Earlier in September 2022, Google completed the rollout of its Helpful Content SEO Update. The rollout started on August 25 and took 15 days to complete. The update is significant, looking to remove content that simply tries to play the SEO “game.”
Google is looking to underscore valuable content within websites, changing how they rank pages and sites. That said, this will make original, helpful content differentiate itself from the rest. If you’re looking to see how to take advantage of this update, here’s everything you need to know.
Google’s Update Focuses On People-First Content
The update revolves around providing users with helpful content, which means providing readers with the right content that provides value. SEO experts have underscored the idea of “people-first” content for years. Good content is media people can learn from, rather than a mess of optimized information with no value.
The Helpful Content Update will reward content that offers a satisfying, more engaging experience to its visitors. This means longer, engaging pieces, easy-to-read and understandable content, and content that gives readers answers and information they are looking for.
The update also looks to remove thin content, such as pop-ups or mobile pages that aren’t optimized for readers. Google has gone through a mindset change, shifting the focus from the importance of ranking pages to the significance of helpful and high-quality content.
How Google’s Update Affects Rankings
The update is aimed at appeasing what readers want while addressing what Google and readers consider spam. Google wants websites to provide viewers with long-form content, as well as content that is valuable and useful.
With the new algorithm update, a website that focuses on SEO tactics instead of engaging visitors will receive lower priority, if not outright penalties. On the other hand, websites focused on providing value will receive a boost.
Google will have a more positive view of websites focused on valuable content. The update is already in effect, while webmasters and bloggers work to change how they make their content. Attracting search engines rather than real people can damage your long-term rankings.
How To Build Person-First Content?
As mentioned, Google looks to provide people with content that will give them the answers they are looking for. This means providing the information they want, specifically built to provide value as needed. Google offered several guide questions that brands can ask themselves.
- Is the content primarily to attract people from search engines, rather than made for humans?
- Are you producing lots of content on different topics in hopes that some of it might perform well in search results?
- Are you using extensive automation to produce content on many topics?
- Are you mainly summarizing what others have to say without adding much value?
- Are you writing about things simply because they seem trending and not because you’d write about them otherwise for your existing audience?
- Does your content leave readers feeling like they need to search again to get better information from other sources?
- Are you writing to a particular word count because you’ve heard or read that Google has a preferred word count? (No, we don’t).
- Did you decide to enter some niche topic area without any real expertise, but mainly because you thought you’d get search traffic?
- Does your content promise 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?
Google’s Helpful Content update will utilize machine learning to understand if the content offers value to visitor queries. This will allow Google to identify unhelpful content, so any site hit with penalties will take months before they recover.
Go Beyond Google’s Algorithm Now
Google’s Helpful Content update is all about having valuable content made for people. The algorithm looks to provide users with valuable content that prioritizes people first, asking webmasters and bloggers to reexamine their websites. If unsure about your next move, hire the right professionals to shift your brand’s needs.