Google is about to release an update to its algorithm that is expected to shake the SEO world.

Google is about to release an update to its algorithm that is expected to shake the SEO world.

Google is about to release an update to its algorithm that is expected to shake the SEO world as much as the Penguin update 10 years ago.

The current update is called the “Google Helpful Content Update.”

This update starts rolling out this week. It will impact English language sites first and roll-out can take a couple of weeks.


Google has managed to keep its algorithm update process a secret for many years. But now, they have released an update that will impact search rankings as much as the Penguin update 10 years ago. This new update is called the “Google Helpful Content Update.” It starts rolling out this week and can take weeks to fully roll out depending on your market. This post will walk you through exactly what you need to know about this new algorithm change and how it impacts your website’s search rankings.

What is the google content update?

This update is designed to make it harder for content that was created with SEO in mind to rank. Google wants to reward content that was created with people in mind, not those who are just trying to get a quick boost on their rankings.

Google wants to reward helpful, useful, educational, and valuable content over low-quality or spammy content. This is especially important as Google continues its fight against fake news and misinformation online. You can expect this change will only help elevate the quality of internet users’ experience around the world!

What does this mean for you and your site?

Google will now reward “people-first” content. If you’re not sure what that means, let me explain:

  • Content should be written for people, not search engines. Search engine algorithms like Google’s algorithm (called RankBrain) are designed to ensure that the best results are on top of the page — but they aren’t always right when it comes to understanding human behavior and intent.
  • You should ask yourself if your content is helping or hurting your audience by answering their questions in a useful way. If it’s hurting them by being too promotional or spammy, then that may be part of why Google is penalizing you with this update!

3 ways to win with “helpful” content.

In a conversational tone, list the three ways you can win with the update.

  • Focus on your users. Make sure your content is relevant to their search, and make it easy for them to find what they’re looking for.
  • Make sure your content is helpful. Give people answers that meet their needs, whether that’s through an answer article or some other type of resource page (like an FAQ).
  • Make sure your content is easy for Google’s algorithms to understand—and therefore find its way into their index—by making sure it has proper headers and headings, appropriate links between pages inside the site or from one site to another (i.e., not “link farms”), etc.

You can now help people on your site and your search rankings at the same time.

In order to rank higher in Google search results, you need to be helpful to people. This can be done in a variety of ways:

  • Add value to your site by doing things like adding videos, images, and text that are relevant and useful for your users.
  • Helping people discover more information about each topic you write about on your website is also important as this will help you rank better over time. If someone searches for something related to what you wrote about, they might find more content on your website related

to what they’re looking for. This increases the chances that someone might click through from Google results pages (SERPs) onto certain pages within your website which could then lead them back again down the road when trying again later with different search queries.”


While the update could be considered a negative for some sites, it has huge potential to benefit others. Helping people find what they need faster on your site is a win for everyone. If you want to learn more about this update and how it can improve your search traffic, reach out to us and we’ll help!

About the author

I’m Marco van den Akker, a strategist and marketer who uses data and creativity to grow Plusgrowth clients’ businesses. I’m always happy to work with towards measurable results.