The useful content signal may get stronger with the next core update

Google’s search liaison, Danny Sullivan, says the useful content ranking signal may get stronger with future algorithm updates.

The useful content update started rolling out two weeks ago. Early feedback from SEOs and publishers suggests that the new ranking signal is not having a significant impact on search results.

Sullivan responded to comments last week, stressing that updating useful content is important, despite anecdotal evidence suggesting otherwise.

As the update is an ongoing effort, its impact will become more apparent over time, unlike previous updates, such as Panda and Penguin, which immediately produced significant changes in search results.

To that end, we now know when the helpful content update might become more noticeable.

This week, Sullivan responded to comments again, revealing that the useful content signal may get stronger as more algorithm updates roll out.

He declares:

“Perhaps the useful content signal alone was not enough to tip the scales and produce a change in someone’s particular situation, but when we make other updates (essential, critical of products), it could add to that and be more meaningful….”

The quote above is taken from a longer Twitter thread where Sullivan repeats many of the same talking points from last week.

Again, Sullivan says the impact of the helpful content update is in line with what he expected:

“Remarkable does not mean that every site sees a change and, why would that happen? Are the majority of sites useless? »

He makes an interesting point in the quote above, because it would be concerning if a significant number of sites dropped in the rankings. This would suggest that Google previously elevates many sites that publish useless content.

It’s good to know that Google already had a high bar for content quality in search results, since updating content usefully didn’t cause many sites to drop in rankings.

One final takeaway from Sullivan’s tweet thread – if Google missed some useless sites in the first wave of rollout, that doesn’t mean Google won’t catch them eventually.

Here is the quote (emphasis mine):

“If you went through this initial release and had no changes, then 1) congratulations, lots of helpful content and it’s probably you or 2) if you have useless content, you shouldn’t think that we won’t find it and consider changing what you do….

That said, it’s too early to tell if the useful content update isn’t as important as Google’s other algorithm changes.

It’s an ongoing effort, as Google likes to say. Give it a few months to a year, and the differences may be more noticeable when comparing SERPs before and after the helpful content update.

Source: @dannysullivan on Twitter

Featured Image: Just Dance/Shutterstock

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