Google recently completed the rollout of its September 2023 helpful content update, which took 14 days to complete. While previous updates may have been underwhelming, this update had a noticeable impact on the SEO community. The update seemed to affect websites that prioritize search engine rankings more than those that take other factors into account.
Data providers like Semrush and seoClarity tracked the impact of the update. Semrush showed decreasing volatility over time, indicating that the update was not as severe as previous ones. seoClarity provided charts showing the winners and losers in different industries. RankRanger also showed a calming trend after the update.
Glenn Gabe, an SEO Consultant, shared examples of sites that saw declines in visibility due to the update. The content targeted by the update seemed to be SEO-focused and written with the intention of ranking well in search engines rather than providing helpful information.
Google’s helpful content algorithm aims to downgrade websites that prioritize search engine rankings and promote those that provide helpful and authentic content for users. The update is part of Google’s ongoing effort to reduce low-quality content and make it easier for users to find useful and authentic content in search results.
If a website is negatively affected by the update, Google suggests asking questions about the content and making improvements over time. Recovery may take several months, but making changes to align with the update can lead to improvements in the long run.