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The Basic Anatomy of Google's Helpful Content System

February 27, 2023

If you have a website, chances are you pay serious attention to things like Google rankings and how much traffic your site regularly receives. Are you aware of the multitude of useful tools available to help improve your website’s overall ranking while evaluating that your content is original and helpful?

Perhaps you are overwhelmed with the choices and have come to Alley Kat Web Consulting looking for some suggestions. Look no further! Our trusted experts are working hard to prepare articles to answer all your web-related questions. Remember to check our site often for updated articles, suggestions, tips and all the easy-to-understand and implementation advice you could ever need!

Websites are more than just a source of information. They are the lifeblood of a business and how it represents itself and communicates with the outside world. It is critical to ensure your website not only covers your requirements but provides helpful, reliable content that ranks high in online searches. Alley Kat's expert content creators and web consultants are familiar with the most effective options for your site.

It is important your website contains helpful, reliable content as Google's automated ranking systems look at a huge number of factors and signals across hundreds of billions of web pages, along with other content in Google’s Search index when ranking pages. These systems present the most relevant, useful results while the helpful content system generates signals from Google's automated ranking systems. These signals automatically identify any content of marginal value, low-added value or otherwise not particularly helpful to people. This content is ranked lower and appears further down the results of the search query.

How the helpful content system update works

Google's helpful content system aims to improve search results by displaying pages with quality content. Through this update, content that doesn't meet a visitor's expectations won't perform as well.

The Google system generates a site-wide signal that, along with a variety of other signals, will be used in Google Search, including Discover. As we mentioned earlier, this system automatically identifies content that seems to have no value, has low-added value or is otherwise not particularly helpful to people.

Any content on sites determined to have relatively high amounts of unhelpful content overall is less likely to perform well in a Google search. For this reason, removing unhelpful content could help the rankings of your other content.

It is possible for some people-first content on sites classified as having unhelpful content to still rank well if there are other signals identifying that people-first content as helpful and relevant to a query. It is imperative to be aware that this Google signal is also weighted; sites with lots of unhelpful content may notice a stronger effect.

Google's classifier process is entirely automated, using a machine-learning model. It works globally in all languages and is neither a manual action nor a spam action. Instead, it's just one of many signals Google employs to evaluate and rank content.

What Does This System And Updates To It Mean For My Site?

Google has created an easy-to-understand help page with clear instructions on how you can produce helpful, reliable, people-first content, rather than search-engine-first content. It includes a list of questions to ask yourself when developing and assessing your content.

A standard question is how long will it take for a site to do better once any unhelpful content is removed? Google’s classifier runs continuously, allowing it to monitor newly launched sites and existing ones. It is worthwhile to be aware that any site identified by Google’s system may find the signal applied to them over a period of months. After determining that any identified unhelpful content has not returned in the long run, the classification will no longer be applicable.

Google does refine how its classifier detects unhelpful content. When any updates or changes to the system happen, Google notably communicates this by sharing this as a "helpful content update" on their Google Search ranking updates page. After the rollout of this update, the refined classifier can see that content has improved and the unhelpful classification from the previous classifier may no longer apply.

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How Alley Kat Can Help?

If you are wondering how Google’s helpful content system can improve your online presence or want to see how your online presence is doing, then turn to Alley Kat Web Consulting. Sharpen your website and get the edge in your market by taking a people-first approach to your website content.

The information contained above is meant to point you in the right direction to ensure your website is up-to-date with helpful, people-first content. As we discussed in our previous article, “Learn Why Your Website May Need Updating,” we cannot stress the importance of keeping your website up to date as best you can.

When your site grows beyond being able to manage it yourself, call our expert web consulting team to get insight into every aspect of your online marketing programs. This includes SEO, lead generation, branding, and more. Contact us today to learn how your website can be its best.

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