Dear SEO Enthusiasts,
September has proven to be a remarkably busy month for the world of SEO, with several pivotal developments taking center stage. Notably, Google introduced a significant update known as the “Helpful Content Update.” In parallel, another noteworthy development emerged as Bard (Google’s AI tool) underwent substantial transformations. Below we will explore the implications of these updates.
Good to Know in SEO
Google’s Helpful Content Update
Google’s Helpful Content Update for September 2023 aims to prioritize content that provides a positive user experience, while content that falls short of meeting user expectations will not perform as effectively. This update, which ended on September 28th, enhances Google’s content classifier to assess helpfulness better. While the rollout began on September 14, it had a significant impact on various websites around September 19 and took 14 days in total to roll out.
One noteworthy change is Google’s emphasis on rewarding firsthand experience, similar to the early days of the Penguin update. Some reports on Twitter indicate that several websites have experienced significant declines in Google traffic due to this update.
The Helpful Content system is an AI-based classification system that can label a site as unhelpful, influencing Google’s ranking decisions. If your website has seen a substantial decline in Google traffic since September 14, it likely means the system has classified your site as not particularly helpful. This classification applies site-wide and may remain for a few months.
Recovery is possible for some sites, but not all. The classification can be lifted once Google determines that the unhelpful content has been addressed over the long term. Google advises self-assessment of content based on their guidance, and they now recommend fixing or removing any content that seems unhelpful. So, there is an opportunity to “fix” unhelpful content to regain rankings.
Google’s BARD AI
Bard has undergone significant updates, and these changes are noteworthy.
Interestingly, these updates align with the Helpful Content Update, indicating a transformation in our search results. Google is evolving into an AI-driven answer engine and assistant, which is quite significant.
A notable aspect is that when Bard provides an answer, you can now request it to cross-check information from credible sources on the internet. Google clarifies that these links come from Search and do not necessarily influence Bard’s initial response.
One remarkable feature is that Bard now allows you to ask questions about your emails. This marks a significant development.
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