Understanding Google’s Helpful Content Algorithm Update
Over the years, Google has been making tremendous efforts toward improving the quality of content and search results received by users. As part of the continuous process, Google rolled out its Helpful Content Update starting on 8/25/22 and ending on 9/9/22.
What does the helpful content update entail and how does it impact your small business? Continue reading to learn insights into Google's helpful content update.
What is Google's Helpful Content Update?
According to Google, the helpful content update aims to reward content that provides a satisfying experience to users. In contrast, content with little substance that fails to meet users' expectations will not perform as well.
The Google helpful content update emphasizes the need to focus on creating people-first content, or content that is more informative and helpful to answering users’ questions, rather than simply creating content that is meant to primarily attract search engine traffic. This update emphasizes that small businesses should focus first and foremost on creating helpful, meaningful, content while still integrating search engine optimization (SEO) practices to enhance searchers' experience and satisfaction.
What Types of Content Does the Helpful Content Penalize?
To capture the objectives of Google's helpful content update, refrain from only creating "search-engine-first" content. According to Google, content primarily centered on generating search engine traffic may be unsatisfying to users. Examples of unhelpful content includes curated or copied content, AI auto-generated content, scraped content, and pages that are built out in mass offering little value to your viewers.
Even so, Google does not invalidate SEO practices as an important tool in content creation. Instead, Google encourages SEO best practices while focusing on "people-first content."
The Impact of the Google Helpful Content Update on Small Business
Most businesses who are already creating high quality content should not be too concerned with this website. However, Google’s public search liaison, Danny Sullivan confirmed that the Helpful Content Update “…is part of a continuing effort. [Google] will keep refining how it works. It is a big deal for content creators to keep in mind…”
Of course, small businesses should focus on creating web pages deemed relevant and helpful by users. It is important to note that the update is site-wide, meaning Google will not only rank individual pages but, if you have a significant amount of pages that are deemed unhelpful content, this can damage your website’s search engine reputation as a whole.
Tips for Creating Person-First Content
- Produce content that will satisfy your audience.
- Create content that will provide your intended audience with vital information on your business and associated product or service offerings.
- Demonstrate in-depth knowledge and expertise of your industry.
- Blatantly highlight the content’s author and publisher information and their relevant expertise on the topic.
- Incorporate fact-based data into your content, including firsthand data if possible.
- Add proper citations and/or links when referencing third-party statistics and studies.
- Keep your content free from spelling, grammar, and other distracting errors. Considering using a writing assistant tool like Grammarly to make this process easier.
- Research what topics your audience is interested in and what questions they are asking online. Try using a keyword research tool like Semrush to make the content research process more efficient and in-depth.
- Ensure that your website has a primary focus.
- Monitor and implement Google's latest guidance on quality content.
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