It's one of those scary days on the web for journalists and publishers — Google is rolling out a major new update. The Helpful Content update (I miss the days when Google gave major updates cutesy names like “Panda” or “Hummingbird”) started rolling out this morning, and will take around two weeks to fully implement.
I've written some initial thoughts about how to cope, and what to watch, and will write more about it when we know more about how it's impacting publishers.
Do bear in mind that we won't know its true impact for some weeks, because Google will be constantly tweaking it as it rolls it out. These sorts of updates always have some unexpected side-effects that the search giant will be trying to correct as quickly as possible. That might be why they've chosen to roll it out in what's the dog days of summer for many of us in the English-speaking world. By the time traffic picks up again in the autumn, they should have it sorted and working well.