Google is always updating its search engine algorithm to make sure that people can easily access the information they need. Last December 2022, Google rolled out a few more changes following the August-September 2022 helpful content update to make sure that its users continue to get the best possible content whenever they search.
Read on as we discuss the following key points:
- Quick facts about the December 2022 Helpful Content update
- Changes to Google’s Helpful Content Update Page
- What do these updates mean for you
Google Search December 2022 Update Overview
Here are the things you must know right now:
|Name||Google Helpful Content Update|
|Launch Date||It started rollout on December 5 but became noticeable on December 6.|
|Rollout||The rollout was complete as of January 12, 2023. It took longer than expected.|
|Targets||It looks at content primarily created to rank well in search engines instead of helping users.|
|Penalty||Google hasn’t mentioned any penalty; however, this update might penalize sites that will be hit by it.|
|Sitewide||This update is a sitewide algorithm.|
|Core update||This is not a core update.|
|Search Only||It can only impact Google Search, not Google Discover and other Google surfaces. However, Google might expand this in the future.|
|Global and all languages||This is now all languages and global - no longer only for English-language content.|
|Impact||Google won’t specify the percentage of searches or queries impacted by this update; however, it will tell if it would be “meaningful.” Google also said it would be more significant for online-educational materials, shopping, entertainment, and tech-related content.|
|Recover||For sites that this update will hit, you must look at your content and check if you can do better.|
|Refreshes||Google will constantly update the scores here, but there’s a timeout and validation period. Also, it would take several months to fully recover from this update.|
Significant Changes to Helpful Content Update Document
Here are the changes Google made to its helpful content update page:
- Replaced “update” references to “system”
- Replaced the paragraph that it’s just for English languages with “It works globally across all languages.”
- Google has also updated some parts of the bottom of the helpful content update document, and it now reads:
The Helpful Content System: How It Works
Google’s helpful content system seeks to give reward content that leaves visitors feeling completely satisfied, while those which do not meet the expectations of visitors will find it hard to thrive.
The system works diligently to identify and rank only the most helpful content. It uses cutting-edge technology that generates a site-wide signal to identify low-value or unhelpful content across all websites.
Sites with high amounts of unhelpful content will be less likely to perform well in Search. Cleaning up unhelpful pages could help the rankings of the other great content on the site.
The updated classifier uses a machine-learning model. It is automated and works globally across all languages. It isn’t just about spam and manual actions anymore; rather, one of the signals Google evaluates in order to rank content. Sites drenched in unhelpful content could face more significant ranking drops as the signal is weighted accordingly.
What Does the System Mean for Your Site
To avoid being penalized by the system, you need to stay away from search-engine first content and focus on creating reliable, helpful people-first content.
Here are the key points you should know from Google’s Help Page:
1. Evaluate your content
Google has provided several questions that you should ask yourself when evaluating your site’s content. These questions are categorized into the following:
- Content and quality
- Presentation and production
In addition, you have to audit the drops your site might have experienced. Determine which pages were most impacted and for what kind of searches.
SEOLeverage’s app is a great tool for evaluating your web pages. You can get a quick look at your site’s Google Search Console Report.
You can use SEOLeverage’s app to determine which of your pages have high-converting content as well.
2. Create and publish people-first content
You need to craft content for the people. Here’s how to do it:
- Your content must be useful to your site’s intended or existing audience.
- Your content must demonstrate a depth of knowledge and first-hand expertise.
- Readers must feel satisfied with your content or learn something that will help them achieve their goals.
3. Avoid content written primarily to gain search engine rankings
Search engine-first content must be avoided. And if you think you have one or some of these low-quality content on your site, remove them immediately, as they can negatively affect your site’s ranking.
Here are some warning signs of search engine-first content:
- Primarily attracts visits from search engines
- Uses extensive automation on several topics
- Mainly summarizes what others say without additional value
- Readers are left feeling like they must search again to get more information
- Promises an answer to questions that have no answer
4. Be aware of the E-E-A-T and search quality rater guidelines
Your content must demonstrate E-E-A-T, which stands for experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Google's algorithm update gives more weight to content that has strong E-E-A-T for topics that have a huge impact on the safety, financial stability, or health of people or the well-being or welfare of society. Google calls these YMYL or “Your Money or Your Life” topics.
In addition, create content that meets the criteria outlined in Google’s search quality rater guidelines.
Getting SEO Help
Meaningful content is key to success! But crafting one is not as simple as using the right keywords and hitting a word count. SEO plays an essential role in helping a website reach its full potential - just make sure you are playing by the rules and not breaking them with shady tactics like buying backlinks or overusing key phrases.
SEO professionals from SEOLeverage are here to ensure that all your content is driven by data and originality. With our range of tools, strategies, and services, our team can help you optimize your content to drive more activity. Our comprehensive approach to SEO will help ensure your content accurately reflects your goals for the future.
To help you stay on top, you can download the SEOLeverage app for updates about how each Google Helpful Content Update affects your website.
Being an expert in your niche is the key to conquering Google's search results ranking system. Give visitors a clear answer to their queries, and they will flock toward you. The system helps Google identify unhelpful content so focus on publishing meaningful content that provides domain authority and definitive answers. With these two key ingredients, even webpages with limited content can rank well.