Has Google’s latest algorithm update impacted site traffic for you? Are you seeing your once-great traffic tank or your articles with no traffic suddenly zooming up in the SERPs?

Google’s Latest Algorithm Update and Its Impact on Site Traffic

I’ve noticed a big shift in Google’s algorithm since August. I own several sites, including this one, and provide content marketing support to numerous content entrepreneurs who own multiple sites.

Across the board, we’ve seen some sites suddenly surge in popularity with Google; traffic has more than doubled on one of my websites, for example, during a time of the year when it normally decreases abruptly (it’s a gardening website and traffic generally peaks in April in accordance with planting schedules in the USA.)

On the other hand, sites that generally had strong traffic suddenly saw their posts sink a few positions or more in the SERPs. That may not sound like much, but it can result in drastic decreases in website visitors – and, with decreased site visitors, a decrease in monetization. In other words, those sites are making less money for their owners.

Ann Smarty, in her weekly  newsletter, explained it brilliantly. I won’t go into the details, but I do urge you to head over to Ann’s newsletter and read it for yourself.

Four Google Updates Since August 2023

Essentially, Google performed not one but FOUR updates since August 22, 2023:

  1. Core Update – August 22, 2023
  2. Helpful Content Update – September 2023
  3. Spam Update – Early October 2023
  4. Core Update (again!) – Mid-October 2023


What Is a Google Core Update?

This is a general algorithm update performed by Google to improve search results. As always, Google’s goal is to improve the accuracy and relevancy of search engine results. Core Updates do not target specific websites or types of content.


What Is a Google Helpful Content Update?

The Helpful Content updates is the big one, in my opinion, impacting many bloggers. These updates DO target specific sites or content, downgrading those Google’s algorithm deems “unhelpful” to the searcher and upgrading those it deems “helpful.” This latest update is impacting mostly sites that did heavy keyword phrase tailoring to improve search engine rank without regard or with secondary regard to the helpfulness of the information.


What Is a Google Spam Update?

The Google Spam Update downgrades thin content (i.e., does not go into depth or detail on the searched topic) or is overly promotional. It also targets websites that are created merely to sell products through search opportunities – keyword stuffed sites filled with affiliate links or sales links.

What’s Going on With Google and Your Content?

Now, given that Google had rolled out so many updates in just a few short weeks, what the heck is going on?

That’s what’s going on. AI is EVERYWHERE in content. It’s not only being used to generate spammy content (i.e., the ‘thin’ content marked for downgrade in a Google Spam update), it is also being used to generate books, blog posts, websites, and anything else.

Google doesn’t like AI generated content (probably because it has yet to crack the code on how to monetize it for its own gain). Therefore, sites that use it, or sites that sound like they use it, maybe at risk.

Unfortunately, that means a lot of sites that did nothing wrong are seeing their content sink a bit in the rankings. My site is often written in the first person, with original images showing my husband or myself performing a gardening task; this is one reason why the traffic has suddenly surged for us. The site offers actual people doing real things, and there is no way that an AI bot generated this content. Google is rewarding this and the work we did over the past year on UI/UX and search intent, an ongoing project for that website.

Recovering From Google Updates

If your website was impacted negatively by these Google updates, a few words of wisdom from someone who has been running a content business for over 16 years. “This too shall pass.”

I have seen it all, from the content mills keyword stuffing articles in the early days to this latest update, and you know what works? QUALITY CONTENT.

SEO Writing Tactics That Work for Long-Term Results

  • Write for search intent, not keywords. What does the person searching want to know or do related to a particular keyword phrase? Make sure your content addresses it.
  • Avoid overly promotional content or spam stuff.
  • Disclose affiliate relationships, ads, and sponsored posts.
  • Offer a fresh, unique perspective. If you’re copying someone else, you won’t do well in the long term.
  • Revise and refresh your posts. Don’t let them get stale.
  • Use your photos if you can, especially for how-to posts.
  • Write for people first, search engines second.
  • Ensure you always use your authorial voice. Google wants expertise, authority, and trust, not just any random stuff.

What’s your opinion? How has your content fared during these updates? If Google’s latest algorithm update impact site traffic for you and you want to get more traffic, contact Seven Oaks Consulting. We can help.  Share a comment or write to me at jeanne@sevenoaksconsulting.com, and let’s strategize how we can fix it if your content’s rank has tanked.