.
Inferior quality content is still being published, crawled, ranked, and indexed higher.
Through the new update, Google wants to reward useful content that has been written for humans.
It wants to make it easier for search engine users to find useful content.
What to do if your website is hit by the Google helpful content update?
For this, you may like to read How does Google define “Helpful Content”?
The problem with this update is that
- Even for a few pages, the impact will be sitewide.
- Even if you remove the offending pages and blog posts, it may take several months for your website or blog to recover.
Will Google tell you because of which pages or blog posts your website is being penalised?
This information is not yet available.
What you can do is, you can quickly go through your website and blog and check pages and blog posts that you think are overdoing SEO.
If there are certain pages and blog posts that provide little or no value, you can remove them or you can mark them as “no-index”.
You can also rewrite them to make them more valuable.
You need not worry if you feel that you are already publishing content that helps people.
As I have written above, such algorithm updates are not foolproof and sometimes even those websites are hit that don’t deserve to be hit.