Google Released Yet Another Helpful Content Update 

google helpful contentJust when you thought Google was done with updates to their search engine, they threw their second punch.

Exactly one week after the core update finished rolling out, Google announced they had released their third iteration of the Helpful Content Update, this time with an improved classifier.

So, What’s Changed?

One of the biggest changes to Google’s documentation on the Helpful Content Update is the addition of this paragraph:

“If you host third-party content on your main site or in your subdomains, understand that such content may be included in site-wide signals we generate, such as the helpfulness of content. For this reason, if that content is largely independent of the main site’s purpose or produced without close supervision or the involvement of the primary site, we recommend that it should be blocked from being indexed by Google.”

Google goes on to talk about what the Helpful Content system and updates mean for websites:

“If you’re producing helpful content, then you don’t need to do anything; in fact this system may be good for your site, as it is designed to reward helpful content. If you’ve noticed a change in traffic you suspect may be related to this system (such as after a publicly-posted ranking update to the system), then you should self-assess your content and fix or remove any that seems unhelpful. Our help page on how to create helpful, reliable people-first content has questions that you can use to self-assess your content to be successful with the helpful content system.”

Here are some other small tweaks to their additional Helpful Content documentation, noted by Marie Haynes on X (formerly Twitter):

  • Previously, Google stated that they wanted “content written by people for people.” This has been updated to “content created for people.”
  • They also changed “Is this content written by an expert?” to “Is this content written or reviewed by an expert?”
  • New points about content freshness have been added, including notes on changing the date of pages to make them seem new when the content has not substantially changed.
  • The document goes on to talk about adding or removing content primarily to make your site appear fresh to trick search engines. To which Google then states, “No, it won’t.”

This last bullet point may be directly correlated to a story that went viral in the SEO community in August when it was discovered that CNET had planned on purging loads of outdated content. This is what Google’s Search Liaison, Danny Sullivan, had to say about the situation in a series of replies on X:

hcu tweet

Want to Become a Core Update Winner?

If you’ve found your site often gets hit negatively by core updates, and you’ve noticed a decline in your traffic, here is what Google says to do to create more helpful content that they reward:

  • Publish content about things you are an expert in or have a deep understanding of.
  • Create your own content that is unique and valuable, don’t plagiarize or copy others.
  • Write content that goes deep and provides a greater understanding of the subject.
  • Don’t give your users outdated or incorrect information, and make sure content is up to date and current.
  • Use clear and concise language that is understandable to your audience.
  • Make sure your content is relevant and matches search intent, and don’t just write for search engines/

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Sarah Blocksidge

About the Author

Sarah Blocksidge

Sarah is the Marketing Director at Sixth City Marketing and has been with the company since 2016. Her main role is to attract more B2B clients for the company. Over the years, she has been mentioned on HubSpot, Content Marketing Institute, Fast Company, Mashable, and many other notable sites.

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