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September 2023 Helpful Content Update (#3)

Sitewide Signal

Updated on:

September 28, 2023


by Momentic

The September 2023 helpful content update improves Google's classifier and works across content globally in all languages.

Current status of the ranking update

  • Status:

    Rollout complete!

    Rollout in progress!

  • Announced by Google:

    September 14, 2023

  • Update started:

    September 14, 2023

  • Update completed:

    September 27, 2023

    Rollout in progress!

Momentic analysis and first look

Below you'll get tips on what to look for, how to respond on your website, and helpful resources to improve your website's SEO and UX as it relates specifically to this Google update.

The first Helpful Content Update in August 2022 only affected English-language websites. The second Helpful Content Update in December 2022 extended it to websites in all languages.

For this third Helpful Content Update in September 2023 Google has modified the language in their helpful content system documentation so now instead of "content written by people for people" it just says "content created for people." They also changed a phrase that used to be "Is this content written by an expert" to "Is this content written or reviewed by an expert".

Google also modified other portions of the helpful content documentation:

Google hasn't officially announced the purpose of Helpful Content Update #3 but it seems like they have refined the definition and scope. You should carefully review the helpful content documentation and consider how it may apply to your site.

Types of websites affected

Websites in any language websites with unhelpful content. The more unhelpful content a website has, the more likely you’ll notice an effect.

What to look for

Significant ranking and visibility changes on Google Search

What to address

Remove unhelpful content and replace it with content meant to help users: