As a search engine, Google aims to provide the best quality content to its users. In order to improve the content visible to the audience, it keeps coming up with the new update every now and then.
Towards the end of August, Google announced that it will roll out a new update called Helpful Content Update. Many took it for granted saying it will have no major effect whereas many took it seriously calling it one of the most impactful updates.
In this blog, you will know exactly what it is & how it affects your SEO efforts. Read more to see if you can get affected by it and how to prevent getting penalized.
What is the new Google’s Helpful Content Update?
Google announced this update on Twitter saying that now users will be able to find content that is relevant to them.
What does this mean?
In the words of google, you’re going to see more authentic, original content that is written to genuinely help the users instead of the content that is written primarily for the search engines in order to gain traffic.
How this update is different from the rest of the updates
In July 2022, google came up with the product review update where it was just targeting the product reviews of a website for better ranking. This means that the product review update was only meant for a particular section of the website.
Now in the case of this helpful content update, it is not limited to just one page but the entire website’s content. Every section and every page will see its effect.
How will Helpful Content Update Work?
Search engines are getting smarter & thinking to fool them will perhaps cost a lot in the long run to the SEOs. Google says that it will take almost 2 weeks to completely roll out the new update.
This update will give a new site-wide signal for ranking website pages along with the other ranking factors.
Google’s algorithms will automatically fetch low-value content that isn’t doing anything good for the user. It will also pull down the rankings of the site that has overall non-value-adding content on their website that is written just for the sake of traffic.
What Impact will it have on the Websites?
Interesting thing is that, no matter how big the website is, if there’s another website that provides value to its users, Google will automatically push its ranking over the “big site”. Google will monitor the newly launched websites as well as the existing ones.
Google says that primarily it will have an impact on the English content and later will expand to other languages as well.
While some argue that even after one week of rolling out this new update, it does not have a major impact on the site.
A poll on Twitter by Aleyda Solis showed that only 20% of ranking changes are seen. 63% are unaffected as of now whereas, 9% said they saw a positive impact
In all this discussion, Google clarified that new helpful content is a continuous effort for the users as well as for Google. It is not a one-time thing to show its effect suddenly. This is why google has given guidelines for the creators to improve the content quality while google keeps refining its update.
What Type of Content will be Penalized?
As it is clear with the name, any content that is NOT helpful for the audience will be pulled down in rankings. Creating content around the things that you don’t have experience in, for example: reviewing the products without actually using them. This kind of content will be penalized by google simply because it seems to have been written for the sake of search engine traffic that does not necessarily help the user.
Learn More: What is the Largest Contentful Paint?
How to NOT get Penalized by Google?
Here are some points to keep in mind while working on the content in order to not get penalized by Google.
- Write for humans first, search engines later
- Do not try to spin the content
- Have focus-based content with the goal to help the user on your website
- Demonstrate first-hand experience in the content.
- Do not use extensive automation just to produce content in a large quantity
- Do not go with a particular word count. It doesn’t affect the rankings.
- Focus on providing value to the audience
How to Benefit from Google’s New Helpful Content Update?
Here’s a list of questions given by google to answer yes or no.
- Do you have an existing or intended audience for your business or site that would find the content useful if they came directly to you?
- Does your content clearly demonstrate first-hand expertise and a depth of knowledge (for example, expertise that comes from having actually used a product or service, or visiting a place)?
- Does your site have a primary purpose or focus?
- After reading your content, will someone leave feeling they’ve learned enough about a topic to help achieve their goal?
- Will someone reading your content leave feeling like they’ve had a satisfying experience?
- Are you keeping in mind our guidance for core updates and for product reviews?
If you answered yes to these questions above, you’re on the right track.
As complicated as it sounds, this new Google’s Helpful Content Update is not rocket science. If you’re creating content to genuinely help your audience, you’re good to go. Just have patience for the rewards Google is about to give you.
If you’re publishing content just for the sake of it, you need to get your seat belts tight & improve in order to not get dragged down by Google’s new update.
The main idea of all updates is user-friendliness. In the end, the search engine serves the audience. If they’re satisfied, you need not worry about any update affecting your website.
Did you see your website getting affected? Feel free to contact us to resolve any issues!