Google has recently launched significant updates to its algorithm in September 2023, as part of its ongoing effort to enhance the user experience on its search engine. These updates aim to improve the quality of search results, having implications for website owners, SEO professionals, and content creators. Let’s dive into the details of these updates and how they can impact your online presence.
The “Helpful Content Update”:
Known as the “Helpful Content Update,” Google’s latest algorithm change focuses on refining the quality of the content displayed in search results. Its main goal is to ensure that users receive the most valuable and relevant information when conducting searches.
Acceptance of AI-Generated Content:
While Google previously emphasized the importance of content “created by people for people,” it now recognizes the value of AI-generated content. As long as AI-generated content offers originality and helpful information to users, it is considered acceptable under the new guidance.
Increased Scrutiny of Third-Party Content:
Google has addressed the issue of websites manipulating search rankings through unrelated or unsupervised third-party content. To maintain the integrity of search results, it is now recommended to block such content from being indexed if it does not align with the main site’s purpose.
Content Freshness and Date Manipulation:
The importance of content freshness has been reaffirmed by Google. Websites that update publication dates without substantial content updates may face penalties. Date updates should only occur when significant new information is added, ensuring that users receive up-to-date and relevant content.
Validation of Expert Content:
Google has updated its guidelines to emphasize the recognition of expert content. High-quality expert content can now be either “written or reviewed by an expert,” highlighting the significance of expert validation in establishing content authority. This change opens the door for a broader range of expert involvement.
In case of a decrease in website traffic following the algorithm update, Google provides guidelines for website owners to assess their content. They are advised to identify and rectify any unhelpful content. Taking self-assessment-based corrective actions will aid in recovering lost traffic and maintaining search rankings.
Scrutiny of Micro-Sites and Subdomains:
Google aims to discourage the practice of manipulating subdomains for search rating advantages through addressing worries about low-satisfactory content material hosted on micro-websites and subdomains. Renting out subdomains to 0.33 parties without right supervision compromises content nicely. This replacement ensures a better preference for content throughout all factors of an internet site.
Impact of Google’s September 2023 Helpful Content Update:
- Google’s update may negatively affect websites hosting third-party content anywhere on their site.
- The update advises that third-party content may influence site-wide signals like content helpfulness.
- If the content is unrelated to the main site’s purpose or lacks supervision, it’s recommended to block it from Google indexing.
Helpful Content Self-Assessment Guidance Updates:
- Google made changes to its Helpful Content Self-Assessment guidance.
- The updates include emphasizing content written or reviewed by experts.
- It discourages faking updates to pages or adding/removing content solely for improving search rankings.
Gary Illyes Discusses Micro-Sites and Subdomains:
- Google’s Gary Illyes discussed the issue of micro-sites on LinkedIn.
- He mentioned that some sites rent out subdomains or subdirectories to third-parties without content oversight.
- These micro-sites often have low-quality content unrelated to the parent site, and their purpose is to manipulate search results.
New Guidance on Recovering from Helpful Content Update:
- Google added guidance on recovering from the Helpful Content Update.
- Website owners are advised to identify and fix or remove unhelpful content if they notice a traffic drop related to the update.
Self-Assess Your Content:
- Evaluate your content using specific questions to determine its quality and reliability.
- Consider getting assessments from others not affiliated with your site.
- Analyze pages that experienced traffic drops to understand the impact.
Content and Quality Questions:
- Content should provide original information, completeness, and insightful analysis.
- It should avoid copying from other sources and maintain high standards.
- The main heading should be descriptive but not exaggerated.
- Content should be bookmark-worthy and leave readers satisfied.
- It should offer substantial value compared to other search results.
- Content should demonstrate trustworthiness, clear sourcing, and author expertise.
- The site should appear well-trusted and authoritative on its topic.
- Expertise should be evident in content creation.
- Avoid easily verifiable factual errors.
Provide a Great Page Experience:
- Prioritize an overall great page experience across multiple aspects.
Focus on People-First Content:
- Create content primarily for people, not just for search engine rankings.
- Content should serve an intended audience, demonstrate expertise, and provide value.
Avoid Creating Search Engine-First Content:
- Don’t create content solely to attract search engine visits.
- Avoid producing excessive, low-value content or content with automation.
- Focus on user value rather than keyword stuffing or word count.
SEO and E-A-T:
- SEO can enhance people-first content but shouldn’t prioritize search engines over users.
- Trustworthiness (E-A-T) is crucial; it’s the most important aspect.
- Content should align with strong E-A-T, especially for Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) topics.
- Search quality raters evaluate E-A-T but don’t directly impact rankings.
Inquire About ‘Who, How, and Why’ Regarding Your Content:
- Clearly indicate the authorship of content (Who).
- Explain how content was produced, including automation if used (How).
- Ensure content is primarily created to help people, not manipulate rankings (Why).
Overall, prioritize user-centric content creation, provide transparency about content creation processes, and focus on delivering value to your audience.
The September 2023 set of rules replace by Google highlights the importance of presenting valuable, applicable and relevant records to customers. With validation of AI-generated content material, verification of content reviewed by using experts, and elevated scrutiny of third-party content, Google is dedicated to offering the high-quality feasible seek results. By doing so, they could maintain and enhance their studies function in an ever-evolving virtual panorama.
Google updated its algorithm to improve search result quality and enhance the user experience.
Content creators should prioritize creating high-quality and helpful content to maintain or improve their search rankings.
Google’s acceptance of AI-generated content means content creators can use AI to assist in generating valuable information.
Google aims to prevent websites from manipulating rankings with unrelated third-party content, ensuring search result integrity.
Website owners should self-assess their content, identify unhelpful material, and make corrections to recover lost traffic.
Only update publication dates when significant new information is added to provide users with current and relevant content.
Content can be considered expert-backed if it is “written or reviewed by an expert,” broadening the range of expert contributions.
Content creators should prioritize user-centric, valuable, and relevant content to improve search rankings and provide high-quality search results.