There’s still hope for September HCU impacted sites

There’s still hope for September HCU impacted sites

Google’s Danny Sullivan and John Mueller both made comments on social media that give me hope that sites impacted by the September Helpful Content update may still have a chance of seeing some form of recovery with Google’s next core update.

Travel blogger Katie Caf Travel has been working hard on improving her site, and asked whether she should also be working on building a readership

According to Ahrefs estimates, it looks like her site was severely impacted by the September 2023 HCU. How frustrating to be continually working on improving and continuing to suffer losses.

katiecraftravel traffic estimates

katiecraftravel traffic estimates

Danny shared some excellent advice in his tweet. I’d encourage you to read the whole thing. I’ll be publishing quite a bit more in the weeks to come to help us understand how machine learning systems determine rankings and so much has changed in the Google ranking systems that we studied for so many years. Knowing these systems helps make Danny’s advice to focus on your readers more believable.

For now, let’s focus on these words from Danny:

“It might be the next core update will help”

Danny said, “As to the inevitable ‘but I’ve done all these things when will I recover!’ questions, I’d go back to what we’ve said before. It might be the next core update will help, as covered here

how long to recover from core update

how long to recover from core update

With the March Core Update, the helpful content system which impacted so many sites in September was integrated into Google’s core systems

no longer one helpful content system

no longer one helpful content system

We had hoped to see recoveries, but I have yet to see any reports! 

It looks like the systems need a bit more time to learn about your hard work and new helpful content that you have created. 

This means that sites impacted may need to see another core update in order to start seeing recovery. 

Danny referred us to a tweet from John Mueller from last month which says something similar:

This makes me really excited for the next core update from Google. We don’t know when that will happen. It could be any day now or it could be months. I know so many of you have worked hard. Google told us that the March core update represents an evolution in how they identify the helpfulness of content. 

I believe we will start to see some interesting pages rank as Google’s machine learning systems improve upon identifying content that people are likely to find helpful.

Here’s more reading you might find interesting:

What it (likely) takes to recover following a September 2023 helpful content update drop

Want to keep up to date?

I’ve got a bunch of resources coming. My book, SEO in the Gemini Era: The Story of How AI Changed Google Search, is out soon. Along with it will be free and paid products including workbooks and a course which will help us learn more about the machine learning systems that are responsible for today’s ranking systems. 

Sign up for my newsletter to be notified when these are ready.

Stay tuned

I’ll soon be publishing my next blog post on learning from the API files that contain attributes used in Search. You don’t want to miss this next one as I’m going to share with you why I believe we are studying the attributes to an old Search engine that is quite different from the machine learning driven system that is responsible for today’s rankings!

Marie’s Notes – my detailed notes on everything I’m learning each week. $18/m.

Join my community, stay up to date, and get excited about the future of AI in the Search Bar.

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