Google Not Rolling Back The September 2023 Helpful Content Update

Google’s John Mueller said it is very unlikely that the search company will roll back the last Google update, the September 2023 Google helpful content update. The update is currently rolling out, first touching down on September 14th, and has really wreaked havoc for some SEOs.

John wrote on X this morning, “I really don’t see a rollback happening. And, I agree it is sad to see people put their heart & passion into making something and not seeing long-term results, but things can be both heart-made & not as helpful as the makers want.”

He added on X, “To be direct, I don’t see us rolling this update back. Also, none of this was done to spite anyone – we want to *highlight* fantastic, helpful, unique, compelling, “people-first” content in search, and we will continue to work on our algorithms to move in that direction.”

It seems Google strongly believes this last helpful content iteration is doing the job it set out to do.

Does that mean it can’t do a better job? Nope, he is not saying that.

John added, “Oh yes, there’s still a lot more to do, as always. There’s a lot of low-effort stuff online that people don’t really want to find. There’s also spam, and useless AI-generated stuff. It sounds like you’re saying we should turn up the dials more?”

But Google has more work to do, always, he said, “No, I mean, we’re not retiring and stopping work. There’s always more to do. User expectations grow, people put differing kinds of content online, and separating the awesome from the mediocre is not always trivial. Let me know when AI can take over, I could use a break. :-)”

He added that Google may get it wrong, “I’m sure there are cases where we get it wrong, and I’d love to have those examples if you can get them to me. That said, a lot of “authority” blogs are created by folks who didn’t even know which topic to pick beforehand, so I’d struggle to call them real authorities.”

And yes, there is more to come like surfacing hidden gems and going after hosted third-party content – all of that is not done.

Here are those tweets:

So stay tuned, more is to come but this rollout is going to stick and you won’t see this being reverted. Again, this does not mean you won’t recover when the next helpful content update rolls out or if a core update rolls out or another unconfirmed Google search ranking update rolls out but this helpful content update is doing what Google wanted it to do, for the most part.

In fact, Google has not seen a Google ranking update where things went completely wrong requiring a rollback.

Note: I am posting stories today, Sunday, because tomorrow is Yom Kippur and I am not posting anything on Yom Kippur.

Forum discussion at X.

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