Where Helpful Content Update did not do as much, Core update did!
When Google is releasing their search engine updates, there is always a lot of action and a lot of discussions around. Everybody is looking for the impact of the update on their website and position in search engines.
By the end of August 2022, Google comes with a Helpful Content Update (HCU). This highly appreciated (by content creators) update suppose to penalise low-content websites and those generated by AI. I have been happy about it and knew, that none of my websites will be affected, and I was right!
The Helpful Content Update was mostly oriented into sites written in English, but core updates are much more widespread.
Shortly after HCU finished rolling out we get another Core Update on the 12th of September 2022. Once none of the SEO experts could say much about HCU, due to a lack of documented information on how the algorithm is working, nobody could predict where this will go. In the end, everything aims for a better web experience for ordinary users, and I agree with that. On the internet, there are a lot of crappy websites stuffed with ads and text, that are nowhere relevant to the content. Crazy!
As a creator, I always write what I want and what I need to say about a subject. I do not work on the number of words. If my blog post or article will have 100 words or 1,000 words, that’s what it will be. I am not trying to artificially fill them with text, to get a better position in search engines. This is the main goal of HCU, to put a stop to people, who create posts stuffed with nonsense, only to get better in position on Google.
After releasing of Core Update things starts to change even more. SEO experts start preaching that, if Helpful Content Update didn’t do what was intended to, the Core update will fix that, and I can see that now.
Where none, apart from one of my websites, noticed a drop in visitors, I started investigating why. I didn’t touch the content or the way how the website is constructed, I looked more at what resulted in the impact rather than what I (the content creator) did wrong. And the conclusion was, it wasn’t me, it was them!
The website that sees the drop after the Core update, didn’t experience this after the Helpful Content Update (in the opposite, we gain). The content created there, from the start has been aimed at better perceptions for visitors (oriented for readers, not search engines).
I am talking here about YummyRecipes.uk, where we tried to put the end to storytelling recipe websites, where recipes, that are important for readers, are just 10% of the rest of text stuffing content. We tried something different and people appreciate that.
Of course, we use other techniques to get our content available for a wider audience, like Recipe Schema (that helps to shine in Google Discover), but that’s available for all. To my surprise, these content-stuffed recipe websites not using it, or if they do, they using it incorrectly. Good for them.
After the Core update, we noticed a slowdown, and not because of our website directly, but because, these low-content websites over the Internet, linking to others or stealing content from others, after releasing the Core update, have finally been penalised.
I could see that through ahrefs analyse of lost traffic (where most of it was generated by spam websites), but with an increase of organic traffic instead.
The loss was quite significant, as we go back with traffic by months. Luckily, after 4-5 weeks, by keeping hard work on the content and not trying any shady SEO techniques, we start bouncing back to values seen just before 12th September.
Every Google update got its purpose and I fully agree with its merit. Sometimes, some decent websites are hit as well due to other players, who through their poor backlink empire suddenly lost their power in the search engine.
We got considerable traffic originating from so-called “nitter” websites, that are serving stripped posts from social platforms. If one goes out of play, suddenly a website loses backlink power, but that doesn’t mean that website on its own is less favourable to its readers.
Everybody would like to gain high-value traffic in the shortest period possible. It’s not always possible.
Like all experts are saying, concentrate on your content and find your niche.
I am sick of tired of people on Twitter claiming that they are creating niche websites and with just 30-50 articles they got like 100k in traffic after just 3 months. My question is how?
I don’t believe in such a miracle unless you created something revolutionary. In current society is not often without hard work, but when it happens is covered by the media and many people would hear about it.
I am a technical geek and follow plenty of websites for the latest news, but I don’t see any widespread acknowledgement of these websites (or solutions on them), hence their claims are not worth a lot.
They tend to share stats but never a link to the relevant website. There is a simple answer to that. Their website is crap and what they doing is an attempt to gain recognition for work, that they shall not do in the first place. They trying to be a self-made influencers without properly backing up with relevant and valid data.
It’s like praising someone who becomes rich after just three months, only because they have been stealing others people’s money.
If you, as a niche website creator, want a wide acknowledgement of your work, why are you not sharing it with a link to that, so everybody would assess your claims? Too many of them are afraid because of their empty claims.
In most cases, this will probably result in laughter and pointing out shady techniques used to get to the point when they claim themself as “niche site builders” which is “gaining traffic” quickly with “a minimum work” put into it. I don’t believe in that, but looking at how quickly these people are gaining followers on social media, the majority are. That’s sad!
In the last weeks, search results in Google start becoming more relevant concerning these written in English. Currently released Spam Update hopefully will help with that even further.
I would be very happy to see the impact on other languages, as seriously, there is a lot of crap promoted on the first pages of Google that something like Helpful Content Update (for other languages) shall simply eradicate.
My advice for content creators is.
If you think that you have been affected by any Google algorithm update, before start blaming anybody, have a look at your content first. If your content is done in the way, that you, as a reader would like to read and appreciate the information they provided, then you don’t need to worry too much. Sometimes most genuine and valuable websites are hit as well due to other players in the field. Keeping up with good, hard work, will result, that things will turn back better.
We all would like to be recognised and get millions of followers and an army of people who will re-share our work (our content). This all is based on our hard work. Don’t expect that something happens with a minimum of your input. Keep up the good work, create helpful content and integrate with your readers.
Off-site marketing is also beneficial, like this: