Algorithm Rolled Out: December 5th, 2022

Algorithm summary: Overall Gist 

Google has confirmed that a Helpful Content System Algorithm update will be released on December 5th, 2022. As is customary with algorithm updates, Google announced the update via the Google Search Central Twitter account, stating that it would be rolled out across all languages and regions over the next two weeks.

The December 2022 Helpful Content algorithm update is another iteration of the August 2022 Helpful Content Update.

Google has since followed up on this update with a concurrent Link Spam Algorithm Update, which was announced on December 14th. 

What about the August helpful content update?

The August Helpful Content system update introduced a new ranking signal or system that Google will use. With this latest algorithm update, Google is revising the most recent change to its ranking system.

Google’s algorithm now includes helpful content as a proven ranking factor. This update is a revision to that ranking system and is intended to improve Google’s understanding of useful content.

They, like all of Google’s ranking systems, are constantly evolving. It is the first update to the user ranking system, but it will not be the last.

Google will continue to change how it judges, ranks, and rewards useful content.

Will the December 2022 useful content update affect rankings?

The fact that Google has announced this update suggests that we can expect significant changes in rankings.

Every year, Google makes thousands of minor changes to its ranking system. They may choose to announce 5–10 of those during that period, including core updates and smaller updates like this one. When Google takes the time to announce changes to its ranking system, publishers and web admins can expect changes to website rankings and overall search visibility. 

What Is ‘Helpful Content,’ Exactly?

Google published a document titled “More content by people, for people in Search” in August 2022. The document outlines what the beneficial content update means for publishers, with two key elements covered:

Improved ranking of original, high-quality content

Google is making it simpler for users to find unique, high-quality content. Publishers who publish original, unique, and valuable content should benefit.

What happens next?

Hold on. The December 2022 helpful content algorithm update has just begun. We typically see the greatest impact within 3-4 days of Google announcing an update; however, it will take approximately two weeks for things to roll out. We recommend that you compare your rankings and organic traffic over the next week to the same period last month and last year. Changes in rankings and visibility, whether positive or negative, should be used to determine how this latest algorithm update has affected your rankings. Following that, we recommend reading Google’s “More content by people, for people in Search” document to learn how to publish better, more authentic content for readers.

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