Google’s Helpful Content Update is the latest in a series of changes the company has made to combat “content farms” and reward the most helpful content. On its official search central page, Google announced that it would be rolling out an update called “helpful content” to its algorithm on August 25th, which will take about two weeks to come into force fully. This new update will take effect globally across all languages and devices. With this, Google is encouraging all content marketing experts and publishers to ensure that the content they post is valuable to the user.
What is Google’s Helpful Content Update?
Google’s helpful content update focuses on people-first content that answers questions instead of just trying to rank high in search results. That means Google will begin ranking websites higher if they have valuable and helpful information on them while demoting those with low-quality content. This algorithm update aims to improve the user experience and ensure that all results in Google Search answer questions thoroughly, believably, and understandably.
Why Does It Matter?
The update will help users find the most relevant and useful information on the web, which should benefit both users and businesses. At the same time, it will help surface more trustworthy sources of information by lowering rankings for duplicate content or not showing low-quality content at all. For example, if someone is looking for content marketing or SEO services, they won’t be shown results that are full of ads or unrelated links. Instead, they will be shown sites with helpful content that gives them a clear idea of what’s out there.
On the other hand, Google will penalize and devalue those websites that provide biased, spammy, and inaccurate information. This update makes it clear that Google thinks there are far too many sites that aren’t useful to their visitors and aren’t providing any real value — so much so that they need to take action against them.
What Does Google Want From Us?
Google wants us to write for people first and robots second. It doesn’t matter how many links or keywords your site has; if your site’s content isn’t helpful and comprehensive, your website may not rank as highly in the future as other sites with similar link profiles but higher-quality content.
Content marketing consultants need to focus on providing users with high-quality and reliable information and answers without having to click through several pages of ads or unrelated links.
Can You Avoid The Negative Effects Of This Update?
The search giant has provided some guidelines to help you avoid falling victim to its algorithm, including:
Create People-First Content Google has been urging content marketing and SEO marketers to focus on “user-first” content for a long time now. In short, people-first content means creating content that is relevant and useful to the people who find it — and not only the search engines that crawl it.
Since people love to read about other people, ensure you’re including human interest stories and anecdotes in your blog posts. Use the 80/20 rule: 80 percent of your content should be focused on how to help your readers, and 20 percent should be about you and your business. When it comes to SEO (search engine optimization), sticking to E-A-T (expertise, authority, and trustworthiness) is the key.
Add Relevant Pages & Content
If your site has a lot of low-quality content and you want to avoid losing traffic, you should consider adding more relevant content or creating new pages altogether. With this recent change in place, Google will look at how well your site answers users’ questions when they search for something on Google. That means if you have helpful content on your website (like an FAQ section), you should see an increase in rankings as well as traffic over time.
As Google’s algorithm evolves, we’re seeing more businesses invest in professional SEO services by white label digital marketing agency and create content that focuses on the needs of their customers first.
Don’t Wander Off From Your Main Topic
You may have heard of “topic drift” before — when a piece of writing goes from discussing one topic to another without any apparent connection between them. If you want to keep readers engaged, make sure all of your content relates back to the purpose of your site and that every point you make is relevant to the story. The more relevant content you craft for a specific query, the better chances you have of getting a high ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs). If you have multiple subdomains with unrelated topics, consider moving them under another domain name or getting their own websites altogether (assuming they have enough traffic).
Remember, Authoritativeness Matters — A Lot!
The more authoritative your website content is, the better it will be at helping people find what they are looking for online. Authority can be defined as “expertise based on knowledge of a subject or field gained through education or experience. It’s important to remember that authority doesn’t mean popularity. You don’t have to be famous for your content to have authority — you just have to be knowledgeable! So if you want your content to be convincing, take our advice to heart and make sure it’s full of facts and research from reliable sources.
Treat Trustworthiness With Care
Trustworthiness is one of Google’s top-ranking factors, and it’s something that’s very difficult to fake because it requires time, effort, and consistency over time. You’ll need to ensure that every piece of information on your website is accurate; otherwise, it will lose its credibility and get penalized by Google search algorithms. The best way to build trust and showcase expertise is by providing thorough information along with examples and case studies from real customers who have used your product or service successfully. You can also put up videos or screenshots as proof for skeptics.
Avoid Keyword Stuffing or Over-Optimization
You want your content to be readable by humans first and then optimized for search engines second. To put it simply, make readers your priority and not keywords. You can’t just stuff keywords into your content, hoping it will rank higher in search engines. This practice is called keyword stuffing or over-optimization, which is against Google’s policies. It also makes your content less readable because it has no real value for users looking for answers to their questions rather than a list of keywords. It’s also important not to include keywords in places that don’t make sense for humans reading the content.
Invest in Professional Content Marketing and SEO Services
It takes time and money (and sometimes both!) to create great content that people want to read. If this doesn’t sound like fun or you have limited resources, consider outsourcing this part of your strategy to a reliable white label SEO services company that knows what they’re doing. A good copywriter can produce engaging articles that appeal to readers and help them understand more about the services or products you offer at your business. This is more likely to attract more leads, which means more revenue for your company!
If you’re not sure how to write quality content for Google’s Helpful Content Update and are looking to hire professional content marketing and SEO services, Digital Marketing BluePrint can help.