Google’s new helpful content update targets sites creating content for search engines first

  • August 22, 2022
  • SEO

credit: Barry Schwartz

Google will soon rollout a change to its search ranking algorithm that may prove to be one of the most significant changes in over a decade.

Google is about to launch a new and large search algorithm update, called the helpful content update.

The helpful content update will target websites that have a relatively high amount of unsatisfying or unhelpful content, where the content has been written for search engines rather than humans.

This update, which will start rolling out soon, will have a meaningful impact on the search results, Google told Search Engine Land.

What is Google’s helpful content update?

Google’s new helpful content update specifically targets “content that seems to have been primarily created for ranking well in search engines rather than to help or inform people.”

The purpose of this algorithm update is to help searchers find “high-quality content,” Google told us. Google wants to reward better and more useful content that was written for humans and to help users.

Content written for the purpose of ranking in search engines – what you might call “search engine-first content” or “SEO content,” has been frequently written about lately and discussed across social media.

In short, searchers are getting frustrated when they land on unhelpful webpages that rank well in search because they were designed to rank well.

Google’s new algorithm aims to downgrade those types of websites while promoting more helpful websites, designed for humans, above search engines.

Google said this is an “ongoing effort to reduce low-quality content and make it easier to find content that feels authentic and useful in search.”

When will Google’s helpful content update launch?

The update will start rolling out next week. The helpful content update will take up to two weeks to fully roll out, Google said.

We will post a new story when it begins rolling out and when it is completed here on Search Engine Land. Google will also post on its updates page when it launches and when it is done rolling out.

What types of content will the helpful content update impact?

While these algorithms do not specifically target any specific niche, Google said these types of content may be impacted the most:

  • Online educational materials.
  • Arts and entertainment.
  • Shopping.
  • Tech-related.

This is because content written in those areas has historically been written more for search engines than humans.

Based on Google’s analysis, those areas may be more impacted by this Google helpful content update than other areas.

I asked Google for a specific example of a search where the helpful content update would make an impact. Here’s what Google told me:

  • “If you search for information about a new movie, you might have previously encountered articles that aggregated reviews from other sites without adding perspectives beyond what’s available elsewhere on the web. This isn’t very helpful if you’re expecting to read something new. With this update, you’ll see more results with unique information, so you’re more likely to read something you haven’t seen before.”

If you or your company needs any help with this new coming update, please contact the experts at at 833 377 9337 x 701 or

Jim is a Senior Digital Marketing Strategist Spyder Digital and has over 19 years of experience in the field. His insight and ability to drive new business for his clients from the Internet is unparalleled.


About SPYDER, web marketing agency

We are a digital marketing company with a focus on helping our customers achieve great results from various Internet marketing services across several key areas. 833 377 9337

Request a free quote

We offer professional web marketing services including content strategies,  SEO,  PPC, local marketing, Email campaigns, Social Media Strategies and digital consulting. Let's talk.


More from our blog

See all posts