Google launched the Helpful Content System on 18th August 2022, also known as Google’s Helpful Content Update.
If you haven’t read about the previous Google ranking signals, you should first read about them. Here is the list of previous Google ranking signals/factors:
- BERT Explained: Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers
- Crisis Information Systems – CIS
- Deduplication Systems
- Exact Match Domain System
- Freshness Systems
What is the Helpful Content System/Update?
Google search’s helpful content system means that Google wants to rank such content created by people for people.
Many SEO experts elaborated the above two parts of the definition of helpful content update as:
- Part-1: “Created by people” means → “Not created by AI copywriting tools” (e.g., ClosersCopy or WriterZen, etc.)
- Part-2: “Created for people” means → well, the experts ignored this part ???? and never focused on it.
Undoubtedly, who has written the content is essential, but it is also of the same importance for whom it is written.
Google has said multiple times that people shouldn’t use AI content because that content is not helpful.
It is not like Google hates AI-generated content.
Google has said it for those SEO experts who use AI content just for the sake of Google ranking and not to help the reader by producing helpful yet informative content.
Let’s consider you want to write AI-generated content for your website mainly for two possible reasons:
- You want to write helpful content for your readers.
- You don’t want to pay the writers. Therefore, you are generating free AI content for your website to generate traffic.
Most of us use AI content for the second given reason. Because with a few clicks, you can quickly generate free AI content.
Therefore, when webmasters publish AI content just for the sake of Google ranking, they produce such content, which is not helpful for the reader because the webmaster has yet to produce the content for the purpose.
If you are using an AI tool for research, analysis, and refining the data, and then you write an article based on the fetched information, which is helpful for the reader, then such content will surely get indexed and ranked on Google search.
As I have been talking only about AI-generated content until now doesn’t mean that just AI content is terrible and unhelpful.
Even human-written content will be marked as unhelpful if written for the sake of Google rank (what most writers usually do) and not to help the reader.
That is why Google doesn’t call this ranking system an “anti-AI signal,” “anti-auto-generated content signal,” or “manually written content promotion scheme.” Still, it is called the “Helpful Content System.”
Therefore, make your valuable content for the reader, no matter what it takes.
How does Google know about AI-written content?
Well, your question is valid, but Google has never answered this question and maybe won’t ever answer it.
DeepMind is one of Google’s companies which is ranked in the world’s top three artificial intelligence companies. Here is the list of the top 3 AI companies:
- DeepMind (Google-owned)
*Facebook is also part of the top AI companies list. [Check out my Organic Facebook Marketing Strategy.]
Google has much artificial intelligence and machine learning-based open-source models. Therefore, if Google can create systems for generating AI content, it can create systems (like BERT) for catching the AI content.
How does Google’s helpful content system update affects your website?
Here are a few of the facts about helpful content system update that we should keep in mind:
- Fact #1: If Google’s helpful content system finds unhelpful content on your website, your website rank won’t decrease overnight, but the rank will decrease gradually, which can sometimes take months.
- Horrific fact #2: Helpful content system update is a site-wide signal. That means it doesn’t affect a single or a few pages but the whole website. With that saying, if you have published any or many unhelpful contents on one or a few posts on your website, Google’s ranking system will detect it and affect the whole website. You’ll lose the website because of those few auto-generated or rank-oriented unhelpful content. How bad is that, right?
- Fact #3: Helpful Content System is a weighted signal. That means the more unhelpful content you have on your website, the more quickly you’ll be affected by this ranking system and lose your rank.
- Fact #4: Websites that have lost their ranking because of unhelpful content should remove that unhelpful content and keep posting good content on their websites. They’ll recover from this punishment with the help of this same helpful content system and start seeing a gradual increase in their rankings. Note that I use the word “gradually” because, just like this system has affected your website, it will recover it similarly. And this effect does not wait for Google’s next update. It works in its ecosystem.
I would suggest that, in the first place, you should not generate or write unhelpful content for an increase in Google’s ranking, which can trigger Google’s helpful-content system.
But, in case you have already done that, and now you have reached this Helpful Content System guide, my advice is to remove all that destructive content from your website and start publishing helpful content that will be useful for the reader.
If you start seeing recovery in Google search rank, do not stop publishing helpful content. Because helpful-content algorithm will always be right above your head, you cannot cheat it.
Likewise, if you are not seeing any improvement in rank after months of posting content, do not stop publishing helpful content and continue writing good helpful content. Because as I have said earlier, your ranking will increase for sure, but gradually, which can take many months. Be consistent!
For reference: Here is the list of → All Most Important Google Ranking Signals for 2023.