Google Helpful Content Update’s Last Surge?

Over the past couple of days, I’ve seen more chatter of ranking movement for those SEOs initially impacted by the September 2023 helpful content update. I wonder if this is the last push, the last surge, of this helpful content update before Google says this update is done rolling out.

This update seemed to wreak havoc on our industry, seeming to target SEO’ed sites a bit more than others. And Google says the update is doing what it needs to and will not be rolled back. Don’t forget, Google did originally warn us that this update would impact SEOs. I wrote it would be as big as Panda was for some SEOs and while it took three of these updates to sink it, it seems like it finally did.

As a reminder, this update started to roll out on September 14th, about 12 days ago, so it should be done within the next couple of days. But sometimes these updates can take longer to roll out than just two weeks, although the previous one took 38 days but the one before that was only 15 days.

In any event, we are seeing more chatter while the tools are still acting super calm.

SEO Chatter

Here is some of the new SEO chatter in the past couple of days from WebmasterWorld and the comments here – this is just a sampling of that chatter:

Big drop in USA, UK, and CA traffic today, -35%, -25%, -75% respectively at 2pm. Yesterday UK ended the day at -39% and AU was -50%, USA was flat, CA was up 120%. So big swings and this is while my number of top 5 ranking terms keeps climbing all summer and through September.

Saturday global site 61.5%. I get concerned when it’s sub 60% on weekends

Saturday hotel venue 198%

So far today global site 53.5%

So far today hotel 196%

The crazy inconsistency continues.

In Germany we have a very big problem with newspapers and large magazines that rent out their domains outside of their subject area or write articles for all sorts of things – without any real specialist knowledge. These are actually all areas (finance, energy, telecommunications, streaming, etc.)

Huge drop today… Here We Go Again 😀

Big drops today for USA (-26%), Canada (-61%), Australia (-67%) and Germany (-40%) at 2pm. Clearly the strong traffic pattern of early Sept. is over as all of the anglophone countries are perpetually lagging now. German traffic was unusually high earlier this month and is now reverting.

Crazy spikey day again after a 63.5% day Sunday, so far today 271.5%, these page view spreads are npt “normal” for me.

I also see traffic spikes, then cliffs. Today the SERP’s are crazy… AdSense on the floor, I smell G’s movements.

+34% increase in USA traffic.

-27% decrease in Canadian traffic

We are based in Canada and we’re seeing an increase in USA traffic and decrease in Canadian traffic.

We also just got #0 featured snippet for USA traffic as well…

I’m not mad at growing in the USA, it was one of our goals – but we are destabilizing in our own country.

30% drop.

We experienced a much harder fall then this just from all the ads Google put in the serps months ago. Combine this with the horrific HCU, and it’s a complete disaster in Google. The only thing saving us is the increased sales from other search engines

For my global site Monday ended with my second highest day of the year at 284.5% however traffic came to an abrupt halt at UK 20.00. After 11 hours today it’s at 30.5% with PVs to uniques reverting to almost 1:1, Monday was 1:6.1

Utter inconsistency seems to be G’s delivery at the moment.

100 users in 5 minutes, nice. going up I’m confirming. I don’t think I’m special so everyone will see the improvements in a next days (I expect it to get where it was before)

Anything new today? Is it still keeping/going up?

That is just some of the chatter in the past couple of days.

Google Tracking Tools

Like we said before, the Google tracking tools are unusually calm. This tells the same story as our earlier reports. Chatter within the SEO community is off the charts but the tools are super calm.



Advanced Web Rankings:



Cognitive SEO:






What are you all seeing over the past couple of days? Do you think we are at the tail end of this update?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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