Google’s ‘Helpful Content Update’ to Devalue ‘Search-Engine First’ Content and Promote Authentic/Expert Voices in Search

SEO Associate
Bianca Matos
September 16, 2022
Google search on laptop screen

Update: On the 27th February, during a Q&A session at Pubcon, Gary Illyes from Google said that while recovering from the Google helpful content update is possible, you will not always get back to where you were. Apparently it also can take several months to see any sign of a recovery.

In August, Google announced an update to its algorithms. The name of this new version of Google’s algorithm is “helpful content update”. The update is said to distinguish the difference between content written for the purposes of search engines with content that is more authentic and genuine.

This update is “site-wide”, which means that if the new algorithm determines that a significant amount of a website’s content is geared towards search engines, it could lower the rank of the entire site.

Any site that sees a drop in rankings will receive a signal applied to the site for a period of time. If there becomes a pattern of removal or alteration of search-engine first content, the site should begin to see a recovery.

In addition to these changes, Google is also working to make it easier to find legitimate, authentic product reviews, releasing a second product review update in as many months.

Why is Google Doing This?

It’s widely known that SEO professionals have written the content we see on the internet with one eye on the search results page for many years. That’s what we’re here for! While most of our efforts at Ontario SEO are aimed at producing high quality content, some cheap marketing tricks used by others have led to an uptick of useless or bad information across the web (good luck finding a good recipe quickly these days!).

Google’s commitment to making advancements in language processing can only benefit the majority of sites that feature only quality content, while attempting to weed out spam sites and bad information. The overarching goal is to bring some authenticity and trust back into the users’ web experience.

Why We Care

At Ontario SEO we already write our content under the model of “expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness”, or EAT. This update is actually aligned with our existing approach to SEO. Our focus has always been on, among other things, producing high-quality content for our clients. In other words, we were “born for this” google algorithm update!

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