Miami | September 25, 2023 – On September 14th, Google unveiled its latest algorithm update for search rankings, known as the September 2023 Helpful Content Update. This update is centered around enhancing the helpful content system classifier and is set to roll out gradually over the course of approximately two weeks.
So, what does this update signify for content creators and SEO professionals? Google’s updated documentation provides some insights into the focus of this algorithm update, and we will explore the key alterations:
Google’s Clarification on “AI-Generated” Content
In the past, Google’s guidelines for helpful content stipulated that content should be “created by people for people.” The wording has now been revised to simply state that content should be “created for people,” eliminating the explicit mention of human authors. This alteration implies that content generated with the aid of AI may be deemed acceptable by Google, provided it delivers original, informative material designed to assist users. This reflects how AI is reshaping the SEO landscape.
Expertise Can Come from Writers or Reviewers
Previously, when evaluating expertise as part of their E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) signals in SEO, Google assessed whether the content was “written by an expert.” The updated guidance for September clarifies that high-quality, expert content can either be “written or reviewed by an expert.” The key takeaway here is that having an expert review and validate content can indicate expertise on a topic, even if the expert did not directly create the content.
Ensuring Compliance with Helpful Content Principles on All Subdomains
Google has introduced a new paragraph to its helpful content guidelines regarding the hosting of third-party content on your website.
Avoiding Date Manipulation without Actual Content Updates
Content freshness is critical for both search engines and users. Given the choice between an article written in 2023 and one from 2015, all other factors being equal, users are likely to choose the more recent content.
The Importance of Creating Valuable, User-Centric Content
After every algorithm update, Google’s overarching advice remains consistent: Focus on producing genuinely valuable content that caters to the needs of human users, rather than attempting to manipulate or exploit the system.
For content creators, the key is to continue generating high-quality, genuinely helpful content, following best practices, and prioritizing user value. As Google continuously refines its systems, adhering to these principles will position your content for sustained success in search rankings.