Google announces the deployment of its December 2022 helpful content system update, which is starting to roll out across search results. It began on the 5th December, and the company says it will take up to two weeks to fully roll out.
Google wrote on Twitter:
“The Dec. 2022 helpful content update was released Dec. 5, starting to become more visible today & will take about two weeks to fully roll out. It improves our classifier & works across content globally in all languages. Our help page explains more.”
What are the consequences on websites ranking?
According to Google’s new terminology, a ranking “system” is constantly running in the background, whereas an “update” is a one-time change to the ranking systems.
For example, the helpful content update system is always running in the background when Google provides search results, although it may receive updates to improve its functioning.
Google explained on August the impact of helpful content update on websites:
“Any content — not just unhelpful content — on sites determined to have relatively high amounts of unhelpful content overall is less likely to perform well in Search, assuming there is other content elsewhere from the web that’s better to display. For this reason, removing unhelpful content could help the rankings of your other content.”
The system was created to prioritize content where Google determines that visitors had a positive experience. On the other hand, content that visitors do not find useful and does not meet visitors’ expectations won’t perform well in Google Search results.
In other words, the purpose of Google’s helpful content system is to prioritize websites made for people rather than search engines.
Google explains also that this update generates a signal for the entire website, and that this signal is taken into account among the many other signals already in place to rank web pages.
How to be prepared for helpful content update?
The aim of Google’s system is to encourage website owners and SEO professionals to create content that is helpful, reliable, people-centered instead of search engine centered.
To help those concerned understand this better, Google already published a help page to evaluate the usefulness and reliability of their existing content.