What is Google’s Helpful Content Update? Everything you need to know. You probably know that Google search results for many keywords don’t always give you the best results. Many keywords are highjacked and manipulated by high-paying advertisers and large-budget companies to create SEO content that is ill-suited for the user. This is frustrating for searchers. Google is aware of the problem and is working to diversify search results through a new Helpful Content update.
This update aims to increase content written for people and decrease content written primarily in SEO. The helpful content update is site-wide, unlike the product review update that targeted specific pages. This means that it can impact all web pages. This update also introduces a new signal that Google will use to rank webpages.
What’s The Problem?
If you’ve been around our industry for some time, you may have noticed numerous articles over the years that describe the demise of Google search.
Marketing agencies and SEO companies have been creating over-optimized content for years. They are spamming search results with the same stuff over and again to please search engines — not searchers.
Optimizing your content is not a bad thing. But, there is a distinction between optimizing and over-optimizing content. People spend huge sums of money just to produce mediocre content on a large scale in an attempt to game the system. It is now easier than ever to do this with the advent of AI writing tools.
What’s Google’s Helpful Content Update?
Google announced the new content update the 18th August. The rollout will begin on the 22nd August 2022. Google has posted the update on its ranking update page. It could take up two weeks for it to adjust. The helpful content update creates a new signal sitewide that will be used to rank web pages.
The Google’s Helpful Content update is a ranking algorithm upgrade that rewards content that delivers a pleasant user experience and reduces visibility in the search engine result pages (SERPs).
This is not a Google Core Update or manual action but a new signal Google will use for ranking content on a website’s website. The sitewide algorithm is weighted. If the machine learning algorithm finds that a site has a lot of unhelpful or unsatisfying content, it might flag the site with a classifier. This could impact the visibility of the whole site in the SERPs. Sites that have a lot of useless content might notice a greater effect than sites with more helpful or satisfying content.
For affected sites, recovery can take up to six months. Unhelpful content must be removed in order to regain search engine visibility. Your website must also prove to the algorithm that it follows best practices for publishing people’s first content. It can be viewed as a probation period. Google doesn’t want content creators publishing unhelpful content after recovery.
How Does The Google’s Helpful Content Update Work?
Google wants to reward content that provides readers with a pleasant experience. Google automatically recognizes low-value content based on several parameters such as usefulness, reliability, search engine capability, and search engine ability.
Search Engines will not rank content that isn’t helpful or is published on a site to gain SEO rankings but is still unhelpful. This update assumes that better content is available and should be displayed for users. The removal of unhelpful content will help other content ranks higher.
The common question everyone would ask is: How long does it take for the correct content to rank if the outdated one is removed? This update could take up to a month for the content to be identified. Google’s update classifier will scan the sites to determine if they are new or existing. The classification will be removed if it shows that there is no unhelpful content in the long-term.
Machine learning is used as a prime model to automate the classification process. This is not spam or manual action. This is a new signal in the many ranks of Google’s evaluation signals. This also highlights the fact that sites with a people-first approach can rank well, even if they are classified as unhelpful or vice versa.
Google Update To Focus On People First Content
Google’s new helpful content update is designed to give inquirers content that meets their needs. If the content doesn’t meet the expectations of the reader, it will not reach more people. Google’s initiative will not only reward content that ranks high in SEO rankings, but also content written for people. Although a pre-week announcement may not seem like enough time for Google to include the helpful content update, we can all agree that content should have been written for people.
The question is, how do you ensure your content includes the updated helpful content? It is important to create content that appeals to people, not search engines. To get started writing content that is people-specific, you can refer to these guidelines and advice. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use SEO techniques. Instead, people-first content creators are focused on creating useful content and using SEO practices to increase search results value.
To find out if your content ranks high in the Google helpful Content Update, answer these questions:
- Are you targeting a market with your website or company?
- Do you have first-hand knowledge and authenticity in your content?
- Is your site centered around a primary goal or focus?
- Do you want your readers to feel satisfied and knowledgeable after they read your content?
- Are you following the guidelines of Google for product reviews?
If you answered “Yes” to most of the above questions, then you might consider the people-first approach.
Search Engine Optimization Should Be Your Second Priority
Google’s helpful content update does not disapprove of SEO best practices such as those you follow according to Google’s SEO Guidelines. It has been shown that content written to please Search Engines is not helpful and does not satisfy readers. You’ll be amazed at how SEO can transform the search results game.
The real question is: How can you allow SEO to be secondary? Here’s a quick quiz to help you evaluate your strategy for people-first content.
- Website content is designed to be viewed by Search Engines and not by human readers.
- Do you add content to multiple topics in bulk and hope that some of it will yield good search results for your keywords?
- Do you use content automation software to create content on different topics?
- Do you summarise the content of others but not add much value?
- Do you base your content on current trends?
- Do your contents allow readers to access other sources for further information?
- Do you have a set word count for your content?
- Did you choose a niche to attract traffic or because you are an expert in that field?
- Is your content making unrealistic promises that it will answer a question that is not even possible in real life? For example, if the primary sources don’t confirm the date for a movie or product launch, does your content make unrealistic promises?
If you answered “YES” to the above questions, you should consider it a warning sign. You need to reevaluate and revise your strategy immediately.
How To Avoid Negative Effects Of Helpful Content Update On Your Website?
Google’s helpful content update can be incorporated by making sure you have removed any unhelpful content and following all guidelines set out by Google. Although the update will initially affect English searches around the world, Google plans to expand its reach to other languages in the future.
Google will also continue to guide the classification and detection of unhelpful content and provide the correct content to its readers. You must plan to post people-first content to adhere to the update. The algorithm will then rank your content. To stay on the search engine scene, it is best to avoid bulk posting low-value content.
Google’s helpful content update has shaken the internet and is a concern to many content creators. This update is a new signal to warn searchers about sites that are posting bulk content that has little or no value.
Machine learning models automatically classify helpful and unhelpful content. The new algorithm can be used to classify helpful or unhelpful content on any site that has people-first content.
Even though the site is full of unhelpful content, the whole process will detect helpful content. The new helpful content update is only beginning to attract more user-friendly content across Search Engines. Although the update isn’t complete yet, it will have a significant impact on Search Engines. This initiative will be a benefit to all content creators as well as readers, and provide the right value through content.
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