Understanding Google’s September 2023 Helpful Content Update: What you need to know?

Google has concluded its ‘Helpful Content Update’ for September 2023, marking yet another milestone in the tech giant’s continual efforts to improve the quality of search results.

This rollout spanned a two-week period, from September 14th to September 28th, and its completion was confirmed on the last day of the rollout. The update led to significant shifts in search engine rankings, sparking various conversations within the SEO community.

Key Changes in the Update

Upgraded Classification System

Google has refined its classification system, aiming for more precise and context-relevant search results. This would mean that the algorithm would better understand user intent and deliver content that best matches the queries.

Reduction of Third-Party Content

The update also focuses on reducing third-party content that doesn’t provide much value to users. The idea is to filter out articles or posts that merely replicate information already present on the web without offering a unique angle or new insights.

Emphasis on User-First Content

Google is leaning heavily into content that serves users first, as opposed to content that seems to cater primarily to search engines. The message is clear: write for humans, not algorithms.

Self-Assessment Guidelines from Google

Quality vs Quantity

Google has provided a series of questions for content creators to ask themselves to determine if their content aligns with what the search engine considers ‘helpful’:

  • Is the content made primarily to attract search engine traffic or for humans?
  • Are you producing vast amounts of content on varied topics in hopes of some of it performing well in search?
  • Are you using extensive automation to churn out content?
  • Is your content mainly summarizing what others have already said without adding unique value?
  • Are you writing about trending topics, not because they align with your existing audience’s interests, but merely because they’re popular?
  • Does your content leave the reader unsatisfied, prompting them to look elsewhere for better information?
  • Are you sticking to a specific word count just because you think Google prefers it? (They don’t)
  • Have you ventured into a niche topic area without actual expertise, hoping to attract search traffic?
  • Does your content falsely promise to answer unanswerable questions, like speculative release dates for products or entertainment content?


These questions are a framework for content creators to reassess their strategies and understand where they might be going wrong.

What To Do If Your Rankings Have Dropped

If you’ve observed a dip in your rankings or impressions, start by identifying the pages that have suffered the most. Use Google’s self-assessment questions as a checklist to scrutinize those specific pages. Re-align them according to Google’s updated guidelines, focusing on creating content that genuinely benefits the reader.


The September 2023 Helpful Content Update is not just another algorithm update; it’s a reiteration of Google’s commitment to providing search results that are genuinely beneficial to users. By adhering to the updated guidelines and regularly self-assessing your content, you can stay ahead in the SEO game and provide value to your audience.

So, it’s time to review your content through the lens of user-first orientation and adapt your strategies accordingly to align with this new paradigm. After all, providing genuinely helpful content is not only good for search engine rankings but also for building trust and authority in your niche.

While understanding and implementing Google’s guidelines for the Helpful Content Update is crucial, managing your SEO efforts alongside your day-to-day business operations can be overwhelming. That’s where we come in. At Todo Media Services, we offer specialized web development and SEO services designed to align your website with Google’s latest updates.

Let us help you create a user-first website that doesn’t just keep up with Google’s changing algorithms but stays ahead of them. Our team of experts will analyze your site’s SEO performance, make data-driven adjustments, and build a sustainable strategy that targets long-term growth.

Together, we can turn your website into a high-performing, SEO-friendly platform that genuinely serves your audience and your business goals.

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