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Welcome to "Keeping Up With Google" - your go-to source to keep tabs on the recent happenings of the world’s largest search engine!
This month’s edition will highlight the September Google updates and related discussions that took place in X (Twitter).
If you are a digital marketer, advertiser, business owner, or individual with a keen interest in keeping up on significant Google updates, we are here to condense the information to help you stay on top of your game.
The Helpful Content Update
September 2023 Helpful content update is rolled out to deliver high-value and relevant content to the users, i.e., Google is more concerned and particular about which content ranks higher in the SERP.
Any content that does not match the reader's intent and requirements will be pushed back in the SERP ranking.
“The helpful content system aims to better reward content where visitors feel they've had a satisfying experience, while content that doesn't meet a visitor's expectations won't perform as well.” states Google.
For this, Google uses an automated system to evaluate the content's helpfulness at the site level. If the classifier finds unhelpful content on a site, it directly impacts the ranking and SERP visibility.
“Any content—not just unhelpful content—on sites determined to have relatively high amounts of unhelpful content overall is less likely to perform well in Search, assuming there is other content elsewhere from the web that's better to display. For this reason, removing unhelpful content could help the rankings of your other content.”
The Improved Classifier evaluates all the website content based on different criteria to weigh its value and usefulness. Google suggests content publishers and brands to align with their guidelines in creating helpful, reliable, people-first content page.
Additionally, if your traffic or ranking position is heading south, it's best to take a look back at your content and refresh it for better performance.
“If you've noticed a change in traffic you suspect may be related to this system (such as after a publicly posted ranking update to the system), then you should self-assess your content and fix or remove any that seems unhelpful,” states Google.
This update clearly indicates that websites churning out low-quality content at scale are about to take a back seat in ranking. However, this new rollout raised questions about why Wikipedia and Reddit content outcompeted high-authority niche sites despite providing poor insights.
Here is how the conversation moved:
This signals the possibility that there will be a requirement for original content curated by SMEs to outcompete forum results. As one of the primary goals of this update is to bring high-value, people-first content to the front row, Google is raising its content quality bar higher than before.
Here is how the conversation moved further:
The bottom line is that if the content does not address the users' queries effectively, it will ultimately take a back seat eventually.
As the update rolled out this month, we can expect more improvements and changes down the lane. Even though this update will cause serious damage to the website that publishes low-quality content, John Mu has confirmed that there is no step back.
In one of his replies, he mentioned, “I don't see us rolling this update back. Also, none of this was done to spite anyone - we want to highlight fantastic, helpful, unique, compelling, “people-first” content in search, and we will continue to work on our algorithms to move in that direction.”
Following the EEAT guideline, this helpful content update reminds marketers, content creators, and publishers to take a reader-centric content approach.
Apart from the helpful content update, there are two other major updates in September.
Google is now refining its search results according to the language preferences of multilingual users. This will result in more accurate responses that satisfy the intent and preferences of the users.
Google also states, “We encourage publishers in areas where several languages are commonly used to make content in those different languages rather than in just one that is widely understood. People appreciate content written in their preferred languages, and Google itself would like to show it when it is available.”
Shopping Tab Lists Improvements
New updates for the Merchant Center and Shopping tab listings provide merchants with an opportunity to increase their visibility and product status.
In Google terms, “With the first enhancement, merchants will receive notifications when products stop appearing on the Shopping tab due to any issues. The second enhancement shows merchants opportunities to increase clicks and improve the ranking of products on Google.”
With the upcoming holiday season, this new enhancement lends a hand for merchants to grow their businesses effectively using data.
The September 2023 updates from Google signify a substantial shift towards elevating the user experience and rewarding high-value, helpful content. The Helpful Content Update is a major stride in this direction, emphasizing the importance of useful, relevant content.
As the digital landscape continues to evolve, staying attuned to these updates and aligning content strategies with user-centric approaches will be pivotal for marketers, content creators, and publishers.
For further updates, make sure to follow along with Keeping Up with Google at Scalenut.