Google Algorithm

Google Algorithm Alert! ‘Helpful Content Update’ may penalise your website SEO

You might have heard about Google’s new algorithm update called the Helpful Content Update. Perhaps you’re worried that it could affect your website ranking for organic search traffic?

If not, you should be. 

After all, top SEO news sites made some pretty massive announcements:

But some Search Engine Optimisation experts believe it’s all hype, as they claim their website rankings were not affected. 

On the other hand, there are many reports of websites that have been heavily hit by the roll out. And it’s not over yet as the update still has a way to go before it’s complete. 

Alas, many business owners and webmasters are not even aware that Google has even released such an important algorithm update!

So if you’ve been wondering what the fuss is all about, and what you need to do then read on… 

What is Google ‘Helpful Content Update’?

True to its mission, Google continues to provide the most useful information that they can to their searchers. 

The helpful content update expands this effort because it is anchored on encouraging websites to provide positive experience through original content that really satisfies search.

To put this simply, Google wants websites to share content with the searcher in mind, and search engines second. 

Through this update, Google will penalise websites with bad or irrelevant content through drop in traffic. 

How to Avoid Being Penalised by Google Helpful Content Update

There are no workarounds, magic tricks, or hacker tips to beat this update. 

If you don’t want a ‘red card’, you just need to develop original content that can genuinely help your audience – and not just because you think that it will help you rank and get traffic. 

You need to make certain that all information in your website is useful to your visitors. 

Google is “kind enough” to provide several example questions for you to ask yourself in creating your content. 

Let’s try to explore this guide question a bit: 

“Do you have an existing or intended audience for your business or site that would find the content useful if they came directly to you?” 

Let’s say your website is about housing loan but you see a keyword related to car loan that has high volume with low competition. 

Your SEO agency thinks that you can write a content about it, but it is clear that the information will not be useful to those who will visit your page. 

It is probably not the right approach!

So people are using Google to solve problems whether it is something simple like they need to find a good shop to buy shoes or they are looking for some help to manage debt. 

There are all types of solutions that people are looking for. 

So as a website owner, you really need to provide answers to help people solve problems. 

Google Helpful Content Update Action Steps

Here are specific steps you need to take to make sure that your website will thrive with the recent update. 

1. Check Search Engine Results Page (SERP) Volatility

If you are using Semrush, you should check your search engine volatility.

The SERP volatility is based on daily fluctuations in rankings that you can look out for to monitor the effects of algorithm update. 

Remember, Google is constantly updating its ranking algorithm so the results page will vary all the time. 

Also, if you have position tracking enabled, you can actually monitor a personal score for your website so you can see the ranking volatility for your site, which can be helpful in monitoring the possible impact of the update. 

2. Check if you are set for position tracking

If you are familiar with SEO, or you are working with an SEO agency, you should be receiving regular reports on your position tracking. 

But to be sure, you need to check if you are tracking all your relevant keywords and closely monitor them if you receive news about algorithm updates. 

You may set your targets to monitor specific locations and devices. 

Locking your eyes on this metric will ensure that your website will stay strong. 

3. Look beyond the algorithm update

You should remember that changes in your rankings are not always caused by algorithm updates. 

Therefore, don’t quickly jump into conclusion that your website has been hit if your ranking or traffic suddenly drops. 

You need to look at your data to determine the real cause of the plummet. 

Using your SEO tool, you need to look at your traffic data and correlate it with your data in Google Analytics. 

Perhaps, you have a high bounce rate? Your site speed is really lagging? Or your website is not mobile-friendly yet? 

There are many areas to look at before you can confidently say that your website has been hit by the update. 


As a responsible website owner, you should view Google’s Helpful Content Update not as a threat but an opportunity to serve your audience better. 

Reviewing your SEO strategy, developing content that is actually useful to your audience, and developing your website with your user in mind are some of the important points you should take action in light of these changes. 

If you need to review your whole SEO efforts, WebBuzz has a team of experts ready for a chat. 

Call us on 1300 41 00 81. 



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