Helpful Content Update Trends

It’s over 2 weeks since the Helpful Content Update started rolling out and while we can’t call this a big update in absolute terms, there is a trend that has emerged among some sites. The trend starts after the 1st Sept and the sites affected are clearly not offering unique, value added content. The update was completed on the 9th Sept 2022 so we’ve added a list of losing domains below.

Firstly, a warning. If you look, you will find! There are always examples of winning and losing domains that fit the pattern you’re looking for.

In our first check after the Helpful Content Update started rolling out, our eyes fell on Lexico. It didn’t take long to work out that this top 60 site has been abandoned and redirected to dictionary.com.

As of today we still don’t see large movements in the SERPs. In absolute terms, it’s still quiet out there.

But as always, even if only a small number of domains are affected, the impact for those sites can be extremely significant.

Helpful Content Update trend to watch

We’ve identified one trend though. Starting from the 1st Sept, we are able to pick out domains showing the same losing characteristics. This has been the only trend we’ve been able to identify so far, but other SEOs have been seeing similar activity.

Lily Ray has posted multiple candidates on Twitter.

Here’s a closeup of some of those domains, and another that we’ve seen. All of them start their downward trend after the 1st Sept.

Glenn Gabe has also been sharing examples which fit this trend. These examples are from the ringtones sector.

Here are a couple more examples from the ‘ringtone’ sector.

And there are plenty more examples, all starting their downward journey after the 1st Sept.

A selection of domains that started losing visibility from the 1st September

Among the domains are lyrics sites, games sites, calculator sites and coding sites, including riptutorial.com which explicitly states that it’s content is re-use (under creative commons) of existing content from other sites. The site has lost over 85% of its visibility.

Losing domains during the Helful Content Update

Below is a list of domains that were affected during the update. The duration of the update means that other factors may have influenced movements such as site changes or competitor movements. We have removed some domains that were closed during the period. Be aware that some domains may contain adult content.

Helpful Content Update. Selected losing domains, by percentage lost
DomainVisibillity Index 25.08.2022Visibillity Index 09.09.2022Percentage change
adultepic.com3.83751.1915-68.95%
gizmoxxx.com7.7622.4929-67.88%
newhdxxx.com4.5841.6534-63.93%
hitzop.com3.1341.3202-57.87%
findthisbest.com3.90771.8175-53.49%
99designs.co.uk2.99551.4418-51.87%
xxxner.com2.22441.1001-50.54%
hisgames.org2.11811.0662-49.66%
ultimatesuccesspuzzle.com2.331.1979-48.59%
lyricsjonk.com6.29253.3242-47.17%
l-hit.com3.62641.964-45.84%
en-academic.com10.3495.6736-45.18%
endclothing.com2.73111.5175-44.44%
teepublic.com2.0561.2022-41.53%
eurosport.com2.48121.4678-40.84%
elliottsfancydress.co.uk2.97011.7759-40.21%
liebelib.net3.30141.9748-40.18%
codecguide.com1.7711.0658-39.82%
manualzz.com2.54971.5389-39.64%
funnygames.org1.86841.138-39.09%
gsa.ac.uk1.83561.1205-38.96%
giantfreakinrobot.com2.60981.5993-38.72%
wallpapersafari.com1.86761.1596-37.91%
runporn.com1.56631.0249-34.57%
lyricsroll.com2.16621.4183-34.53%
wethegeek.com2.35231.5687-33.31%
bittorrent.com2.21611.4971-32.44%
garden4less.co.uk1.99691.4039-29.70%
motorpoint.co.uk2.18761.5511-29.10%
grammarhow.com2.17881.5551-28.63%
batodfoundation.org.uk2.92932.0908-28.62%
nicelocal.co.uk2.1271.5284-28.14%
365games.co.uk5.46383.9422-27.85%
coopersofstortford.co.uk1.97651.4301-27.64%
intel.co.uk4.39273.2059-27.02%
sterlingfurniture.co.uk1.511.1098-26.50%
carfax.com2.08841.5358-26.46%
justmylook.com2.89952.134-26.40%
partyrama.co.uk4.03532.986-26.00%
levi.com1.75471.3025-25.77%
sony.co.uk16.402712.2002-25.62%
cassart.co.uk2.44831.8223-25.57%
jibjab.com1.78581.3307-25.48%
gamestop.com1.34991.0062-25.46%
constitutioncenter.org2.1021.5688-25.37%
gettyimages.com6.1684.6248-25.02%
ebrd.com1.41181.0625-24.74%
roland.com2.86132.1558-24.66%
farmergracy.co.uk2.15061.6222-24.57%
birmingham2022.com1.88491.4231-24.50%
dnb.com5.46024.1507-23.98%
twitch.tv20.085915.2933-23.86%
menshairstyletrends.com1.65541.262-23.76%
realmadrid.com1.54611.1803-23.66%
weather.gc.ca1.50391.1488-23.61%
productz.com1.42231.0876-23.53%
dicklovett.co.uk1.4671.1224-23.49%
offspring.co.uk1.41531.0846-23.37%
fuqqt.com1.96931.5113-23.26%
westfield.com2.3841.8306-23.21%
vipwank.com2.66752.0512-23.10%
wtatennis.com2.05011.5783-23.01%
sno.co.uk1.33421.0295-22.84%
www.police.uk3.06292.3743-22.48%
airfleets.net1.40461.0979-21.84%
yoox.com1.54721.2147-21.49%
foodandwine.com6.5915.1755-21.48%
architonic.com1.27851.0045-21.43%
hope.ac.uk1.84441.4496-21.41%
reezocar.com1.70881.3443-21.33%
xv-videos1.com1.73791.3677-21.30%
thebikemarket.co.uk1.82051.4359-21.13%
imusic.co1.43761.1341-21.11%
affordablegolf.co.uk4.27173.3715-21.07%
familyhandyman.com16.218212.8151-20.98%
birminghammail.co.uk3.09412.4458-20.95%
shutterfly.com7.0775.5979-20.90%
conranshop.co.uk2.10051.6616-20.90%
hotexamples.com1.71061.3554-20.76%
thecommonwealth.org3.28122.6002-20.75%
mango.com3.16882.5135-20.68%
textures.com1.54651.2296-20.49%
deliveroo.co.uk4.48373.5695-20.39%
animalfactguide.com1.48071.1802-20.29%
menkind.co.uk7.49795.9768-20.29%
jct600.co.uk1.70031.3555-20.28%
lighting-direct.co.uk6.8875.5013-20.12%
icc-cpi.int1.53551.227-20.09%
usatoday.com15.64212.5232-19.94%
wayfair.com5.21344.1783-19.85%
crayola.com4.60323.6936-19.76%
zara.com6.52915.2402-19.74%
vertumotors.com1.63841.3152-19.73%
creativemarket.com1.82161.4648-19.59%
myfitnesspal.com1.28261.0317-19.56%
walmart.ca1.90291.5307-19.56%
medisave.co.uk4.60623.7067-19.53%
yidio.com1.74991.4091-19.48%

Where are the winners?

The SERPs are fluid; they expand to fill any gaps. Given that there’s not a huge amount of absolute movement out there, we don’t expect to see the popular domains winning too much in terms of visibility. Indeed it’s hard to find any examples of large domains with any significant gains.

Among the percentage winners, too, there aren’t any obvious stand-out examples. It’s a normal day out there, with the usual sprinkling of hacked websites…

How to analyse changes if your domain is affected

Aleyda Solis has summed it up nicely in a Twitter thread. A detailed tutorial is available here.

We continue to analyse changes here and will report any new observations as we find them.

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