Top 10 Things About September Google Helpful Content Update
Google updates can be brutal but September is wild. In this article, we will showcase the top 10 things to know about the September Google Helpful Content Update.
In this article, we will dive straight into the top 10 things to know about the September Google Helpful Content Update.
#1: The Helpful Content Update is designed to reward websites that produce high-quality content that is written for people, not search engines.
In another words, no more writing for SurferSEO.
#2: The update targets content that is primarily created for ranking well in search results rather than to help or inform people.
If you are creating content just to rank, you might not rank at all. This is a very weird statement since now we are seeing more random sites ranking for irrelevant search intents.
#3: Some examples of unhelpful content include:
- Content that is thin, repetitive, or unoriginal
- Content that is written primarily for search engines, with too much keyword stuffing or other SEO tactics
- Content that is not written by an expert on the topic
- Content that is not well-researched or inaccurate
#4: The Helpful Content Update is a global update that affects all languages and regions.
#5: The update has completely rolled out. And John Mu has confirmed that they are not rolling back on this update.
#6: If you think your website has been negatively impacted by the Helpful Content Update, you can try the following:
- Review your content and make sure it is high-quality and helpful for people.
- Remove or fix any unhelpful content.
- Continue creating new, high-quality content focused on your target audience.
#7: You can use the following questions to self-assess your content:
- Is your content written primarily to help or inform people or to rank well in search results?
- Does your content provide unique value that people can't find elsewhere?
- Is your content well-researched and accurate?
- Is your content written by an expert on the topic?
- Is your content engaging and interesting to read?
#8: The Helpful Content Update is not a penalty system or a manual action penalty by the algorithm.
#9: You are not guilty and didn't do anything wrong! If your website is affected by the update, it does not mean that you have done anything wrong. It simply means that Google has identified some areas where your content can be improved.
#10: Anyone can recover from the Helpful Content Update by making changes to your content and continuing to create high-quality content that is focused on your target audience.
Before and After: Things You Need to Consider Working For This September Google Helpful Content Update
#1: Thin, repetitive, or unoriginal content
This could include content that is rehashed from other sources or content that is very short and does not provide much value.
For example, a website might have a page about "how to write a blog post" that is only a few paragraphs long and repeats the same information that is available on many other websites.
#2: Content that is written primarily for search engines
This could include content stuffed with keywords or written in a way that is not natural or engaging for people to read.
For example, a website might have a page about "how to choose the right running shoes" that is full of keywords like "running shoes," "best running shoes," and "review of running shoes."
The content might also be written in a very technical way that is difficult for non-experts to understand.
#3: Content that is not written by an expert on the topic
This could include content that is written by someone who does not have much knowledge or experience on the topic.
For example, a website might have a page about "how to treat cancer" written by someone not a medical professional.
#4: Content that is not well-researched or inaccurate
This could include content that is based on outdated information or that contains factual errors.
For example, a website might have a page about "the history of the United States" that contains inaccurate information about the American Revolution.
Why would Google want to rank someone who says America was founded in 1669 when it was founded in 1776—Verifiable through the US archive here?
#1: High-quality, informative content that is written for people
This could include content that is well-researched, accurate, and engaging.
For example, a website might have a page about "how to write a blog post" written by an experienced blogger and providing detailed instructions on how to write and publish a blog post.
The content might also include tips on how to promote the blog post and build an audience.
#2: Content that is written in a clear and concise style
This could include content that is easy to read and understand, even for people who are not experts on the topic.
For example, a website might have a page about "how to choose the right running shoes" that is written in a conversational tone and that provides helpful information on how to select the right shoes for different types of running.
#3: Content that is supported by evidence
This could include content that is based on scientific studies, expert opinions, or other credible sources.
For example, a website might have a page about "how to treat cancer" written by a medical professional and provides information on the latest treatments and research.
Here are some specific examples of how website owners can improve their content to make it more helpful for people:
#4: Expand your thin content
If you have pages on your website that are very short or that do not provide much value, consider expanding them to include more information and detail.
You can also add images, videos, and other multimedia to make your content more engaging.
Most importantly, add sources that you have personal experience with—it helps a lot for helpful content demonstrating first-hand experience.
#5: Make your content more original
If you use a lot of content from other sources on your website, try to make it more original by adding your insights and experiences.
You can also quote from other sources, but be sure to cite them properly.
#6: Write for people, not search engines
Avoid keyword stuffing and other SEO tactics that can make your content difficult to read and understand.
Focus on writing informative, engaging, and useful content for your target audience.
Moving forward, you might need to stop stressing over hitting 100% on SEO writer tools.
Now, I feel free. Freed from the need to hit the 100% on SurferSEO. — Joshua
#7: Get your content reviewed by experts
If you are not an expert on the topic that you are writing about, consider having your content reviewed by someone who is. This can help to ensure that your content is accurate and up-to-date.
By making these changes to your content, you can make your website more helpful for people and improve your chances of ranking well in Google Search.
Citations Backing this Content
- Google Search Central Blog, "The helpful content update is here: Creating high-quality content for people first", September 14, 2023.
- Search Engine Land, 'What’s new with the Google helpful content update'.
- Search Engine Roundtable, "Google September 2023 Helpful Content Completed Rolling Out - Targeting SEO-First Content", September 28, 2023.