The December update marks the first major update to Google’s Helpful Content algorithm, which launched in August of last year. To refresh your memory, Google’s helpful content system rewards content that has the intent to inform the user as opposed to content written to simply rank well on a search engine. The launch in August resulted in considerable volatility in website search results positioning in the days following. So far, the more recent update has not proven to be as volatile.
In addition to Google’s helpful content update, Google has also updated its link spam system. The last update to this system was July 2021. In similar fashion to Helpful Content, the latest Link Spam update is not expected to result in much search result volatility, compared to the change in July 2021.
What does this Update Consist of?
The most notable change is added languages, making this a global system and not just for the English-speaking world. The addition of more languages will help Google find more types of suspicious content. It’s another step in what Google calls “an ongoing effort to reduce low-quality content and make it easier to find content that feels authentic and useful.”
It’s worth noting that if you are affected by this update recovery can take some months, so best practice is to create only high-quality content and to update your content to maintain its relevance.
Why We Care
Google algorithm updates are the driver of the dynamic nature of SEO best practices. Keeping up to date on what Google is prioritizing in the search results algorithm necessarily informs any good SEO strategy. Reach out if you need a team who can ensure your website survives and thrives through algorithm updates.