Google confirms another helpful content update is rolling out to all search results. It starts on December 5 and will take up to two weeks to complete.
After reading this post on twitter by Google, it seems that it wants content creators to simply write articles that satisfy the user experience. It is also our responsibility as content creators to produce content that will get value for both search engines and audiences.
Search engines update their algorithm periodically with the aim to improve the user’s experience according to the demands of the content consumers.
What is Exactly Google Helpful Content Update?
Google’s helpful content update, released in late August 2022, now seems to be a ranking algorithm that will evaluate the quality of website content site-wide on a regular basis. This update is part of Google’s efforts to deal with low-quality and unhelpful content found in search results which only create for the Search engine to rank high.
Many websites have content written specifically for SEO, so they can rank higher in search engines without helping or educating people.
This helpful content update aims to focus on creating people-first content that will perform well in search results. The content that doesn’t meet a visitor’s expectations or just written for the search engine won’t perform as well.
What does “people-first content” mean?
From my understanding, it simply refers to content that satisfies the reader’s needs and improves user experience and avoids outdated tactics like keyword stuffing and other black hat ranking tactics.
“People-first content creators focus first on creating the content for users, not for search engine or SEO purposes.
Google Helpful Content Update Quick Facts
How does it work?
The latest update will look into websites using an automated machine-learning system. Google will look into the overall quality of content on the whole site, not just a particular page.
So, if you have a lot of unhelpful content to the users on your website or a particular page. The helpful content update will affect your site. Therefore, removing low-quality content as much as possible can help improve your rank on Google’s search results.
Who will it affect?
This may be worrying to you as a website owner, as most people use on-page and Off-page SEO in some respect. This update will affect your website, if you have “unhelpful content stuff” on your pages or posts. This means websites which have been optimized only for search engines, will likely get a worse ranking.
Google also stated that although the update won’t target any specific content types. But some specific areas that Google seems to be targeting, which include online-learning materials, entertainment, shopping, and technology-related content. Because they often use more SEO first content than others. If you are in these areas, pay close attention!
As long as you have good and helpful content on your website, you shouldn’t stress.
What to do if you’ve been hit with Google Helpful Content update?
If you’re in the position to be affected by this update. I am going to share you some suggestions to help you get back on track if you’ve been hit with Google Helpful Content update.
What Google Says About the Helpful Content Update
- Focus on your audience first.
- Get Rid of AI-Generated Content
- Get Rid of Recycled Content
- Minimize Obstructive Ads
- Improve Your User Experience
- Nuke No-Answer Content
- Focus More on Search Intent
- Stay In Your Lane
- Start working now.
- You’re all by yourself.
Focus on your audience first.
Google wants you to design your pages and create content primarily for your audience. They want users to be satisfied and happy whenever they click on a search result. Demonstrate usefulness and knowledge along with authority and competence. Provide users with the information they came for and make sure it is enjoyable to receive.
There’s been a lot of blogger, writer, and SEO professionals using AI generated content and low-quality content , and it almost seems that Google is anti-AI.
It seems that Google is strictly against content generated by automated systems. You are looking for me as an AI content creator.
Google has also said that sites that have some good pages. But there are a huge number of bad pages out there that will cut out the good pages. This is an algorithmic adjustment that is site-wide and not a per-page adjustment.
If you create useful content with good information, focus on a specific topic, Google can find it, you are doing what you need to do.
Don’t use AI-Generated Content
I’m sure there has been a huge push from some AI companies over the years to advertise the use of their AI software for writing.
Google is very unhappy with AI-generated content and even though they haven’t come out and expressed their displeasure, most people believe it will focus more on AI content.
Don’t use Recycled Content
There are several new blogs on the web which seem to cover subjects that everybody else covers also, simply by changing or spinning the content. It’s original from the SEO Point of view but there’s no unique value
Most of the new bloggers use AI Content Generator Tool in the market to write their blogs and articles.
If you publish this kind of content, you will be hit sooner or later, just try to avoid it. Your content must be unique and distinct from what other people’s coverage of the same topic brings into the mix.
Minimize Obstructive Ads, Don’t use too much
There are many websites in which you aren’t able to even read the content until you close the advertisement banner or scroll down the page. Apart from low-quality or AI-generated content, Google Helpful Content algorithm heavily focuses on the user experience. If you’re adding an abundance of ads, especially large, up-and-down ads, you’ll get slapped for it. Everyone doesn’t want to see this when looking for information in the first place.
Display ads have been on the way out for the past decade and now the time has come for them to finally disappear but I don’t believe that will actually happen. It is more likely that an advertising technology that has not yet been invented is coming to the fore in the near future, but who is sure?
Focus on Your User Experience
Create content for people. Let’s make it easier for people to navigate your website and browse through your contents. If your site isn’t great and mobile responsive you will be behind the technology, and you might need to endure several months of suffering as you set it up and focus on optimizing.
Stays very upfront about what Google expects from the web. They expect content creators to create websites that help users. Most of their algorithm updates are aimed at penalizing exploitative strategies by scraping the top one percent of spam sites, but other standards are difficult to meet, and strengthen their standards for high-quality information and its presentation.
Nuke No-Answer Content
One thing Google specifically says in its list of this algorithm are pages that claim to answer a question but have no answer at all. Whenever you Google “when is chapter 2 of the X movie coming out” or “what are the technical specifications of the next Xbox” or anything speculative, you want to get clear information.
How do you feel if you land on a page that claims to have all the latest information, but “they don’t know” all the latest information? Too bad, isn’t it? Well, this is what Google wants to get rid of, so if your site relies on such pages, get rid of them.
Focus More on Search Intent
For some time now, I’ve been writing about how important it is to pay attention to keywords and the intent behind searches. It’s not enough to know what people are searching for; You also need to understand why they are searching for it.
Pay attention to that, and create content to meet those needs.
Always Stay In Your Lane
This is a tricky one. If I wrote a guide to “bodybuilding”, and that guide was comprehensive and valuable, should I publish it? Some say yes; Valuable content is good, even if my site is not about health and fitness. others say no; If it’s not a topic my site is focused on, it’s not a good thing to publish.
I think it’s better to stay in your lane. I have a reason for this: EAT (Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness). You trust me to know about digital marketing, SEO and SMM not fitness, and the core algorithm knows that based on what I publish. I could be a great bodybuilder, but if I want to suggest that I should start a fitness blog, here’s why not try to mix the two.
Start working now.
Google said that if “the update has hit you,” it could take months to get back to normal. This is not because the process can take months, although it can, but because of the fact that their algorithmic classifier takes time to make sure you have made the necessary changes and not to go back to old bad routines.
Of course, Google says that they will update the algorithm and search ranking over time. Whatever is not working today may not work in the next few months and what you address now may not be in the best position in the future.
You’re all by yourself.
“Helpful Content Update” is not a penalty as Panda, Penguin, and other major shifts that preceded. It may seem like it’s a penalty, but it’s actually an algorithmic shift made using AI tools. Google will be careful to clarify that this is not a core upgrade and it is not a core update. Panda wasn’t a big update in the initial few years, but eventually, they brought updates.
Why is this so important? If you have any problem with Google penalty or manual action. Google tells you what you can do to fix the problem. Google Search Console has a report, and they inform you of a problem. They will inform you of the pages that have been affected and the best way to fix the problem.
In case “Helpful Content Update” Google will not inform you whether you’ve been hit. You need to keep an eye on your SERPs as well as Google Analytics.