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Google completes the rollout of its September 2023 Update for Useful Content.

Google completes its September 2023 Helpful material Update, changing its policies on artificial intelligence and third-party material.


The Helpful Content System rules will be modified by a Google update in September 2023.
The update modifies advice about hosting of third-party material and AI content.
Google offers fresh guidance for regaining traffic following a Helpful Content Update.

The September 2023 Helpful Content Update rollout, which started on September 14 and ended on September 28, is now complete.

This upgrade, according to Google, contains a better classifier and makes numerous important adjustments to the Helpful information System, which was created to elevate information that prioritizes people’s needs over that created for search engines.

Google’s Helpful Content System: What You Need to Know

In order to rank websites based on the caliber and utility of their material, Google’s Helpful material System collaborates with other systems.

Google updated the system’s rules and documentation in September 2023, adding fresh guidance for users who have noticed a decline in traffic.

Key Changes in the September 2023 Update

As reported by Search Engine Journal’s Roger Montti, the September update has brought about three pivotal changes to the Helpful Content System’s guidelines:

  1. Adjustments to the guidance on machine-generated content
  2. Revised rules for hosting third-party content on subdomains or the primary domain
  3. Additional advice on what to do if a website experiences traffic loss following a Helpful Content Update

Adjusted Guidance On Machine-Generated Content

Google has changed its position on machine-generated content from its previous position, which implied a preference for human-created content. The revised guidelines show a change in Google’s perspective on AI-generated content, making it more consistent with other recommendations for producing useful content.

Hosting Third-Party Content

The prevalent practice of putting third-party content on a website’s main domain or subdomain has been addressed in the update. The September 2023 upgrade may have a detrimental effect on websites that host third-party material, despite the belief of some website owners that the ranking power of the primary site may benefit the content on subdomains.

If third-party content is mainly unrelated to the main site’s goal or was created without direct monitoring, Google now suggests preventing it from being indexed.

Updated Self-Assessment Guidance

New advice has been added to Google’s Helpful Content Self-Assessment guidelines. A focus on the review process, warnings against erroneous page updates, and a warning against adding or removing information to look “fresh” in search rankings are some of the changes.

Insights from Google’s Gary Illyes on the Update

In his backgrounder on the upgrade, Gary Illyes of Google emphasized the problem with micro-sites. Illyes stated that these unauthorized third-party sites frequently influence search results rather than offering valuable material because they are hosted on subdomains or subdirectories.

Illyes stated that different signals, such as URL, pattern, host, and domain, function at multiple levels in response to a question about sitewide signals.

Recovering from a Helpful Content Update

Finally, the update offers fresh advice to those who have been impacted by a Helpful Content Update. Google suggests that these websites locate and remove or replace any unhelpful content.

Google now advises identifying unhelpful content on your site and either removing or replacing it.

In Summary

The September 2023 Helpful Content Update’s completion is a new step in Google’s continuous mission to maintain the value and accuracy of search results. To effectively improve their search rankings, website owners and SEO specialists must react to these changes.

Google’s Helpful Content System documentation is available here.

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