What is the Helpful Content Update?
The new algorithm change seeks to boost content written for your readers, and devalue content written primarily for SEO purposes.
Google says :
“We [are] launching the “helpful content update” to better ensure people see more original, helpful content written by people, for people, rather than content made primarily for search engine traffic.”
They also reassure us that the human approach does not invalidate best practise SEO – SEO is still a helpful Digital Marketing strategy where it’s applied to people-first content.
The update applies to all pages of your website, which differs to the 2021 update, which focused on product pages and reviews.
When does the Helpful Content Update go live?
The update was announced mid August and went live on 22nd August. You may say that doesn’t give you long to respond, but we would respond that good website content is written for it’s prospective readers anyway. Embrace Digital, Stay Human!
For now, the update only affects English language websites.
How does the Helpful Content Update affect search rankings?
This update introduces a new ranking factor to the Google search algorithm.
Google will crawl websites to identify sites that publish AI generated, unhelpful or low value-add content, and will penalise them by de-prioritising the pages containing unhelpful content for search.
So, this isn’t just about upping your game with your new content, it’s also about removing any existing content which isn’t useful or relevant to your prospective clientele.
How to avoid a drop in ranking from the Helpful Content Update
- Do your research – check that your existing users find your content helpful
- Demonstrate your expertise in language your readers will engage with
- Focus your content on relevant, specific topics rather than on general commentary or trending topics that are not directly relevant to what you do
- Don’t just summarise – check that your content adds value
- Take opportunities to teach or show your readers something new
- Create a content plan targeted at making you a one-stop shop for your product or service
- Avoid clickbait titles
- Don’t waffle! Despite the rumours, there is no wordcount requirement in the algorithm
- Avoid using artificial intelligence written content
- Check your site follows webmaster guidelines
Want to know more?
Here is the link to Google’s blog on the Helpful Content Update.