Google’s Helpful Content Update: Who Does It Really Help? |

Google's Helpful Content Update: Who Does It Really Help?  |

On March 5, Google, the world’s largest search engine, implemented algorithmic improvements which affected millions of websites, some to the point where they no longer appear in search results.

Google dominates Internet searches, accounting for more than 80% of all searches global search engine traffic. It’s a household name. With the latest update of its Useful Content Update (HCU) first released in 2022, Google estimates removed 40% of low quality and unoriginal content.

Poor definitions of useful and quality content affect more than AI content mills. While most penalized sites use artificially created and/or plagiarized content, not all do. Google’s latest update creates problems for small businesses, independent media and regular users. Due to the lack of oversight, those who depend on these sources of income and information suffer.

Who punishes the useful content update

As many sites lost traffic and revenue, others experienced exponential growth. The sudden rise of these top ranking sites, as well as the decline of others, may not last. It is difficult to determine, given Googlecontradictory statements and generic advice for site recovery.

New York City SEO expert Lily Ray made a video made a video explaining the latest March updates and its injustice. It refers to site owners using similar SEO strategies and keywords, which leads to significant penalties. Redundancy of contributions and sources of affiliation harm niche sites in the HCU.

The latest update supposedly targets spam, but many niche sites saw significant drops in traffic. A site expert, the Niche Alchemist, started a thread on X showing a number of site owners affected by the update.

individual owners aside, suspicions about brand favoritism remain strong. Chris Barnes made notable comparisons between successful niche sites and big brands. He highlighted how the major players are using content strategies similar to Forbes, Business Insider and others.

What Google wants sites to do

Ray’s X threadbrainstorming answers in the HCU, created a stir. Danny Sullivan, a Google Search Link, gave website owners a perspective on the likes of the Google algorithm.

He writes“You want to do things that make sense to your visitors because what “shows Google” that you have a great site is being… a great site for your visitors, not adding things that you assume are just for Google. Doing things you think are just for Google is falling behind what our ranking systems are trying to reward instead of being ahead of them.”

Sullivan’s answer addresses the quirkiness of Google’s ranking processes. The current guide to creating useful, reliable and people-centric content it offers more questions than answers. Some of the highlights of the guide include:

Provide a great on-page experience Focus on first-person content Avoid overly SEO-focused contentMore information about EEAT and guidelines for quality raters Ask “Who, How, and Why” about your content

As a research link, Sullivan understands how people might feel. Continuing on his thread, he writes: “I really hope our guidance improves to help people understand that what Google wants is what people want. I’m pushing for a whole new help page that might improve this point “.

If Google affiliates themselves recognize the confusion surrounding the HCU guidelines, how far do they expect the rest of the Internet to go?

Trust issues: Censorship of “bad quality” content.

The current state of the HCU baffles many in small and independent media. Potential de-indexing (the complete removal of a website from Google’s search results sites) may be more imminent than ever. with the ambiguity of Google. The limitations of machine learning give Google an excuse for the HCU’s discrimination penalties: its automated ranking system is still learning.

Niche site blogger and Association of Web Editors Member Jon Dykstra told Wealth of Geeks: “Since HCU in September 2023, we have yet to know of a single web publisher that has managed to regain search traffic following the current Google Web Publishing guidelines.

“At the end of the day, many small web publishers feel that Google is intentionally censoring web content by removing thousands of websites and removing thousands more from the search index, effectively preventing public access to the websites they can find. useful.”

Independent media sites and creators feel stifled and censored. Even the Department of Justice (DOJ) has questioned how much we trust Google. The The DOJ’s ongoing antitrust lawsuit against Google points to its monopolistic practices. With this in mind, the HCU seems more like censorship than an anti-spam measure.

no one company or the entity has the right to accelerate companies or individual search patterns. Where is the arbitrary line in the sand that separates consumers and content? Google has content licensing deals with forums like Redditand these are now higher than ever.

The ever-changing landscape of the Internet industry contributes to the beauty of technology. Wait a few weeks and sites penalized for the wrong reasons can get their traffic back. But for those tired of Google’s shenanigans, it’s worth looking at other search engines, like Duck Duck Go or Bing.

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About the Author: Ted Simmons

I follow and report the current news trends on Google news.

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