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Google Search Central just dropped a cheeky bomb about the “helpful content update” that will start rolling out next week.
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I want to point out that this update feels like it could be very impactful on many niche sites.
The biggest of all is this particular line:
“To this end, we’re launching what we’re calling the “helpful content update” that’s part of a broader effort to ensure people see more original, helpful content written by people, for people, in search results.”
I think this confidently places Google’s position on how they want content to rank on Google.
They want content written by people that is for people.
So that’s the opposite of AI content, and the opposite of making content to attract the algorithm.
We have to put the algo debate aside for a moment, though, as there’s still plenty of work for Google to do in order to rank trust and authority in a more meaningful way.
But the shade Google are throwing about people-written content stands out like a sore thumb.
If you’ve been using AI content for your site. I think you should fully expect some waves to come next week.
And based on the looks of several SEOs organic clicks lately, many have suffered from complete-and-sudden drops out of the SERPs. Only to bring them back. Only to take them away again.
I think those might have been Google’s pre-update testing phases. Many of us have experienced Google’s “rolling out an update” to start even several weeks before they confirm it. And this feels no different.
Google note many more questions to ask yourself as a site creator that may or may not be additional ranking algorithms coming into play next week.
I’ve noted a few unique translations for fun on my Twitter.
There is, though, far more about the “helpful content update” that is important to consider. It’s hard to know how many of these are actually going to get added in next week into the algo, or how many are just guidelines for manual site reviewers.
Either way, it states clearly the direction Google wants to go. Get with it, or get lost!
You should definitely read the full helpful content update on Google’s Search Central blog.
I am, of course, hopeful that this presents me with some positive adjustments for my site. But the opposite could be true for a while, once again.
Good luck out there.
And if you’re sweating right now… quit using AI and write helpful content that doesn’t suck.