Google's Helpful Content Update - Don't Lose

Google released a devastating search alogithm update. Don't lose traffic. Make content anti-fragile.

Google is rolling out an earth-shattering search update that's affecting owners of all web sites. There is a lot of pain with this update... some people are reporting a 90% loss in traffic for their sites. I'll say, this is probably the largest update I've ever seen.

I've seen Reddit users posting that they are literally going to layoff workers because they've lost so much traffic.

awesome twitter profile photos
Google Helpful Content Update - Effects

Let's explore the situation and find out how to solve for it and make our content anti-fragile.

What's going on? Google's "Helpful Content" Update launched.

Google Search's helpful content system generates a signal used by our automated ranking systems to better ensure people see original, helpful content created for people in search results. ... 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. ...The system automatically identifies content that seems to have little value, low-added value or is otherwise not particularly helpful to people.


So that seems in-line with Google's mission, but something else makes this a particularly insidious update.

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...


So you need to review all content on your site and trim the fat. This essentially means all content should probably relate to a niche and it should be high-quality... answering questions and being "helpful." I've recently done this myself, moving tech articles from my main site to a new site,

If you host third-party content on your main site or in your subdomains, understand that such content may be included in site-wide signals we generate, such as the helpfulness of content.


Again, extra content should be removed. I've also done this by eliminating content or 308 redirecting it another niche site I control / own.

Google confirms the halo-effect of content trimming:

removing unhelpful content could help the rankings of your other content.


So I think it's time for a review of all our content.

What are some action-items to compete in this new landscape?

  1. Trim and remove weak, non-helpful content.
  2. Move helpful content not related to your site's niche to another niche site.
  3. Improve existing content with assistance from AI / research.
  4. Improve site speed. I've overhauled my sites with a new content platform to achieve a page speed score of 100 (standard content management systems score 50-70 usually).
  5. Examine third-party content on your site and remove it if it's not relevant. Third-party content requires regular review due to spam, irrelevance, and hacks.

Are you prepared for these new changes? Since many changes can't be implemented by non-technical site owners, you'll likely need a tech consultant and technical strategist like myself for this new environment.

No worries... just reach out and let's explore how I can help you. Website content is a true investment when done properly... other content methods like social media posts and Pay-Per-Click advertising come and go. Go with what lasts.

Owned content is worth the effort.

The Morico Letter - 9/30/2023

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Ken Morico

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Ken Morico
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