Back in February 2011, Google rolled out a major update called Google Panda , said to impact 12% of all search results.

The fallout was enormous, predominantly affecting websites that had large amounts of adverts compared with the content on the page.

On 18 August 2022, Google tweeted:

“Next week, we will launch the “helpful content update” to better ensure people see more original, helpful content written by people, for people, rather than content made primarily for search engine traffic.”

The main objective is to impact websites that have large amounts of low-quality content, often written purely for SEO purposes rather than in order to provide value to searchers. Taking a holistic view of a website, the update impacts any page on the website that it signals as being low quality.

As experienced SEO practitioners, at Pure SEO we believe that the update is great news, as we have seen a proliferation of low-quality content, stuffed with keywords in the New Zealand market. Even more worrying is the rise in the use of AI-generated content used by several local and international agencies.

Tali Rose, Head of Marketing at Pure SEO says:

“Nothing has really changed if you are doing the right thing; writing content that provides value for searchers has always been the most important aspect of content marketing. Google wants to provide the best experience possible for searchers, which is why they dominate global search with over 93% of searches worldwide.

If you have been creating high quality content that engages with your audience, you should have nothing to worry about”

This echoes what our CEO, Richard Conway, was saying a couple of weeks ago whilst running the SEO, Need to Know course for the Marketing Association. Always write for people first. If it feels contrived or spammy, simply don’t do it!

What to do if your website is impacted

Our main piece of advice would be to remove any content that has been affected and understand the negative impact may take months to recover from.

Google says:

“Our classifier for this update runs continuously, allowing it to monitor newly-launched sites and existing ones. As it determines that the unhelpful content has not returned in the long-term, the classification will no longer apply.”

Currently, the update is only going to affect English language searches. To find out more Google has released the following blog post: Google’s Helpful Content Update