Episode 35 - The Helpful Content Update: Part II

Where queries are weird, advice is controversial, and everything depends.

Has the Helpful Content Update done anything yet? We took a look at all of the good and bad advice for this update specifically covering how to improve your content and whether you should do anything until it’s fully rolled out.

In this week’s episode, we also cover how metadata impacts visibility, the deprecation of the International Targeting Report in GSC, and how long it takes to rank. 


Host: Garrett Sussman | Demand Generation Manager 

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Show notes / References:

Google/SERP Updates:

Google Helpful Content Update Is Now Rolling Out

Officially launched Thursday, August 25th, the Helpful Content Update is being rolled out over the course of 2 weeks. As of Monday morning, there has not been any reports of significant volatility in the SERPs.

Helpful Content Update Feedback

Have you encountered a specific SERP that leaves a lot to be desired? Search team evangelist John Mueller has a form that you can fill out that the team will review and add to the feedback for the algorithm. They’re not going to explicitly address that SERP, but it could provide hints to the Search team where the algorithm is not surfacing the best content.

More Updates: Dave Snyder and CopyPress

Dave Snyder created the website to document information about the update. He is also collecting examples of really bad SERPs to see if the update is doing what it claims to help improve.

Spreadsheet for Content Helpfulness and flow cart for content updates – Aleyda Solis

Aleyda put together two great resources for ensuring your content is helpful and whether you should update old content, delete it, or merge it with other content.

(We actually covered that in our own webinar on content rebalancing as well.)

Why Deleting Pages Can Harm Your Site and Hot to do it properly – Lyndon Nelson-Allen (@darth_na) 

Last year, Lyndon put together a great step-by-step Twitter thread on whether you should delete your content. It addresses reasons to keep it independent of SEO.

Content Update Recommendations – Ross Simmonds

Ross details all of the ways you can make your content more helpful with this tactic-driven Twitter thread.

Kevin Indig Dos and Don’t

It’s always tempting to get ahead of an update by taking action immediately. Kevin Indig shared his recommendations on what to do with your website during an update and how to assess changes without jumping to conclusions.

Google Deprecating International Targeting Report ( hreflang)

Google is removing a useful tool in GSC that helps you monitor issues with your international Hreflang usage as well as the ability to tell Google which countries a page is targeting. The international SEO community is not happy about it. Patrick Stox shared his experience with international SEO in a great Twitter thread.

List of Hreflang tools – Dave Smart

For those of us that need an hreflang monitoring replacement, Dave Smart curated a list of tools that you can use.

Structured data for web developers  – Ryan Levering – Google

Ryan provided a great walkthrough of the value of structured data, what it is, and how important it is for SEO. 


Twitter Threads/Tweets:

Garrett’s SEO Twitter List

Follow over 200+ SEOs across every SEO discipline.

Using Google Search Console for Crawl Reporting – Cyrus Shepherd 

Cyrus walks through GSC’s and shows how you can prioritize crawl errors for fixing.

Google Search Console Video index report performance – Gianna Brachetti-Truskawa

Gianna reviews whether the new Video Index report is accurate. Despite erring on the side of caution, the report still is overreporting errors so far.

SEO TikTok – Lidia Infante

Wondering about the state of SEO TikTok? According to SEO Twitter, it’s not good. See the responses in this Tweet from Lidia.

7 things I wish I understood earlier as a technical #SEO – Kristina Azarenko

What do you need to know about Technical SEO? Kristina reflected on her career and what she wishes she knew early on that she knows now.

General SEO:

How Long Does SEO Take to Show Results?


New Podcast: Off on the Right Foot with Homepage SEO – The SERPs Up SEO Podcast – Crystal Carter and Mordy Oberstein – Wix

Where Can You Go to Learn Local SEO?

Technical SEO Articles:

JavaScript SEO: How to Optimize JavaScript Content for Search – Crawling Mondays

Prevent Metadata From Sabotaging Your Visibility – Danielle Antosz – iPullRank Blog


Google Sheets Function Updates – Ben Collins


Rankable Ep. 79 – Language Technology, NLP and SEO ft Dr. Rachael Tatman 

Coming Wednesday – Areej Abuali – Cracking In-House SEO 

Did you miss all of the awesome Rankable Podcast Episodes that we published while Garrett was out on parental leave?

Check them all out below and let us know which one you loved the most!

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