Google Content Helpful Update 2022: What You Need To Know

Have you seen major changes in your traffic stats?

Maybe you’ve been experiencing the online sphere more than usual.

If so, it might be a good idea to get educated on the recent Google Update changes that are currently taking place. Discover the Google Content Helpful update and how it can affect your online visibility. 

What is the Google Helpful Content Update?

Last August 25, Google officially launched its new “Helpful Content Update” update. In an attempt to remove unoriginal and poor-quality content, this site-wide ranking algorithm tweak can bring a huge shakeup to the digital marketing community in the Philippines.

“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.”

According to Google’s announcement, the recent update will primarily target websites focusing more on writing for search engines than human readers. Google wants to improve the quality of search results to help users choose the most relevant results more easily. 

Meaning to say, websites that rely heavily on uninformative content need to remove content that is not user-friendly or is not relevant to the subject at hand. For affected websites, it will take several months to gain visibility. 

As much as possible, stick with Google Search Quality Guidelines to ensure your content stands strong and relevant on the search engines. 

Why is Google rolling out this ranking algorithm update?

The word “helpful” makes us think of the information we rely on the most (e.g., user reviews and search engine shortcuts). In reality, Google wants to remove websites that don’t focus on writing quality content.

Going back to the main objective of Google, which is to address the user’s inquiries more effectively. Hence, it wants to get more insightful, helpful and relevant information rather than just a list of links that do not help users answer their search queries effectively.

For instance, if a user types in “how to hire SEO company Manila,” Google’s algorithm will block the users from seeing a list of links that have nothing to do with the query. 

Google’s algorithm will not allow users to see these websites. Instead, it will display content that contains answers to the query, such as “tips on how to hire an SEO company,” “factors an SEO company should consider before hiring a consultant,” and “best SEO companies in the Philippines.”

How to assess if your content is helpful or not?

Here’s how you can check whether you offer a ‘hand’ or ‘helpful’ content.

Are you targeting a specific audience?

If your content is written using a tone that is too generic and scattered, it will not help your audience in particular. Instead, identify your brand objective, target persona and target audience in a specific niche that will give you the idea of how to implement your content strategy. 

Do not try to:

 Publish “trending” content just because many people are searching

Post “robotic” or AI-generated content which contains vague and emotionless language

Write longer content just because that is what Google prefers

Churn out endless that these search engines deem as ‘unhelpful’ to the target niche

Does the content feature expertise, credibility and trustworthiness?

Can you still remember Google E-A-T (Expertise, Authority and Trustworthy)? Evaluate your website content if it follows the Search Quality Rater Guidelines. 

Do not try to:

 Write content with just keywords in mind or based on what the search engines might think is important 

 Inject irrelevant and unrelated keywords just so you can rank in the search engines

 Post-poor-quality content that is not backed by trusted third-party websites such as Wikipedia or credible news sources (e.g., Philippine Star, Rappler, Manila Bulletin, etc.)

 Lay out information without supporting facts and research

 Post content that is not unique and original. (Google will penalize websites and content spammers if they see a website posting duplicate or low-quality content)

 Try to hide your commercial purpose, i.e., just googling and posting only keywords, do not write with any concern for the user or reader

Does the content satisfy the user’s wants or needs?

Lastly, you need to check whether your user learned valuable explanations about the topic. GoSEO highly recommends answering all possible questions within the page/blog so the user won’t need to browse through numerous other blog posts.

Some websites might have content that makes their audience bored and lose interest after reading.

*Don’t post content that is so lengthy that it takes forever to read it. Measure the user attention span on any given page, blog post or post in general. And please don’t repeat the same information over and over again. This will not help your SEO rankings at all.

Helpful content = Featured Snippets

When we say featured snippets, we are referring to text or content from the search results that are highlighted in a special way. Google crawls the pages on the web, and it then extracts snippets of text and places them in search results.

A featured snippet is a special type of document that you might find at the top of your search results if you are actively searching for information on a particular topic. When your content is deemed as “helpful content,” there’s a higher chance for you to be presented with the featured snippet. 

This can lure in new users and bring you to the top of the search engine result page, giving you more authority and ranking power. Not only that, but it will also get you more traffic.

Use Helpful Content Update To Create Your Business Impact

Google is synonymous with the “answer box” in most SEO professionals’ minds. This box appears in Google search results containing direct answers to user questions. 

So, what’s the big deal? The continuous search for a better user experience is what the algorithm update is all about. Google wants to get more insightful, helpful and relevant content rather than just a list of links that do not help users answer their queries effectively.

It gives businesses the opportunity to showcase how they position themselves as leaders in their own niche. Hence, make sure you maximize this!

Need help crafting human-first content for your website?

At GoSEO, we have a content marketing team who can check your website’s brand and content. After analyzing your website and content, they will suggest ways to improve your site’s structure and relevance. Get in touch with us here.

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