A game-changing Google Algorithm update is set to roll out this week. Google’s helpful content update aims to transform website traffic and small business rankings. Remember Google’s Penguin launch ten years ago? This update is even more significant!
What Is Google’s Helpful Content Update?
The primary goal of Google’s helpful content update is to find “high-quality” & “user-friendly” content. This update focuses on content created primarily to improve search engine rankings rather than to assist or inform users.
Google recommends that publishers develop high-quality content to improve their SERP rankings. However, content developers often focus on writing content solely to satisfy search engine algorithms rather than addressing their target audience’s needs through high-quality and relatable content. This, coupled with the rise of AI writing tools, such as Spinbot, ends up offering meaningless machine-generated content that fails to provide real value to end users.
In short, visitors are frustrated when they are redirected to unhelpful web pages with higher SERP rankings. These results are tailored according to their rank on search results.
Google helpful content update strives to reduce low-quality content and simplify finding authentic and helpful content in search results.
Is it Panda 5.0?
Google’s helpful content update works in conjunction with the Panda update. The latest update is equipped with a new set of algorithms that work along with Panda, which is a part of Google’s core algorithm. If you’re familiar with Google’s Panda Update, the new algorithm change appears similar as it also focuses on eliminating low-quality content.
Google’s Previous Updates
1. Panda Updates
Google Panda is one of the first updates released in February 2011. The search results algorithm filters out websites with thin, low-quality content. The filter included in the update was designed to prevent poor content from ranking highly and improve the value imparted to searchers for specific queries
2. Penguin Updates
The Google Penguin algorithm was released on April 24th, 2012 The Penguin update focused on combating web spamming and optimizing user search results. The Penguin update was able to achieve these goals using a combination of high-quality content and technical website performance enhancement.
3. EMD Updates
The EMD Update or “Exact Match Domain” update consisted of a new filter that ensured no low-quality websites could attain a high ranking in searches and rise high in Google’s SERPs just by using relevant search terms in their domain names.
4. Pigeon Updates
This update was made available on July 24, 2014 The Pigeon update is designed to improve the ranking of local listings in search results. The changes will also impact the search results displayed in Google Maps and the regular Google search results.
Will Your Content Get Affected By Google’s Helpful Content Update?
It is tough to say the exact content and the intensity with which it would get affected by Google’s helpful content since these algorithms do not specifically target any niche or topic. However, the following types of content are expected to be the most affected:
- Educational Websites
- Art & Entertainment
- Online Shopping
Helpful Content Update: A Sitewide Algorithm
Suppose Google determines that your website produces a tremendous amount of content written specifically to enhance your search engine ranking without addressing your target audience’s concerns. In that case, it will affect your entire website. Unlike previous Google algorithms that used to be applied page by page, Google’s helpful content update is set to be applied sitewide.
It will impact not just individual pages or sections but your entire website. While the number of helpful versus unhelpful pages on your website may not be disclosed that trigger this classifier since this update is set to be applied sitewide, your website will get affected even if you have helpful pages. Again, if you have valuable pages but some of your content is unhelpful, this update will affect your valuable content or sections of your site.
“Discarding unnecessary content from your webpage will help your content rank better on SERPs.”
What Does This Mean For You?
When you hear about an appropriate content update release, the first course of action is to remain calm and learn everything you can about the algorithm According to Google, the update will take two weeks to roll out completely.
It is advised to collect enough data to determine whether any changes in your traffic are temporary or permanent. Panicking without appropriate data may cause more damage to your rankings. Alternatively, if you collect, analyze your data and read everything you can about the update, you can gain insights and use the update to your advantage.
People-first content creators prioritize creating engaging content while utilizing SEO best practices to provide additional value to searchers. Let’s find out what Google Helpful Content Update has to offer People-first content & search-engine-first content.
Green Light For People-First Content
Google is constantly working to connect people with helpful information. They indicate that the solution in the new update is “People-first” content.
People-first content refers to helpful content that provides relevant information to users. The following questions can help you create People-first content in the new algorithm update:
- Do you have an existing or intended audience for your business or site that would find valuable content if it came directly to you?
- Does your content demonstrate first-hand expertise and a depth of knowledge (for example, expertise from having 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?
- Do you adhere to Google’s guidance for core updates and product reviews?
Google published the questions mentioned above for the new algorithm, and if you have a “yes” answer for all of these questions, you are on the right track.
Red Light For Search-Engine First Content
If your content featured on your website is search-engine friendly, this new algorithm will affect your ranking on Google results pages. Google is not opposed to SEO or creating SEO-friendly content. Publishers are solely concerned with the search engine. Google has released a list of red flags for search-engine-first content, including:
- Is the content primarily to attract people from search engines rather than made for humans?
- Are you producing lots of content on different topics in hopes that some of it might perform well in search results?
- Are you using extensive automation to produce content on many topics?
- Are you mainly summarizing what others have to say without adding much value?
- Are you writing about things simply because they seem to trend and not because you’d write about them otherwise for your existing audience?
- Does your content leave readers feeling like they need to search again to get better information from other sources?
- Are you writing to a particular word count because you’ve heard or read that Google has a preferred word count? (No, we don’t).
- Did you decide to enter some niche topic area without real expertise, but mainly because you thought you’d get search traffic?
- Does your content promise to answer a question that has no answer, such as suggesting there’s a release date for a product, movie, or TV show when one isn’t confirmed?
As the name suggests, Google’s new algorithm detects the “helpfulness” of content. So it’ll be interesting to see if Google can genuinely tell the difference between helpful and unhelpful content.
How Does ‘Google Helpful Content Update’ Work?
The update is available from 25th August 2022.You can find more information about when it will begin and be fully implemented on the Google Ranking Update Page.
Google’s Helpful Content Update adds a new sitewide signal to the mix of signals they consider when ranking web pages. Google’s system automatically identifies content that appears to be of little value or is not helpful to those conducting searches.
Any content with less “unhelpfulness” is more likely to rank well in search. As a result, removing unhelpful parts of your content is critical for improving rankings.
Some may wonder how long it will take for a website to improve after unhelpful content has been removed. Over time, the signal may be applied to sites identified by this update. This update’s classifier runs indefinitely, allowing it to monitor newly launched and existing sites. The classification will be removed when it is determined that the unhelpful content has not returned in the long run.
Is Recovery Possible?
Content is the cornerstone of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which is why it is critical to producing unique content for your website. If your site is distinguishable as being built primarily for search engines, you can expect a significant drop in search traffic over the next few months. So, recovery is essential, and here are some things to be mindful of:
- Identify which content in your page or website is designed for search-engine-first content over people-first content.
- See how you can improve that content & satisfy Google’s criteria.
- Find ways to produce content that is helpful & informative to searchers.
- Compare competitor pages that continue to rank well & see what kind of content Google is rewarding.
- Work on improving E-A-T for the site to make it more obvious to Google’s algorithms.
What Businesses Should do?
This Google Helpful Content Update will help ensure that unoriginal, low-quality content does not rank highly in Search. Our testing has revealed that it will significantly impact online educational materials, as well as arts & entertainment, shopping, and tech-related content, because they may have a higher amount of content that this update targets.
You may have produced your existing content with SEO in mind; however, according to the update, you need to improve/update the content to satisfy the users’ queries.
You can take help from ZealousWeb Technology Pvt. Ltd. We have the best professionals to produce high-quality & user-friendly content. We’ll help you curate content that can quickly satisfy the “ Google Helpful Content Update’s algorithm.”
Our lines of services offer comprehensive content marketing and strategizing packages that cover everything from writing technical website content to crafting compelling stories that enhance your brand proposition in front of your target audience.
Our content marketers are well-versed in buyer personas, user personas, marketing stages, and sales funnels. We are experts at creating content that combines users’ interests with your unique selling proposition. To learn more about how we deliver people-first content, you can explore our Content Marketing Services.
When you produce original, high-quality, and informative content for your website, you provide value to your readers and make it easier for search engines to crawl and index your site. The higher the quality of your content is, the better your search engine ranking and conversion rate.
You have nothing to worry about if your website content is meaningful and you focus on your readers. If you find yourself on the other side of the fence, Don’t worry. Try to figure out why Google has penalized your website and rework it to improve the content quality and provide better signals.