Google’s Helpful Content Update is a new ranking algorithm update that aims to reward content that provides a satisfying user experience while reducing visibility in the search engine results pages (SERPs) for content that is written for the purpose of ranking in search engines to attract clicks.
In this article, we will explain what the Google Helpful Content Update was, why it matters, how it affects your website, and what you can do to avoid being devalued by this update.
What is Google’s Helpful Content Update?
Google’s Helpful Content Update is a site-wide signal that Google uses to evaluate and rank content based on how satisfying, original, and helpful it is for users. It is not a core update, manual action, or spam action, but a separate algorithm that can devalue content that is overly optimized or written for the purpose of attracting clicks. It is part of a project to get more diversity in the search results, especially for topics related to online education, arts and entertainment, shopping, and tech.
The update started rolling out on August 25, 2022 and was finalized on September 9, 2022. It works globally across all languages and is entirely automated using a machine-learning model. It generates a site-wide signal that Google considers among many other signals for use in Google Search (which includes Discover).
The update aims to better reward content where visitors feel they’ve had a satisfying experience, while content that doesn’t meet a visitor’s expectations won’t perform as well. It can affect any content—not just unhelpful content—on sites determined to have relatively high amounts of unhelpful content overall. The signal is weighted; sites with lots of unhelpful content may notice a stronger effect.
Why does Google’s Helpful Content Update matter?
Google’s Helpful Content Update matters because it can have a significant impact on your website’s traffic, conversions, and reputation. If your website has been devalued by this update, you may notice a drop in impressions, clicks, or rankings for your pages from around August 25, 2022, to September 9, 2022. You may also lose visibility to your competitors who have more helpful content than you.
On the other hand, if your website has been rewarded by this update, you may notice an increase in impressions, clicks, or rankings for your pages around the same period . You may also gain visibility over your competitors who have less helpful content than you.
Therefore, it is important to understand how this update works and what you can do to create helpful content that meets Google’s standards and user expectations.
How does Google’s Helpful Content Update affect your website?
Google’s Helpful Content Update affects your website by automatically identifying content that seems to have little value, low-added value or is otherwise not particularly helpful to people. This could include content that:
– Is primarily written to attract people from search engines rather than made for humans.
– Is written about things simply because they seem to trend and not because they are relevant or useful for your existing audience.
– Is written without any real expertise or first-hand experience on the topic.
– Is mainly summarizing what others have to say without adding much value.
– Is misleading, inaccurate, outdated, incomplete, or plagiarized.
– Is stuffed with keywords or links that are irrelevant or unnatural.
– Is poorly formatted, structured, or presented.
Any of these types of content could be considered unhelpful by Google’s system and could negatively affect your website’s performance in Search. To avoid this, you need to create helpful content that follows Google’s guidelines and best practices.
What can you do to avoid being devalued by Google’s Helpful Content Update?
To avoid being devalued by Google’s Helpful Content Update, you need to create helpful content that provides a satisfying user experience and demonstrates your expertise and authority on the topic. Here are some tips on how to do that:
– Conduct a content audit to identify any unhelpful content on your website and either remove it, improve it, or repurpose it to make it more satisfying, original, and helpful for your users.
– Write about topics that are relevant and useful for your existing or intended audience and match their intent
– Write from your own experience and expertise and provide evidence or sources to back up your claims
– Write in a clear, engaging, and informative tone and use headings, lists, tables, images,
and other elements to structure and present your content
– Write original and unique content that adds value and avoids duplication or plagiarism- Write for humans first and optimize for search engines second by using relevant and natural keywords and links- Update your content regularly to keep it fresh, accurate, and helpful- Monitor your website performance using Google Search Console, Google Analytics, or other tools and measure the impact of the update on your traffic, conversions, and rankings- Learn from your competitors and see what they are doing well or poorly in terms of content quality and helpfulness.
Google’s Helpful Content Update is a ranking algorithm update that rewards content that is satisfying, original, and helpful for users and devalues content that is unhelpful, low-value, or irrelevant. It is a site-wide signal that works globally across all languages and is entirely automated using a machine-learning model. The update can have a significant impact on your website’s performance in Search, so it is important to understand how it works and what you can do to avoid being devalued by it. By following Google’s guidelines and best practices, you can create helpful content that meets user expectations and improves your visibility and reputation online.