Google announced the launch of “helpful content update” on August 18, 2022, and the update started rolling out on August 25, 2022 and can take up to two weeks to roll out. This update rewards content that provides readers a satisfying experience, while content that doesn’t meet a visitor’s expectations may get affected.
It often happens that people don’t find the content helpful if your website content strategy is designed to attract clicks rather than inform readers. Google always puts effort into the pages shown on Search and Google Searches are regularly updated to make sure readers are finding high-quality content.
So, here’s the new “helpful content update” that Google has begun rolling out, aiming at the better ranking of original, quality content. This update focuses on ensuring that you see more original, helpful content written by people, for people, in the search results. This update can be considered as a new signal or one of the many signals that Google evaluates to rank content.
Any unoriginal, low-quality content will not rank high in Search. Google’s testing has found the update will especially improve results related to online education, as well as arts and entertainment, shopping, and tech-related content.
Prioritize people-first content
Based on this helpful content update, Google expects content creators to focus on people-first content. Over-optimization of SEO content for years can potentially impact all the pages.
Unlike the recent product review update, that was designed to promote high quality product reviews, this helpful content update is sitewide.
This update introduces a new ranking signal that will negatively impact sites that publish high amounts of content with little value, and are not helpful to searchers. Other key signals for ranking content include: Meaning, Relevance, Quality, Usability, and Context.
The search engine giant’s systems automatically identify content that seems to have less value for those doing searches.
Google says that the content creators are on the right track with a people-first approach, if –
- you have an existing or intended audience for your business or site that would find the content useful and they came directly to you
- your content demonstrates first-hand expertise and a depth of knowledge
- your site has a primary purpose or focus
- your content provides the reader the feeling that they’ve learned enough about a topic to help achieve their goal
- someone reading your content leaves feeling like they’ve had a satisfying experience
- you are keeping in mind Google’s guidance for core updates and for product reviews
For web pages that are affected by this helpful content update, Google recommends removing poor-quality content from the website. Sites affected by this update may find the signal applied to them over for months. According to Google, “Our classifier for this update runs continuously, allowing it to monitor newly-launched sites and existing ones. As it determines that the unhelpful content has not returned in the long-term, the classification will no longer apply”. This classifier process is entirely automated, using a machine-learning model. It is not a manual action nor a spam action.
What to keep in mind?
The main tips content creators can keep in mind are –
- avoid taking a search engine-first approach
- be sure you’ve removed unhelpful content
- follow all the Google guidelines for better results
So, should I reevaluate my content?
Based on helpful content update, Google recommends reevaluating the content, if –
- your content is primarily designed to attract people from search engines, rather than made for humans
- your content covers different topics in the hope that some of it might perform well in search results
- you are using extensive automation to produce content on many topics
- you are mainly summarizing what others have to say without adding much value
- you are writing about things simply because they seem trending and not because you’d write about them otherwise for your existing audience
- your content leave readers feeling like they need to search again to get better information from other sources
- you are writing to a particular word count because you’ve heard or read that Google has a preferred word count
- you decide to enter some niche topic area without any real expertise, but instead mainly because you thought you’d get search traffic
- your content promises to answer a question that has no answer, such as suggesting there’s a release date for a product, movie, or TV show when one isn’t confirmed
With this update-
- some people-first content on sites classified as having unhelpful content could still rank well if there are other signals identifying that people-first content as helpful and relevant to a query
- sites with lots of unhelpful content may notice a stronger effect
This update currently impacts English searches globally and may expand to other languages in the future.
If you are not sure as to how to create user-friendly content, reach out to professional content writing services. At MedResponsive, our content marketing strategies aim at attracting your audience’s attention with informative content that addresses their concerns and gives them the information they want. We make sure to create content that meets search intent. Discuss your content and digital marketing requirements with us at (800) 941-5527.