What Google’s Helpful Content Update Means for your SEO

November 4, 2022

Rick Knutsen

wsigenesis

Summary: Google’s recent ‘helpful content update’ is designed to crack down on low-quality content that doesn’t provide real value to users. Our latest blog breaks down what it means for your website’s SEO.

On September 9, 2022, Google announced that the rollout of its update to Google’s Helpful Content was completed. Google’s algorithm change aims to improve user experience by highlighting high-quality content. This blog explains the helpful content update, how it is measured, its impact on SEO, and what to do if your website is flagged.

What is Helpful Content?

Helpful content is content that creates a great user experience. Google’s ‘Helpful Content Update’ is a welcome change for those who produce quality content that helps users. This update will help improve articles’ visibility, making it easier for users to find the information they need.

In turn, this should help to improve the overall user experience with Google. This is a positive change for both users and content producers, and we can expect to see more of this type of content appearing in Google’s search results in the future.

How Does Google Measure Helpful Content?

Google’s recent ‘Helpful Content Update’ is designed to crack down on low-quality content that doesn’t provide real value to users. The update will see Google algorithmically downgrading pages that it deems unhelpful to improve the overall quality of its search results.

To determine what is considered ‘helpful content,’ Google uses AI to measure the overall quality of the content itself. This update is designed to help improve the quality of search results for users. This update is a positive step forward for SEO, as it will help to ensure that only the most relevant and valuable content is being surfaced in search results.

What is the Impact on SEO?

What is the impact of the August 2022 update to Google’s Helpful Content Algorithm on SEO? Unfortunately, Google provided limited information about the actual impact or scope of the update. But looking at some of the early results, what can we expect?

We believe that this update is one of the most positive developments for SEO in recent years. It represents a significant boost for SEO efforts and a major win for web publishers who consistently produce high-quality, helpful content.

Publishers who write with people-first intent will be rewarded for their efforts. Here are a few tips:

  • If you have an existing or intended audience for your business or site, make the content you write valuable and accessible for them.
  • Your content should clearly demonstrate your first-hand expertise and depth of knowledge. Showing that you have this direct experience will make your content more credible and trustworthy.
  • Your website should have a clear purpose or focus. Without a central focus, your site will likely be confused and confusing for users, which will hurt your chances of attracting and retaining an audience. Figure out what you want your site/content to achieve, and make sure everything else supports that goal.
  • After reading your content, will someone feel they have gained enough knowledge about a topic to help them achieve their desired goal? This is an important question to consider when creating content, as you want to ensure that your readers are left feeling informed and equipped to take action.
  • Keep your audience in mind and consider what they want to get out of your piece. By providing relevant and valuable information, you can ensure that your readers will have a positive experience with your content.

When writing content, it’s essential to avoid a few things if you want your content to be successful. A complete list is covered in Google’s SEO Guide, but here’s what you need to know:

  • It’s important not to write solely for search engines. While it’s important to keep SEO in mind, your content should be, first and foremost, for your audience. Write engaging, exciting content that will appeal to your readers, and the search engine ranking will follow.
  • When creating content, it is vital to avoid over-automating the process. This can lead to lower-quality content that does not accurately reflect your brand voice. Instead, focus on creating high-quality content that will engage your audience and accurately represent your brand.
  • If you’re wondering whether your content is up to Google’s new standards, ask yourself: Is your content regurgitating what others have said on the same topic, or does it add value? Ensure your content goes above and beyond to provide new insights or perspectives; it will likely rank well on Google.

What Should You Do if Your Account is Flagged?

Google’s systems are designed to identify content that may be of low value or not helpful to users. As a result, Google’s algorithms may impact any content on sites with high amounts of this type of content.

If you find yourself having unhelpful content on your website, you should remove it. Take some time to review your website and remove any content that isn’t helpful or relevant to your visitors. Doing so will improve your SEO and help you rank higher in search results. Here are a few tips:

  • Leverage Google Analytics to understand your website traffic. Reviewing pages with high bounce rates can identify areas for improvement in your content.
  • A content audit will help keep your brand consistent and improve your SEO simultaneously. Your content needs to be on point and reflect your brand to be seen as helpful by Google. So, look at your content and see if any areas need improvement.
  • Use tools to check your website for grammar and spelling mistakes.

Ultimately, the Google Helpful Content Update is an update that can significantly affect how search engines see your website. If you’re not already optimizing your website for the update, you may not be seen as “helpful” to your target audience and lose visitors (and potential customers!) as a result. However, by ensuring that your content is high quality and relevant, you can still improve your SEO and find success on the internet.

Contact WSI if you need help to get started!

About the Author

Rick spent 20 years in the insurance industry in finance, primarily developing reporting platforms for B & C stakeholders.   His ability to speak to consumers of data (managers and analysts) and translate their needs to programmers led him to start his own digital marketing agency in 2004 to develop data driven solutions for business owners. 

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