Google announces core update immediately after helpful content update

Google core update gif

Google’s core updates are usually made several times a year when they’re significant changes being made. But the most recent core update came as a surprise.

Google announced a core algorithm update on 12 September, shortly after the helpful content update had rolled out. But why so soon?

  • Did Google miss the mark when they launched the helpful content update?
  • Is Google planning to make significant changes in the next core algorithm update?
  • Will helpful content signals get stronger with the launch of Google’s core update?

SEO experts said they didn’t see much of an impact from the recent content update. But with Google’s core update to come, they might see more impact. Maybe the helpful content update alone wasn’t enough. But with both updates together, they could cause a great impact.


Our SEO specialist, Tiago, said: “Though we were expecting another product review update, Google’s core update came as a surprise. The core update could be a result of the helpful content update not being efficient as Google were hoping.

“Or it could be that the helpful content update hasn’t impacted certain markets or industries. Combining the helpful content ranking signal with a core algorithm update might be the key to improving the search results both immediately and in the long term.”


We will post more on Google’s core update when the update is completed. Keep reading to learn more about the helpful content update and how Google’s core update may cause impact.


Google’s recent helpful content update

 How helpful is Google’s recent helpful content update?

Last month Google released information on their “helpful content update”. This update aims to boost more original and useful content written by people for people in their search engines. It focuses on a people first approach allowing website visitors to have a more joyful experience. The helpful content update was rolled out on 9 September after taking two weeks to complete.


How does the helpful content update work?

The helpful content update essential puts helpful content first. It targets sites where content is written for search engines first and has a high amount of unhelpful content.

Google’s algorithms will automatically identify content that is of high quality and content that is of low quality. Content that adds little value or is unhelpful is less likely to perform well on Google’s search engine. So, be sure to remove unhelpful content and follow the helpful content update guidelines.


What impact has the helpful content update had?

During the rollout of the helpful content update, SEO experts reported that the update had minimal impact on search results. And that concern still remains today.


Our SEO expert, Tiago, said: “Google’s helpful content update was thought to be the biggest algorithm update of the past 10 years. However, this didn’t happen. Only a very small percentage of SEOs noticed any significant ranking changes.”


Although the helpful content update seems to have minor impact, Google’s Search Liaison Danny Sullivan took to Twitter and said: “It is an important guidance people should pay attention to.”

This update is part of a continuous effort to feature helpful and high-quality content on Google’s search engine. So even though it did not have major impact, it is still highly important.


Tiago said: “Google has since confirmed that the Helpful Content Update corresponds to an ongoing quality signal that can get stronger with future algorithm updates.

“Plus, since it relies on machine learning, it can take some time to collect data and determine the quality of different websites. It may be that the impact of this update will be felt continuously rather than immediately, hence the impression that it’s a weak update.”


Graph showing how Google's core update and helpful content update may progress

This graph highlights the hypothesis of a typical core algorithm update vs the helpful content update


How can I create helpful content?

Simply, write for people, not search engines. Content designed for people will allow you to write high-quality, interesting, and engaging content aimed at captivating readers.

Although you’re not taking a search engine first approach, you should still incorporate best SEO practices to help users find your content.


Google’s algorithm

Google designs algorithms to help people find high-quality and relevant content. Their previous “Panda” algorithm changes help people find high-quality content by reducing the ranking of low-quality content. This is why writing high-quality content is crucial.

Although Google has not released the algorithms ranking signals, it did provide some tips on how to produce high-quality content.

  • Is the information in the article authentic and trustworthy?
  • Does the content include detailed or expert information?
  • Is there an interest in the topic discussed?
  • Is the content easy to read?
  • Would you recommend the content to someone else?

These questions are only a handful taken from Google’s guidance, but they give you a direction on how to produce high-quality content that ranks in Google’s algorithms.


Are you concerned by Google’s core update changes?

Have you noticed a fall in your content ranking or website visibility? This could be a result of low-quality content. Make your content and website algorithm-proof to avoid negative impact in future algorithm updates. How? We can help. From website design, content writing, and technical SEO, we can minimise the impact from Google’s algorithm changes. Explore our SEO services and contact us today.

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