Google's helpful content update has now gone live although could take a couple of weeks to fully roll out. For those unfamiliar with SEO, Google uses a set of algorithms that determine where webpages appear within their search engine.

These algorithm updates occur pretty much daily. However, several times per year, broad core updates are released, and the latest algorithm update, 'helpful content update' - is one of the most impactful updates since Panda's update of 2012.

SEO is a technical field and one that is forever evolving. SEOs are constantly optimising websites following best practices, and at the same time, Google search is forever updating the algorithms that determine the sorting of their search results.

Google's mission is to present relevant and authoritative content to its searchers. To successfully provide its users with the best possible experience, changes are frequent, and it's up to SEOs to stay up to date with these best practices.

So what does the latest update mean for website owners? Using machine learning to determine if a site's content is helpful, the algorithm update will target websites that create content for search engines first rather than humans.

Now don't get us wrong - content updates are extremely important for website owners, and pushing our regular content has several benefits but the latest update intends to target sites that have a large amount of unhelpful content that has been created to influence search engine rankings.

Unlike a lot of updates which get applied on a page-by-page basis, the latest update is a sitewide update. This means that if Google determines that your website has a large amount of unhelpful content, then your whole site will be impacted.

This could cause a lot of problems for website owners who don't optimise content, have outsourced content in the past to agencies / freelance writers or even those who haven't correctly optimised their sitemap and are inadvertently indexing unhelpful content.

It could take a couple of months before we start to see the impact of this update and we suspect like the Panda update, a lot of website owners will start to see major shifts in their search engine rankings.

If you do start to see a major loss of organic traffic, the cause may very well be due to this update.

Google said “removing unhelpful content could help the rankings of your other content.”

Only time will tell who will be impacted and by how much. Our guess though is this is going to cause a major tree shake which many website owners will experience.

Have you been impacted by the latest update? Are you looking to increase your search engine visibility? We're an award-winning digital agency located in Hereford helping businesses transform their online presence.

Through web design, eCommerce development and data-driven SEO campaigns, we stay up to date with the latest trends and algorithms. Contact us today to find out how we can help your business.

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