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Google Helpful Content Update 2023: How Prepared Are You?

Google Helpful Content Update 2023: How Prepared Are You?

Google Helpful Content Update 2023

Google is all set to roll out its Helpful Content Update 2023 in the coming two weeks. So you better buckle up and prepare for it so that your rankings won’t see a downward road. This article talks about the latest Google Helpful Content Update in detail.

Google Search Central informed via a post on X (formerly Twitter), “The September 2023 helpful content update is rolling out with an improved classifier. It will take about two weeks to complete.” 

The last Helpful Content Update was released in December 2022. This time, some significant distinctions aim to provide the users with relevant and satisfactory answers to their queries. So, let’s see what Google has in store for us.

What Is Google Helpful Content Update 2023?

Name: Google Helpful Content Update 2023
Launch Date: 14th September, 2023
Roll Out: Google confirmed update will roll out in the next two weeks
Purpose: To reward people-first content by improving its discoverability
Scope: This update will affect Google Search and Discover
Language Covered: The update works globally for all languages
Penalty: There isn’t any specific penalty but the sites which don’t fit the update guidelines will get a hit
Site-wide Update: The update is subject to site-wide signals which means the overall site positioning will bear the impact
Core Update: This update is not a core update
Impact:  Sites and web pages with low-quality content that don’t provide any valuable information to users will experience a sharp decline in discoverability, traffic and ranking.
Counter Measures: Improve your content quality and create user-oriented content
Recovery Period: It can take months to recover from this update hit

Google has improved and put its smart, automated classifier in action to identify and reward the best content that serves users’ utility. Simply put, content that is not curated, keeping the users’ search query in mind, and doesn’t provide the information users seek will drastically decline its ranking. 

It Hints Toward AI-Generated Content

Google states, “Google Search’s helpful content system generates a signal used by our automated ranking systems to ensure better people see original, helpful content created for people in search results.” The noteworthy thing here is that unlike its previous Helpful Content Update released in December 2022, Google didn’t mention ‘helpful content written by people, for people in search results.’ It goes directly by ‘helpful content created for people in search results.’ This can be a cue that Google will favor AI-generated content.

A Jerk For Low-Quality Content

Furthermore, Google clarifies that its automated ranking algorithm is set to keep an eye out for fresh content relevant to users’ queries. Sites that are just stuffed with keywords and outdated information will no longer stand in the race for ranking. That’s why site owners must pay attention to the essence of maintaining meaningful, fresh, and relevant information on the main site and subdomains as well.

Hosting Third-Party Content Can Be A Problem

The new rollout suggests blocking the indexing for sites which host third-party content. To make it more clear what kind of content exactly Google refers to, content that is “largely independent of the main site’s purpose or produced without close supervision or the involvement of the primary site.” The update highlights the issues of plagiarism and its adverse effects on overall search engine rankings. So, it is better to post original and fresh content rather than publishing third-party content that can’t be indexed.

Targets All Languages

The latest update will target all languages across the globe.

Fully Automated

The classifier works on a machine-learning model, no manual inspection is required.

What Is Google Helpful Content Update Impact?

As long as you’re able to produce fresh, relevant, and informational content that addresses users’ queries and, in short, is of value to them, you need not worry about this September 2023 Google Helpful Content Update. However, sites that have plagiarized, outdated, and futile content can see a sharp decline in:

  • Discoverability of the web page
  • Site’s overall ranking
  • Web traffic

Moreover, sites with subdomains that do not provide any value or the required information to the users will also face trouble getting indexed.

In addition, if third-party content is found not serving your site’s purpose efficiently, it will negatively affect the indexing of your site.

Recovery Can Take Several Months

Although this update is not a core update, it still can impact your site adversely if it doesn’t align well with Helpful Update Guidelines. This is because content is the key element around which all SEO measures must be done. Site owners must stay informed that they must have patience if they witness declining search traffic and site rankings. As per Google, recovering from the hit of this update can take several months.

In a case where your site experiences a hit from this update, focus on improving the content and other factors altogether. To amp up your content, be considerate of your target audience and provide the information that can satiate their search query. It’ll be simple if you put users’ search intent in the first place and use keywords that can help your content get discovered among the audience.

How To Sail Through Google Helpful Content Update 2023?

If you find it difficult to cope with the impacts of Google Helpful Content Update 2023, these tips can help:

  • Keep User Search Intent In Mind

The best way to leverage the latest Helpful Content Update is to create content keeping users’ search intent in mind. If you focus on what your target audience is searching for, what they want to know about, and which piece of information they are interested in, you’ll surely turn this update in your favor.

  • Don’t Rely On AI Completely

Although Google has indirectly hinted that it’ll now work in favor of AI-generated content, you must not completely rely on it. AI writing tools can surely produce content rapidly but don’t forget that they can’t replace human supervision. Where content has to be “helpful for users,” human intervention is necessary. A human-created piece of content is more authentic, conversational and most importantly has a human touch that no AI generation tool can provide, no matter how advanced it is.

  • Provide Fresh Insights

Instead of copying and twisting a few words to rewrite the same information, focus on providing fresh insights into the content. This can make your content stand out and achieve a better position on the SERP. 


Google Helpful Content Update 2023 has made a jump forward, releasing the previously restricted content aspects. The new machine-learning model uses site-wide signals and is inclined towards content that provides fresh, valuable, and meaningful insights for users’ search queries. It has stated a warning for hosting third-party content that has nothing to do with the primary website. The sites which will see a substantial decrease in their web traffic, discoverability, and rankings due to this update can take several months to recover.

Gurleen Kaur

Writer & Blogger

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