And what it means for bloggers

This is fine meme from Know Your Meme

On September 14th Google began rolling out its Helpful Content Update. An update aimed at helping users find more helpful content instead of content that’s been created specifically for search engines.

Sounds good right?

In theory, yes.

But the reality is 1000s of webmasters who are genuinely trying to help their audience have woken up to their traffic being down anywhere from 30% to 75%. Meanwhile, Google is showing answers like this.

author screenshot — Google search of how many legs does a chicken have

So, while Google thinks they’ve found a way around showing sites created purely for SEO they aren’t exactly on the mark yet. But the fact of the matter is, everything has changed for niche site owners.

Not since the Panda update in 2011 has there been such a change in the way bloggers need to operate.

The Panda update got rid of the spam sites and made bloggers work a lot harder instead of keyword stuffing and spamming their sites with links.

Online written content improved. But over time, it started getting more and more similar in the search results. If you googled “Tips for starting a blog” you’d get 10 results, all showing you the same tips written in different ways. Which isn’t all that helpful.

But Google didn’t have a way to show anything else. Until they released the Helpful Content Update. This update is part of an: “ongoing effort to reduce low-quality content and make it easier to find content that feels authentic and useful in search.”

Niche sites, especially those that were created solely for the purpose of getting search traffic, have been hit the hardest. Google has gotten better at detecting these sites created purely for profit.

How have they fixed it? By pushing Reddit and Quora

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