A Quick Guide to the Helpful Content and September Algorithm Updates

Oct 4, 2022 | SEO

We are barely into fall and already have two core Google algorithm updates on our hands – the Helpful Content Algorithm and the September 2022 Algorithm. The team at ASTOUNDZ has been busy ensuring all our clients have navigated these waters but finally found time to cover what these updates are and how they’ve impacted Google Search.

The Helpful Content Algorithm Update

The Helpful Content algorithm update was released on August 18, 2022, with a rollout time of around two weeks. Unlike other algorithm updates Google releases, which are broad in nature, this one was highly focused on just content.

What the Helpful Content Algorithm Update Is

The helpful content algorithm update is heavily focused on content, with Google stating, “The helpful content update aims to reward better content where visitors feel they’ve had a satisfying experience, while content that doesn’t meet a visitor’s expectations won’t perform as well.”

In other words, Google says that pages that answer user queries/questions and are easy to read will rise in rankings. It’s important to note that Google isn’t saying sites that fail to do this will be punished/penalized, meaning if a site was impacted, there shouldn’t be long-term ramifications with how the domain is seen by Google.

How to Optimize For It

There isn’t much to this algorithm from a technical perspective – it’s meant to be reasonably straightforward: provide better content and user experiences, and you’ll be rewarded. If you see that your website has lost rankings and has not recovered after about three weeks, it may be time to make some site updates. Here are some quick tips to optimize your website better:

  • Consolidate old pages, update the content, republish it as a new page, and redirect the old URLs.
  • Add Frequently Asked Questions to your website either as a page or a section on cornerstone pages.
  • Link to external resources to support any major claims being made. Don’t forget to link to other internal pages as well!

The September 2022 Algorithm Update

Not even a month after the Helpful Content Algorithm update was released, Google followed up with the September 2022 Algorithm update on September 12, 2022. Like the Helpful Content Algorithm, the rollout time lasted around two weeks.

What the September 2022 Algorithm Update Is

The September 2022 Algorithm update is your standard core update from Google. So much so that Google didn’t publish a dedicated blog talking about the specifics but instead referenced their general core update page for details:

It looks like aspects of this update self-corrected more extreme rankings changes from the Helpful Content Algorithm update.

We Help Websites Recover From Algorithm Updates All The Time

Algorithm updates keep SEO fresh as it’s constantly evolving; however, these updates can severely impact website traffic. If your website has been negatively affected by these updates, or if you simply want to ensure your website remains in good standing, reach out to our team today to start an audit.


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