What you should know about Google’s “helpful content update”

Google is continuously working to better connect people with helpful information. So, to no surprise, they are launching a new update, called the “helpful content update”. This update is part of a broader effort to make sure that users see more helpful, and original content written by people, for people on Google search results.

So, what does this update mean for you? There are a few things that creators must consider:

Focus on people-first content

At WebEagles, this has always been a general rule we have when creating content. However, with Google’s new update, focusing on people-first content has become increasingly important.

In a recent blog post by Google Search Central, it is mentioned that “The helpful content update aims to better reward content where visitors feel they’ve had a satisfying experience, while content that doesn’t meet a visitor’s expectations won’t perform as well”.

How can you make sure that you are creating content that will be successful?

It is simple, you must follow Google’s long-standing advice and guidelines to create content for people and not for search engines. People-first content is focused on sharing valuable information, while using Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) best practices to bring searchers additional value.

Avoid creating content for search engines first

Google’s advice about having a people-first approach does not invalidate following SEO best practices. In fact, SEO is an important strategy when it is applied to people-first content because you will be creating content centered around what users are likely to be searching for.

So, how do you create content that avoids taking a search engine first approach?

Simply produce content that is valuable to the end reader; provide relevant information that answers their questions and offers a solution.

How exactly does Google’s new update work?

The ‘helpful content update’ introduces a new site-wide signal that Google will consider among its many other ranking signals for web pages. Google’s systems will automatically identify content that is deemed to have low value or is otherwise not helpful to those completing a search.

Google Search Central mentions that:

Any content — not just unhelpful content — on sites determined to have relatively high amounts of unhelpful content overall is less likely to perform well in Search, assuming there is other content elsewhere from the web that’s better to display. For this reason, removing unhelpful content could help the rankings of your other content.”

“Our classifier for this update runs continuously, allowing it to monitor newly-launched sites and existing ones. As it determines that the unhelpful content has not returned in the long-term, the classification will no longer apply.”

Therefore, if you identify any unhelpful content on your site, it is best to remove this content to help your site rank better and be found by your target audience.

At WebEagles aim to stay up to date with all Google updates and implement these best practices within our work. For more information, contact us on 1300 123 808.