Google Helpful Content Update September 2023: Its Impact on SEO.

By Mohit Singh - October O5, 2023

"Focus on unique, compelling, high-quality content that adds to the web."

What do you think, who said it? Well, it’s Google’s Search Advocate, John Mueller.

So he retweeted a tweet of a person who was complaining that their website was not doing well with its Google Search ranking. In response, he suggested, "I think you should focus on unique, compelling, high-quality content that adds to the web. As you have it now, it looks like a compilation of ChatGPT output on topics that tons of sites have already covered."

However, Google in its latest September 2023 helpful content update, clearly hinted that usage of AI content is not wrong as long as it helps people with their search queries. But do you remember the content update before where Google clearly mentioned that “helpful content written by people, for people, in search results”.
Take a look at this screenshot:

So, valued readers!

Today's blog post will focus on the Google September Helpful Content Update. We'll try to understand the notable changes, discuss ways to recover from potential algorithm impacts and stress the importance of creating unique, high-quality content instead of relying on ChatGPT. We'll also seek insights from SEO experts at DigiBirds.

About Google helpful Content Update

In the middle of 2022, Google introduced a significant change to its search system. This algorithm update focuses on improving the quality of information on websites. It rewards websites that provide valuable and informative content to people instead of just trying to trick search engines into ranking them higher. This change affects the entire website.

What's new in Google September Helpful Content Update

Hosted Third-Party Content

Google recommends blocking indexing of third-party content hosted on your site or subdomains if it's irrelevant to your main site's purpose or lacks supervision. In 2019, Google recommended against hosting third-party content that appears as part of the main site. Provide value-added content reflecting your brand for better search success.

Gary Illyes (Google Search team) explained that some sites rent out subdomains/subdirectories to third parties, often with poorly written content unrelated to the parent site, trying to manipulate search results.

Content Generation

Google updated its stance on AI-generated content, underlining helpful content created for people without specifying if humans write it.

Self-Assessment

If impacted negatively by the update, Google suggests self-assessing content. You should self-assess your content and fix or remove any that could be more helpful.

Reviewed Content

Google has always said that having your content reviewed by an expert is helpful if you are not an expert.

Changing Dates

Google warns against changing publication dates to make old content look fresh. It's a common SEO tactic, but don't indulge in it.

Adding or Removing Content

Google averts adding or removing content just for SEO purposes. Be mindful when adding or removing content because it might be under Google's radar.

How to recover from the helpful content algorithm hit

Google has published a list of questions that you can use to evaluate your content. Review the questions and assess your content objectively to determine if it aligns with this update.

It's worth noting that if your website has been affected by this update, it can take several months to recover. However, by making the necessary changes to your content over time, you can get back on track and improve your website's performance.

What do our SEO experts think

In our opinion, creating compelling content that resonates with readers and search engines requires a balanced approach. Our team of SEO experts highly values the combination of effective writing, SEO techniques, and a deep understanding of your audience. To achieve this balance, here are some steps to follow:

First, it's essential to understand your audience's needs and pain points before writing. It makes crafting high-quality, well-researched content and structure logical.

You must add visuals like images and infographics as they enhance the user experience. Remember to use SEO keywords sparingly because, as Google said, the content should help, not sound weird.

Writing longer articles (over 1,500 words) can provide in-depth coverage and offer more value to readers. Incorporating both internal and external links can also provide valuable context.

Don't forget to facilitate social sharing and encourage user engagement through comments. Keeping your content updated, promoting it on various platforms, and analysing its performance can help you improve your content strategy.

We hope you find these tips helpful for creating content that resonates with your audience and performs well on search engines. Let us know if you have any further questions or need additional assistance.


Mohit Singh Digital Marketer Expert at Digibirds360. I have 10+ years of experience in digital industry including Organic, social media, content marketing and paid media. Expertise in Search Engine Optimization and PPC (Google Adwords & Facebook Ads) to increase brands customer base. Ability to successfully analyze, design, implement and manage all phases of site auditing from start to finish. ROI driven approach to give transformation growth via digital execellence.

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