You are not alone! Google has been busy with updates over the past 5-6 months that have rocked many websites. Why? The “Helpful Content” update. It didn’t roll out all at one time, it has been in phases over several times this year. Now to what you can do as best that we can determine from a variety of sources:
WHAT: A phased set of updates looking for content on a website that is not “high quality” and does not “meet a need.” What is especially damaging here is that just some…not all… medium-level and low-level content can get your site hit with an “unhelpful classifier” even when there’s some high-quality content on it.
WHEN: This update began rolling out the first week of November 2022. It is still affecting sites as recently as June 6.
WHY: Now that AI seems to be the new buzzword, Google is stepping up its efforts to be a leader in AI by showing all that it is doing. They do not want to lose their prominent position to “start-ups” and have announced more initiatives to better serve the customer as well as better describe some of the work that they have already been doing.
HOW: As the owner or marketing office of a business, none of these enhancements is going to mean much to you, but they all are very sophisticated and are controlling how your site is ranking on Google: RankBrain (2015), Neural Matching (2018), BERT (2019), MUM (2021)…to name a few.
RECOMMENDATION: Review your site immediately with your Content Marketing/SEO Agency. If it has taken a hit, do what is necessary to update your site with High-Quality content that meets the customer’s needs. This is all defined in the Google Quality Raters Guidelines. If you are not sure what to do, contact us or someone else who can help. The days of keyword stuffing are over. Google can figure all of that out now, and your site will suffer.
Onward and upward!
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