Unpacking Google’s September 2023 Update: Key Changes and Impacts on SEO and Content Creation

Unpacking Google’s September 2023 Update: Key Changes and Impacts on SEO and Content Creation

Unpacking Google’s September 2023 Update: Key Changes and Impacts on SEO and Content Creation

As Seen On

Unveiled on September 14, 2023, and completed by the close of September 28, the latest round of adjustments from Google have once again brought sweeping change across the digital landscape. Termed the “Helpful Content Update”, the innovative modifications in Google’s September 2023 update are stirring significant discussions among SEO experts, content creators, and the community at large.

The modifications have seen their fair share of excitement and skepticism during the two-week rollout period. Opinions from the SEO community varied widely, with reports of fluctuating ratings and rankings filtering in across online forums and social platforms. These shifts in the SERP atmosphere are a direct result of the groundbreaking elements introduced by Google within this update.

One of the most significant modifications is the inclusion of an enhanced classifier. As part of Google’s ongoing commitment to raising content standards, this refined tool focuses on third-party hosted content, effectively raising the bar for all entities seeking digital visibility. It marks an effort to prioritize information-rich content hosted on third-party platforms, a move welcomed by many experts within the digital and SEO communities.

In a somewhat controversial move, the tech giant has also removed content generated by individuals in their native language. The rationale behind this was aimed at refining content quality and standardizing language proficiency across the platform.

Google’s new content guidelines have also hinted at another shift in perspective. Creators are now advised to not only review their content themselves but also have it evaluated by experts in the subject matter. Moreover, the update also discourages the practice of altering the date unless a significant update to the content has been made, further emphasizing transparency.

The Helpful Content Update is built around a simple, yet profound premise. It aims to give precedence to content created with the intention of helping and informing people, rather than focusing solely on SEO ranking. As a result, the changes are expected to impact ‘search engine-first’ content or ‘SEO content,’ as marketers and SEO practitioners know it.

The focus will now be on creating content that offers tangible value to the user, which many believe is a drastic, yet positive change. This shift promises to replace fluff pieces designed solely for traffic with authentic, information-packed content designed to help users.

If you’re one of the many who have been affected by these changes and are looking for recovery strategies, Google has an answer for you. Alongside the update, a comprehensive list of self-assessment questions were published, meant as a script to enable your site to align with the fresh norms.

Incorporating these guiding questions into your content strategy is expected to help website owners and marketers to recover from any short-term losses incurred by the update. Although Google has emphasized that recovery may take time and will not happen overnight, the rewards will be ample for those patient enough to refocus their strategies and adapt to these changes.

In sum, Google’s September 2023 Helpful Content Update is transforming the way we approach SEO and content creation. By prioritizing audience engagement and genuine information sharing over the optimization-first mindset, Google continues to reinvent the digital sphere, reaffirming its commitment to serving quality, informative, and user-centric content. SEO professionals, marketers, content creators, and bloggers need to adapt to these developments to ensure their content remains relevant, visible and above all, helpful.

Casey Jones Avatar
Casey Jones
10 months ago

Why Us?

  • Award-Winning Results

  • Team of 11+ Experts

  • 10,000+ Page #1 Rankings on Google

  • Dedicated to SMBs

  • $175,000,000 in Reported Client

Contact Us

Up until working with Casey, we had only had poor to mediocre experiences outsourcing work to agencies. Casey & the team at CJ&CO are the exception to the rule.

Communication was beyond great, his understanding of our vision was phenomenal, and instead of needing babysitting like the other agencies we worked with, he was not only completely dependable but also gave us sound suggestions on how to get better results, at the risk of us not needing him for the initial job we requested (absolute gem).

This has truly been the first time we worked with someone outside of our business that quickly grasped our vision, and that I could completely forget about and would still deliver above expectations.

I honestly can't wait to work in many more projects together!

Contact Us


*The information this blog provides is for general informational purposes only and is not intended as financial or professional advice. The information may not reflect current developments and may be changed or updated without notice. Any opinions expressed on this blog are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the author’s employer or any other organization. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this blog without first seeking the advice of a professional. No representation or warranty, express or implied, is made as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this blog. The author and affiliated parties assume no liability for any errors or omissions.