Google, the search engine giant, is constantly updating its algorithms to provide users with the most useful and reliable information. In recent years, one of the main areas Google has focused on is "useful content" - content that provides value to users, rather than simply trying to manipulate search algorithms to get high rankings.
- 1 Introduction to Google's useful content update
- 2 What's new in the update?
- 2.1 Improved classifier
- 2.2 Content from third parties
- 2.3 Content created by artificial intelligence
- 2.4 Self-assessment of content
- 2.5 Expert review
- 2.6 Manipulation of publication dates
- 2.7 Adding or removing content for search engines
- 3 Summary
Introduction to Google's useful content update
Google introduced the "useful content" update in September 2023, which made some important changes to its search algorithms. The update was designed to improve the quality of search results, rewarding sites that provide original, valuable content and penalizing those that try to manipulate the system.
What's new in the update?
One of the highlights of this update was the introduction of an "improved classifier." The classifier is a tool that Google uses to evaluate the quality and relevance of content. Google announced that the new classifier is more precise and effective in identifying valuable content.
Content from third parties
Google has updated its guidelines for valuable content, paying attention to material from third-party providers. The document stresses that if material from other developers is posted on the homepage or its subdomains, it may affect the overall quality rating of the site in Google's evaluation. Therefore, if the additional content is not directly related to the main topic of the page or has been added without proper supervision, Google suggests preventing it from being indexed.
While this may seem like new information, in fact Google has already made its views known on the subject before, in 2019. At the time, they stressed that posting content from other providers on subdomains or in subdirectories of the site is not prohibited. Nevertheless, they have noticed an increase in this practice and are adjusting their algorithms to properly evaluate such content. The general advice from Google is that if you want to succeed in search, focus on creating valuable content that reflects your brand.
Gary Illyes of the Google Search team shared additional comments on the subject. He noted a trend in which sites "rent" their subdomains or subdirectories to other companies, often without controlling the quality of the content posted there. Often these "microsites" are of low quality and are not linked in any way to the main site, which may be an attempt to manipulate search results.
Content created by artificial intelligence
Google has also made a significant change in its approach to AI-generated content. In previous versions of the documentation, Google emphasized that valuable content should be "created by people." However, in a September 2023 update, Google removed this wording, suggesting that AI-generated content could also be considered useful.
Self-assessment of content
If you feel that the latest update on valuable content has had a negative impact on your site, Google advises you to do a self-assessment of your content. Google informs: "If you create valuable content, you don't need to change anything; in fact, this system can benefit your site because it is designed to promote valuable information."
Google has also updated its guidelines on creating useful content, adding that content should be "written or reviewed by an expert." This means that even if the content was not written by an expert, having it reviewed and approved by an expert can increase its value in the eyes of Google.
Manipulation of publication dates
Google has drawn attention to the practice of "refreshing" dates on pages when the actual content of the article remains unchanged. This is in the section on creating content with search engine optimization in mind.
"We notice that sites often add minor corrections to older texts, update the date and republish them."Google
Sites that change the dates of their content to make it appear fresher, even though the content has not been significantly changed, may be penalized.
Adding or removing content for search engines
Google also warns sites against adding or removing a lot of content just to appear "fresher" to search engines. Such actions will not benefit the ranking.
Fast Facts about Google's September 2023 Useful Content Update.
Here is the most important information we know so far in a nutshell:
Name: Google's September 2023 Useful Content Update.
Launch date: September 14 at 4:20 p.m. Eastern Time (ET)
Implementation: Will be fully implemented in about two weeks
Goal: Focuses on content created to rank well in search, not to help people
What it concerns: Google Search and Google Discover are currently affected.
Penalty: Google did not mention the penalty
Promotes: This update promotes useful content
For the whole site: This is a site-wide algorithm, so the entire site will be affected by this update
Not a major update: Many will claim it is a major update, but it is not.
Globally and in all languages
Impact: Google declined to say what percentage of queries or searches were affected by the update, but said it would be "significant." In addition, Google said it will have a greater impact on online educational materials, entertainment, shopping and technology-related content.
Google's September 2023 useful content update introduced several significant changes to improve the quality of search results. Google continues its efforts to reward sites that provide valuable, original content and penalize those that try to manipulate the system. These changes underscore the importance of creating content that is truly useful to users, not just optimized for search algorithms.