Google’s Helpful Content Update: Sept. 2023 – What Does this Mean for Your Business?

September 19, 2023

Lo and behold; another Google Search update!

Google Search has always strived to provide users with the most relevant and helpful content. Now, in a game-changing move, Google has introduced a new update to its helpful content system.

Google launched their latest update to helpful content system on September 14 2023. This update promises to shake up the way websites are ranked in search results. How? By rewarding sites that offer genuine, people-first content, whilst prioritising user experience over search engine rankings.

Join us as we dive deep into the new Google update, exploring how it works, what it means for your Adult website, and how you can adapt to ensure your content ranks well in search results.


  • Google’s Helpful Content System: It ensures users see relevant content in search results.
  • What’s New: The update introduces guidelines for third-party content, content removal, AI-generated content acceptance, and hints at valuing unique expertise.
  • How It Works: Google evaluates user satisfaction, generates automated signals, identifies unhelpful content, and doesn’t involve manual actions.
  • Impact on Your Website: If you produce helpful content, you’re on the right track. Self-assessment is key if you see traffic drops. Stay informed with updates.
  • Adapting Successfully: Craft audience-focused content, use data insights, ensure audience satisfaction, be authentic, define your site’s purpose, stay updated, and refresh old content.

In summary, prioritise helpful content, assess your website, and stay adaptable to succeed in the evolving world of Adult SEO.


What is Google’s Helpful Content System?

Before we delve into Google’s latest helpful content algorithm update, it’s essential to grasp the core principles of this system and how it operates.

Although still relatively new, the aim of Google’s helpful content update in 2022 was to provide users with the most relevant and valuable information during their online searches. It’s the engine that drives Google’s ranking systems and ensures that users see original, helpful content when they perform searches.

Now, let’s explore how this system has evolved with the latest update.

What’s New in the September 2023 Update

Google’s latest helpful content system update, which rolled out on 14 September 2023, comes with several noteworthy changes. Let’s take a closer look at what’s new:

Third-Party Content Guidance

Google now provides more detailed guidance on hosting third-party content, which includes advice on what to do following a helpful content system update. Depending on your situation, you might not need to take any action, or you might need to self-assess your content.

Emphasis on Content Removal and Date Changes

The update introduces new points related to content removal and altering publication dates. These changes aim to improve the quality and relevance of the content displayed in search results.

AI-Generated Content Acknowledgment

Google made a subtle but significant change in its terminology. It removed the phrase “written by people” and replaced it with “helpful content created for people in search results.” This adjustment suggests that AI-generated content is acceptable as long as it proves to be genuinely helpful.

Future Enhancements

Google has hinted at ongoing efforts to enhance the helpful content system further. They are working to improve the system’s understanding of content created from personal or expert perspectives. This indicates a shift towards valuing unique expertise and experience in content.

How Does the Update Work?

Google’s helpful content system is designed to enhance user satisfaction by promoting content that genuinely serves their needs. It’s a system that values quality over quantity and aims to weed out content that doesn’t meet user expectations.

Here’s a quick breakdown of how it operates:

Visitor Satisfaction:

The system evaluates content based on how satisfied visitors are with their experience on a webpage. If users find your content valuable and engaging, it’s more likely to perform well in Google Search.

Automated Signal:

The system generates a site-wide signal, which is considered among many other signals used by Google’s ranking systems. This signal helps determine a website’s overall helpfulness.

Identifying Unhelpful Content:

The system automatically detects content that adds little value or is not particularly helpful. It’s a machine-learning model that works across all languages, making it a global initiative.

No Manual Action:

Importantly, this process is fully automated and isn’t related to manual actions or spam prevention. It’s just one of the many signals Google uses to assess content.

Weighted Signal:

Websites with a high volume of unhelpful content will experience a more significant impact on their rankings. In contrast, sites with helpful content may not see a substantial change. If you’ve noticed a decline in rankings, later we’ll discuss how you can recover from the affects of this update and adapt to come out on top.

Third-Party Content:

If your website hosts third-party content on its main site or subdomains, it’s crucial to understand that this content may be factored into the site-wide signals generated by Google.

To maintain control over your rankings, especially if the third-party content is unrelated to your site’s primary purpose, consider blocking it from being indexed by Google.

How Does the Update Affect Your Website?

Rewards for Helpful Content

The good news is, if you’re consistently producing helpful content that resonates with your audience, you’re on the right track. This update is designed to reward websites like yours that prioritise user needs and deliver valuable information.

Self-Assessment is Key

However, if you’ve noticed a drop in traffic that you suspect is related to this update, it’s time for a self-assessment. Take a closer look at your content and identify any pieces that might be considered unhelpful. Google offers an informative guide on creating people-first content, complete with questions to help you assess your content’s quality.

Stay Informed with Updates

Google is committed to refining its classifier to better detect unhelpful content. Whenever a significant update occurs, it’s shared on Google’s Search ranking updates page. This means that if you’ve made improvements to your content, the effects of the previous classifier may eventually diminish.

How Can You Adapt to These Changes Successfully?

With Google’s new Helpful Content Update in the spotlight, let’s explore how this transformation affects adult SEO and what steps you can take to adapt successfully.

To learn more about the basics of SEO, click here to read our beginner’s guide.

Crafting Audience-Centric Content

Achieving top SERP (Search Engine Results Page) rankings under the Helpful Content Update boils down to one key principle: creating genuinely helpful content for your audience. While it might seem straightforward, executing this concept requires careful planning.

Before you begin crafting content, it’s crucial to have a deep understanding of your target audience. Ask yourself:

  • Who are you writing for?
  • What are their needs and desires?
  • What problems are they seeking solutions to?

Tailor your content to address your audience’s specific needs; otherwise, Google won’t consider it helpful, and your rankings will suffer.

Utilising Data Insights

For those with existing websites or blogs, Google Analytics is your ally. Dive into your analytics data to gain insights into your current readership. Analyze demographics, behaviour, and preferences, using the data to provide a comprehensive understanding of your intended audience.

Ensuring Audience Satisfaction

Thriving in the new SEO landscape means ensuring your content leaves your audience satisfied. Ask yourself: Will your audience feel fulfilled after consuming your content?

While pleasing everyone all the time is impossible, your goal should be to satisfy the majority of your audience. If most readers feel content after engaging with your content, you’re on the right track.

For example, if you run a cooking blog and your article teaches a new dish, not every reader may find it perfect. Yet, if they learn something new and find it helpful, overall satisfaction is achieved.

Embracing Expertise and Authenticity

Creating genuinely helpful content requires expertise and authenticity, not mere repetition of information.

Strive to be a subject matter expert in your content. Honesty is crucial; claiming expertise when lacking it will deter readers and displease Google.

Every website or blog should also have a clear primary objective or purpose. Aligning your content with this purpose ensures it’s genuinely helpful to your target audience.

Staying Informed

To meet Google’s standards, stay updated on Google’s guidance, particularly concerning product reviews.

If your content includes product reviews, adhere to Google’s policies regarding affiliate links, endorsements, and sponsored content. Failure to comply may severely affect your rankings.

Reviving Old Content

Maintain your content’s freshness and value. Older, irrelevant content can harm your rankings under the Helpful Content Update.

Regularly revisit and refresh old content to keep it relevant and valuable. Remove or redirect content that no longer aligns with your site’s purpose or industry trends.

In conclusion, Google’s Helpful Content Update reflects the evolving SEO landscape. To succeed:

  • Craft audience-centric content.
  • Ensure audience satisfaction.
  • Embrace expertise and authenticity.
  • Define your site’s purpose.
  • Stay informed on Google’s updates.
  • Revive old content.

By following these steps, you can navigate Google’s latest update and secure your place in the ever-changing realm of online search. Stay vigilant and adaptable, as Google continues its quest to make the internet a more helpful place for all users.

Preparing for the Future

In the ever-evolving landscape of the internet, staying up-to-date with search engine algorithms is crucial for maintaining your website’s visibility and relevance. Google’s September 2023 helpful content update represents a significant shift towards prioritising high-quality, people-first content.

As you navigate these changes, remember to:

  • Continuously create content that genuinely serves your audience’s needs.
  • Self-assess your content to ensure it aligns with Google’s updated criteria.
  • Exercise patience during the recovery process if your site has been affected.

By following these steps, you can adapt to Google’s latest update and position your website for success in the dynamic world of online search.

Keep an eye on future updates from Google, as they continue their mission to make the internet a more helpful and informative place for all users.

To learn more about how to elevate your business, get in contact with Adult Creative today! We understand the unique challenges and opportunities within the adult industry, and we’re passionate about helping businesses like yours thrive.