Marie Haynes asked Danny Sullivan, the Google Search Liaison for more clarity on recovering from a helpful content update by “removing unhelpful content.” Danny’s response was that you should “self-assess” your content to understand if you believe it will be helpful to visitors.
Marie’s question was pretty detailed, she wrote:
Google’s documentation on the helpful content system talks about recovering by “removing unhelpful content” in order to get the unhelpful content classification removed.
Any chance we could get more clarity on this?
Do you mean:
- Remove parts of pages that contain large amounts of text readers will likely skip over?
- emove entire pages that offer little original value?
- perhaps both?
Does a site need to remove unhelpful content published in the past in order to recover? Or could they focus on simply producing content that is helpful and original from this point onwards. Would that be enough?
She referenced Google’s documentation that reads, “A natural question some will have is how long will it take for a site to do better, if it removes unhelpful content? Sites identified by this system may find the signal applied to them over a period of months. Our classifier runs continuously, allowing it to monitor newly-launched sites and existing ones. As it determines that the unhelpful content hasn’t returned in the long-term, the classification will no longer apply.”
Danny’s response was pretty short, he wrote, “People should self-assess their content to understand if they believe it will be helpful to visitors. Keep content on pages or entire pages or whatever they believe is helpful. Get rid of things that aren’t, if they’re looking critically at them as a visitor.”
Here is the embed of those tweets:
People should self-assess their content to understand if they believe it will be helpful to visitors. Keep content on pages or entire pages or whatever they believe is helpful. Get rid of things that aren’t, if they’re looking critically at them as a visitor.
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) September 1, 2023
Sometimes it is hard to self-asses your own content, so having a third-party do it for you might be a good idea.
Also, often it might be better to improve the content, not simply remove it. But it all depends on the site, the other content you have on that site, the topic, can the content be improved or not.
How do you all go about assessing if your content is helpful or not?
Forum discussion at X.