Google’s Helpful Content Update & How It Impacts Your Business?

Google’s Helpful Content Update & What it Means For Your Business

Google has stated that they will be launching a new helpful content algorithm update that will have a large impact on search engine rankings in the coming weeks and months.

What is the New Algorithm Update?

The name ‘helpful content’ is the key. This update is designed to better the ranking of content deemed helpful in the eyes of Google. This means any content that has been made to provide great value to users, instead of playing the system with long, keyword-rich content that is just there to tick all the SEO boxes.

Over the years, content has become longer and more keyword rich as search engine marketing experts saw success in the long-form content model. Now, this model may no longer be as useful, with Google looking to give better treatment to websites that provide succinct, valuable information to users.

When Will the Helpful Content Update Rollout?

Google is set to launch the helpful content update with changes starting on the 25th of August 2022. That being said, the update itself will roll out gradually through the remainder of the year and have lasting repercussions beyond this time frame.

There is no telling how search engine rankings will change following this update, nor does anyone but the people at Google know how dramatic this update will be. It does seem a little daunting, hearing that there’s an update rolling in, and not knowing exactly how it can affect you, but there is more information to take in before you start worrying.

Will This Be a Substantial Update to Google’s Algorithm?

It may be. The last Google update was Panda, which really hit hard on low-quality content. Now, Google uses the Panda update as a ranking signal for all websites to determine their content’s relevancy, quality and originality.

For all intents and purposes, this new update should be treated as being of a similar magnitude. If Google is actually serious about changing the fundamental SEO ranking algorithm, this would be a monumental change.

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The reason this change has come about is that the search results currently on Google are filled with websites that provide low-quality re-published content for the sake of increasing SEO metrics. With this update, we may see a huge shift as Google takes into account vital on-page metrics such as time on page and bounce rate. This is done to determine the usefulness and relevance of the content displayed in organic search results.

What Information Has Google Provided?

Google has provided a guidance document that outlined what helpful content update means for users and webmasters. This document is very straightforward and doesn’t offer much detail, but is important to keep in mind.

Quality Content will Rank Better

Google would like to make it easier for users to access original, high-quality content that makes it easier for users to find information, without making them wade through long-form content to get to it. 

Some of the benefits of this change include: 

  •     You can rank higher for content that provides valuable information for users. 
  •     Make information easier to find within search engines. 
  •     Better results for education, arts, entertainment, shopping and tech. 
  •     Authentic, original information means users may find original content that they haven’t seen before. 
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Product Reviews by the Experts

Following the latest updates to product reviews, the second objective of the document outlines how “professionally written” product reviews will be the focus of the content update.

Here are some of the benefits this change offers:

  • More helpful product reviews written by experts 
  • Make it easier for users to find valuable information when searching the web 
  • Access helpful information quickly via search.

Here’s What You Should Be Keeping in Mind

When it comes to the new upgrade, Google has outlined what they are flagging and what they are looking for.

Don’t Go Too Far From Your Main Point
Creating content for search engines can sometimes mean distributing articles outside of your niche. Although this article might be helpful, the audience visiting the site, expecting your usual niche may not find it useful. To combat this, Google recommends you ask yourself the following questions: · Is the content meant only to attract people from search engines, instead of being designed for humans? · Do you write about topics because they seem trendy, and not because you would write about them for your current audience? · Did you enter your niche with no real experience or expertise, but just because you want search engine traffic? If you agree with any of these points, you may need to reconsider your content strategy.
Try to Demonstrate First-Hand Experience
With this update, Google has advised people to not write about something they don’t personally have experience in. Creating content for search engines may involve writing about products and services that you haven't used directly. These types of articles often come with affiliate links to earn author commissions. If you have an experience with the product, service, or place you're writing about, explain it clearly with an original photo or idea. Additionally, Google recommends asking yourself this question: Are you basically summarizing what others have to say without adding much value?
Don’t Combine Multiple Topics In One Site
With this, Google implies that web pages should have a niche. One website cannot be everything to everyone. Not only does this not help visitors, but it also confuses search engines trying to understand the site. Build your site around a theme. You can always create multiple websites if you want to create content on different topics. Google recommends asking yourself the following related question: Do you produce a lot of content on different topics in the hope that some of them might show up high in search results?
Give Satisfactory Answers to Searchers’ Questions
Google deems that content is only useful when it teaches people something or helps them complete a task. Creating content for search engines can often involve a lot of writing that doesn't say anything of value. When you write content for people, you need to provide them with some value in answering a question or solving a problem that helped them find your site in the first place. Additionally, Google recommends asking yourself the following questions: Does your content make readers feel as though they can find better information elsewhere? Are you making content for some particular keywords because you have read that Google has some priority words?
Don’t Answer A Question That Has No Confirmed Answer
With this advice, Google warns websites against making content that doesn't match the facts. Make it clear to the reader if you are writing about something that is rumored or unfounded. In addition to staying up to date with helpful content, this is excellent advice if you want to maintain trust with your readers.
Don’t Neglect the Overall Reader Experience
It's possible to meet all of the above criteria but still not deliver a satisfying experience. While internet users may appreciate textual content, a visual demonstration of the product will make the experience more well-rounded. Overall, you want to satisfy the readers' wants and needs without leaving them looking for more.

What Can You Do Now?

It’s best to take some time, and not rush into anything too quickly.

Perhaps the best option is to wait and see what happens with your rankings over time, and adjust accordingly.

Overall, if you make content that has users in mind, you should weather this algorithm update well. This means making sure that your content answers questions, meets user expectations, provides unique insight and demonstrates data application accurately.

It’s also recommended to audit and check up on your old and existing content. If it doesn’t match Google’s new criteria, you may find yourself left behind.

You May Need Expert Help 

If this Google update is causing you stress, it’s for a good reason. Not keeping up with these updates can be negative to your business’ search engine ranking. This is especially hard if you don’t have a whole marketing team working 24/7 to stay on top of trends, not to mention implicating the changes themselves.

If you’re overwhelmed and need help with your search engine optimization process, look at Perfect Link Building.

We are the best Australian white label SEO and link building company. We lean on over 13 years of experience and our expert team to bring our clients robust SEO and link building that is always adhering to the latest Google algorithm and its changes. 

Take the effort out of the algorithm, and contact us now.

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