Around the web, SEO professionals are talking about Google’s latest helpful content update.
The discussion rages from anxiety, to angst, to anger. How can Google shake things up again? Do they like putting us in turmoil?
Also, it’s too early to tell exactly how the update is going to impact SEO pros from a pure results point of view.
The reason being is that John Mueller himself just said so. That it’s going to require a bit more time to roll out before anyone should jump to conclusions (or judge how it’s going to affect them):
I'd give it a bit more time.
— 🍟 johnmu (personal) updated for 2022 🍟 (@JohnMu) September 1, 2022
In addition, Google’s Danny Sullivan has stated that the update is not done rolling out quite yet:
Update isn’t done. It’s also part of a continuing effort, as we’ve explained. We’ll keep refining how it works. Directionally, the guidance we’ve given is what SEOs and creators should be considering.
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) August 31, 2022
Bruce Clay has some unique insights into the update and how it will perform:
Dr. Marie Haynes explained in her post on the subject, that she feels that this update is going to cause a lot of confusion.
Indeed the helpful content update is designed to surface “helpful content.” But there are questions as to how Google plans on addressing what’s actually helpful vs. what’s not helpful in their algorithms in real-time.
Cyrus Shepard noted that, indeed, this update seems incredibly slow and that unhelpful content continues to rank:
Captain's log: Google Helpful Content Update, Day 5
Unhelpful content continues to rank. I fear for crew moral if we don't spot sight of helpful content soon
There was a fight among the lower SERPS, viagra and poker, over our last unclaimed knowledge panel
The search continues
— Cyrus Ξ SEO (@CyrusShepard) September 1, 2022
In the following discussion, Danny Sullivan from Google reiterated the following from Google’s developer blog post on the helpful content update: “It’s a site-wide signal as in “This update introduces a new site-wide signal that we consider among many other signals for ranking web pages.””
It's a site-wide signal as in "This update introduces a new site-wide signal that we consider among many other signals for ranking web pages." https://t.co/G6g7hvVaR2
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) September 1, 2022
Glenn Gabe had some interesting comments on the helpful content update as well:
All I can say at this point is that I hope we see more movement over the next week with the HCU. Also, there's a Product Reviews Update coming soon… so I'm assuming that will roll out soon after the HCU completes rolling out. Time will tell.
— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) September 1, 2022
Quick update: It's all quiet so far on the Helpful Content Update front. Not shocking considering we are only a half-day in. Hourly trending is very stable across many sites I have access to. I'm sure we'll start seeing impact in the next 24-ish hours. I'll post what I'm seeing: pic.twitter.com/aHv32sRT7Z
— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) August 25, 2022
Clearly, so far the helpful content update does not seem all that much in terms of “bite” and impact on sites, along with the search results.
But, this is likely to change in the coming days as the update is cemented and comes to fruition.
In any event, it’s worth keeping an eye on and making sure that everything continues to stay on the up-and-up, as far as helpful content is concerned.
Indeed, a poll from Aleyda showed that most SEO professionals believe they have helpful content, and are not worried about this update.
Are you concerned from Google’s announced Helpful Content Update outcome in your sites?
— Aleyda Solis 🇺🇦 (@aleyda) August 18, 2022
This is not a surprise, as we seem to recall most SEO professionals thought they had great links before the initial launch of Penguin way back in the day as well. 😉
We will just have to wait and see what happens when the helpful content update eventually does rear its ugly head.