Helpful content and Google Search results FAQ

Google Search's core ranking systems are designed to better ensure people see original, helpful content that leaves them feeling they've had a satisfying experience. This page brings together answers to questions about how these core systems work to show helpful content in search results.

Is there a single "helpful content system" that Google Search uses for ranking?

Our work to improve the helpfulness of content in search results began with what we called our "helpful content system" that was launched in 2022. Our processes have evolved since. There is no one system used for identifying helpful content. Instead, our core ranking systems use a variety of signals and systems.

How can I check if my content is helpful?

Our help page on how to create helpful, reliable people-first content has questions that you can use to self-assess your content.

Do Google's core ranking systems assess the helpfulness of content on a page-level or site-wide basis?

Our core ranking systems are primarily designed to work on the page level, using a variety of signals and systems to understand the helpfulness of individual pages. We do have some site-wide signals that are also considered.

Will removing unhelpful content help my other content rank better?

Our systems work primarily at the page level to show the most helpful content we can, even if that content is on sites also hosting unhelpful content. This said, having relatively high amounts of unhelpful content might cause other content on the site to perform less well in Search, to a varying degree. Removing unhelpful content might contribute to your other pages performing better.

If I remove unhelpful content, do I have to wait for a core update to see potential ranking improvements?

Ranking changes can happen at any time for a variety of reasons. We regularly update our core ranking systems. Content on the open web changes, which our systems process. Because of this, there's no set timeline as to how long it might take for potential improvement to be reflected in ranking.