Google Helpful Content Update (December 2022)

Google started rolling out the second iteration of its Helpful Content Update last December 5th and became noticeable on December 6th.

The search engine company confirmed the December 2022 Helpful Content Update, which adds new ranking signals and impacts all languages available.

The helpful content update may take up to 2 weeks to finish rolling out and is aimed at weeding out unhelpful content designed only to rank and not address its users’ needs. Like its first iteration, Google’s latest algorithm update will filter out unoriginal and thin content in search results.

If you notice a change in traffic after December 6th, you’re most likely hit by this update. 

Read on to learn more about the latest Helpful Content Update and how you can safeguard your business.

What We Know About Google’s December Helpful Content Update

Barry Schwartz from Search Engine Journal provided a great summary of what the December included:

  • Algorithm Update Name: Google Helpful Content Update
  • Rollout Date: December 5th, announced on December 6th.
  • Full Rollout Length: Approximately two weeks
  • Target: Google SERPs only as of writing, all languages, and global impact.
  • Penalty: No explicit penalty was mentioned, but sites found guilty may notice a drop in rankings
  • Sitewide: The update is sitewide, so it will impact an entire website when hit
  • Core Update or Not: Google Helpful Content Update is not a core update.
  • Scope: Google said the update is most noticeable for digital educational materials, shopping & eCommerce, and tech-related content & entertainment.
  • Replaced the word update into system. What was Helpful Content Update is now Helpful Content System
  • Google stated that the search engine will periodically refine how the system detects helpful and unhelpful content. The search engine also included the helpful content update on its Google Search ranking updates page.

Facts About Google’s December Helpful Content

Google released the helpful content system to target thin content built only to rank well in search engines rather than answering people’s questions and queries.

The introduction of the new system is part of Google’s ongoing commitment to providing a seamless and high-quality search results page that best answers any given search query. That’s why it’s rewarding useful content written for human consumption and helps users find what they’re looking for.

Moreover, searchers and users get frustrated with SEO-first content, which ruins user experience by ranking on top of SERPs, only to provide irrelevant content. Google intends to downgrade these websites and promote helpful ones written solely for human readers and users.

In other words, Google rewards websites that practice E-A-T that focus on providing the best answers to relevant questions.

How Should Businesses Safeguard against Google’s Helpful Content Update?

Google released a comprehensive checklist designed for content creators and businesses to evaluate whether they’re producing helpful content. 

Read through the questions and ask yourself if you’re producing pages and content that conform with the update.

But it may take several months to recover if this update hits you. To give your business the best chances of recovery, it is crucial that you have a data-backed strategy to set your website back on the right path. If you need help, speak to our experienced Sydney SEO experts today for a free consultation.

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