Google Released Massive “Helpful Content” Update as Part of Core Update

Omer Leibenzon
Thought about creating entire websites with AI? Think again. Google is rolling out the "Helpful Content" update as part of the March 2024 core update - and the world is already talking about it as one of the most significant updates in recent years.
Google Helpful Content Core Update

After search results in many countries became fertile ground for the growth of unhelpful content reaching top positions – Google began taking steps on the matter.

Among other things, the reason for this is the ease and simplicity of content creation using AI. Google has previously published guidelines regarding such content, but it seems the waves were too strong and caused damage to the user experience for those searching on Google. Without batting an eye, we’ve entered an era where creating content “Google-friendly” has become exceedingly simple: if you want to rank on Google, simply create content that meets the parameters the algorithm is looking for, and there you’ll be ranked.

This has created a situation where the market is quite chaotic; if you can create a website containing dozens of articles ranked on Google within moments. Those who suffer from this are the users who receive content that appears to be helpful but in reality, it’s nothing new.

How does Google currently handle content created with artificial intelligence?

So, in the update itself, Google issued the following statement:

“Our long-standing spam policy has been that the use of automation, including generative AI, is spam if the primary purpose is to manipulate search rankings. The updated policy is in the same spirit as our previous policy and based on the same principle. It is expanded to address more sophisticated content creation methods in which it is not always clear if low-quality content is created solely through automation.”

In summary, Google avoids giving definitive answers regarding AI-generated content. This is a departure from what was said two years earlier – about AI content being strictly forbidden and contrary to guidelines. It seems that even Google understands that the changes occurring in the worlds of artificial intelligence and marketing are inevitable. However, it’s important to understand that content created with artificial intelligence, without human editing, is almost always identifiable. That is to say, there are algorithms today that can identify whether the content was created with AI or entirely by humans, and generally, the level of accuracy is high. Therefore, if your entire site is written by AI, it’s important to keep your finger on the pulse because it’s not far-fetched to say that Google will try to influence these search results.

The broader implications of the core update – March 2024

If until now we were accustomed to employing all sorts of “tricks” on search engines to rank our page higher – these days it will become much more challenging. It’s not just a catchphrase, but Google has a clear interest in restoring its authority after the quality of content has declined more and more.

Elizabeth Tucker, a product manager at Google, said:

“We expect that the combination of this update and our previous efforts will collectively reduce low-quality and unoriginal content in search results by 40%” – wrote Elizabeth Tucker, a product manager at Google, in the Search Engine Land blog.

With the integration of AI-based algorithms to check content quality, we have no choice but to simply create useful content for users – content that is not written for search engines but by professional experts in their field, who add new information and do not recycle existing content already found in Google search results.

Only after the update is implemented in practice, will we know the real implications or consequences for website owners/promoters.

Source: AskPavel

Omer Leibenzon

Omer, a content writer with a youthful entrepreneurial spirit, finds particular joy in playing and composing music. Tasks demanding creativity consistently ignite his enthusiasm. He's drawn to creative individuals. Following the establishment of one of Israel's largest personal development communities, Omer pivoted his primary focus to his second passion: content writing. Over the past five years, he has honed his skills and expertise in content writing and marketing strategy.

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