My thoughts on the changes in the September 2023 update to the helpful content system

published8 days ago
1 min read

Hi everyone,

I put together a blog post on the latest changes as this update rolls out. Some seem significant to me.

Here's Claude's summary of my article:

  • Google now factors in helpfulness of content on subdomains when evaluating overall site helpfulness. This may possibly address “parasite SEO” tactics.
  • Google changed “written by an expert” to “written or reviewed by an expert” – likely focusing on expert-level content rather than just author expertise.
  • “Content written by people” changed to “content created for people” – may signal more openness to AI-generated content if high quality.
  • Added note about not changing dates to seem fresher – perhaps freshness may be more rewarded in rankings now?
  • Vague reference to adding/removing content – possibly about gaming freshness or topical authority with low-quality AI content.
  • Focus should remain on creating truly helpful content that provides information gain, not just gaming systems.

If you're a paid subscriber, stay tuned as later today I'll send out "Marie's thoughts" - this week I'm sharing a strategy for improving content by understanding searcher need and not only meeting that need but providing information gain for one of my clients. They made a nice recovery following a March core update hit, with the August core update, although I'll explain why it likely had little to do with my advice!

If you want to get this email later today, you can subscribe here.

Hope this helpful content system update treats you well. If not, you may find my workbook helpful as it will walk you through several exercises you can do to better understand user intent, and create the type of content Google's algorithms are built to reward.


Creating Helpful Content Workbook

Learn to create content that aligns with what Google's AI driven algorithms are designed to reward.
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