In August, Google announced a new big search ranking algorithm update, named the helpful content update – probably its biggest update in a decade.
What We Know
The helpful content update will target websites with a relatively high amount of unsatisfying or unhelpful content, where the content has been written explicitly for search engines to leverage rankings.
Unlike many Google algorithms that get applied page-by-page, this new helpful content update will be sitewide. That means that if Google determines your site is producing a relatively high amount of unhelpful content, it will impact your whole site.
This reminds us of the early Panda and Penguin update days. Just as a quick reminder – or in case you weren’t working in SEO a decade ago – those updates did a lot of damage back then, and we made significant changes to our SEO strategies to recover and protect our client websites.
Which Sites Were Likely Impacted?
According to Google, this update impacted these types of content the most:
This is because content written in those areas has historically been written more for search engines than humans.
These are the folks that were hit the hardest:
We were quick to run a deep ranking audit of more than 3.5K websites, and we are happy to inform you that so far, this update did not have any significant negative impact on our client’s websites. In fact, we have seen good improvement in positions for the sites we are working on. This implies that our content strategy, in conjunction with our other SEO efforts like on-page optimization and link building, is working well and protecting our client’s websites.
Are your GBP posts getting rejected? Well, that’s because GBP has added more restrictions to its list of guidelines. As stated in their support document under the “Avoid Spam” header, Google warns business owners to avoid uploading duplicate photos, posts, videos, or logos.
Here’s a screenshot of the other guidelines that you should know.
So, using original images & relevant content is the only way to get your posts accepted.
Recently, it has been discovered that Google Maps is emailing customers who have posted a review for any business when their review is flagged as fake and, therefore, not posted.
It came to light after Lucio Laria – Consultant SEO International raised this issue on the Google Business Profile community. When a help forum titled Legitimate review started getting flagged as “Fake Engagement”, he wrote:
I just settled my Google profile and asked my client for a review. Google is filing this review as a fake engagement when this person is a legitimate client of mine.
I’m waiting for this to be fixed before asking other of my clients for their reviews.
Why is this happening, and how can I fix it?
Among the many conjectured reasons and suggestions put forth by knowledgeable forum members are the following:
The reviewer received the email notification about 15 minutes after posting the review. As the forum community pointed out, the review was being “filtered by an algorithm that enforces Google’s content policies”.
Why You Should Pay Attention to This Issue:
As we all know, getting legitimate reviews is not an easy task. It takes a lot of effort to impress a client and even more to convince the client to post a good review. It is disappointing when our sometimes hard-to-get legitimate reviews get taken down for “algorithmic” reasons, as requesting the client to post it again can be a bit awkward.
So, it’s crucial to learn how to get our good reviews to stick the better we can prep our customers and clients to get it right the first time.