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Google’s ‘Helpful Content’ Algorithm Update Introduces New Sitewide Signal

24 August 2022
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Google’s ‘Helpful Content’ Algorithm Update Introduces New Sitewide Signal

A major shakeup of Google’s algorithm will take place this week with the launch of a new “helpful content” update that aims to reward publishers who create blogs and articles “for people”.

Google announced on Thursday that it wants to make sure original, helpful content is ranked in search results over copy that is created primarily for search engines.

In a sign of how potentially significant the helpful content update is, Google revealed that a new sitewide signal will also be introduced to rank pages.

This makes it different from targeted changes that only affect specific web pages, such as the recent product page update.

Publishers have little time to prepare for the helpful content overhaul as it will start rolling out at some point this week.

Fortunately, Google included some handy advice in an official blog.

The search giant urged publishers to “focus on people-first content” that demonstrates expertise and depth of knowledge.

It also advised against putting out content that uses “extensive automation” and that is designed to get people to a site from search engines rather than providing relevant insights for humans.

However, Google stressed that white hat SEO still plays a crucial role in increasing the visibility of people-first content in search.

Moving forward, Google says sites with a large number of pages deemed to be “unhelpful” will struggle to secure high rankings in search results.

The new signal appears to analyse the quality of content sitewide to determine whether it is helpful or not.

Google added: “For this reason, removing unhelpful content could help the rankings of your other content.”

After removing content, it can then take a “period of months” for the unhelpful classifier to be removed.

Google says it is using machine learning to automate the process of flagging unhelpful content but that the signal will be one of many it evaluates during the ranking process.

The new update will go live in the coming days and is expected to be fully completed in around two weeks.

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