Google favors helpful content over search engine-first in new update
Google is all set to launch a new and large search algorithm update- called the helpful content update, which may prove to be one of the most significant changes with regard to content.
Google search is always working for betterment, working to connect people with better information.
Google is favoring content – ‘BY PEOPLE, FOR PEOPLE’ over content written, keeping search engines in mind in a new and extensive search algorithm update. The helpful content update will aim at websites that have relatively unsatisfying or unhelpful content, where the content has been written for search engines rather than humans.
Google’s a helpful content update
Google’s new helpful content aims at the ‘content that actually seems to have been essentially created for ranking well in search engines instead of helping or informing people.’
The sole purpose of this algorithm update is to help searchers find “high-quality content,” The content would be more useful for humans and to help users.
Google said this is an “ongoing effort to reduce low-quality content and make it easier to find content that feels authentic and useful in search.”
Let us discuss what we call ‘Helpful Content Update’, a broader concept that would ensure people with more original, helpful content written by YOU, for YOU, in search results.
Focussing on people-first content
The helpful content update focuses on better reward content where visitors have an idea that they have had a satisfying experience or more commonly called User Experience (UX). Content that doesn’t meet a visitor’s / customer’s requirements will not perform well.
Over the years, research & development for clients has seen the evolution of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) from pure keyword research into a holistic User Experience (UX) platform. It’s important for digital marketers and web developers to adapt to this latest trend. Today, Google is a user-centric focus, aiming to give the best to its visitors with the best experience possible.
This update introduces a new site-wide signal that is considered among many others for ranking web pages. The system automatically identifies content that seems to have little value, low-added value, or is otherwise not particularly helpful to those doing searches.
Any content — not just unhelpful content —have relatively high amounts of unhelpful content overall is less likely to perform well in search, assuming there is other content elsewhere on the web that’s better to display. Hence, removing unhelpful content could help better rankings of other content.
But the question arises how can you ensure the content so created will be successful with the new update?
People-first content creators first aim at creating satisfying content, and at the same time utilize SEO to bring searchers additional value. Let’s see the below-stated questions that would help you to be on the right track with a people-first approach.
- Does your content clearly demonstrate first-hand expertise and in-depth knowledge? (for example, expertise that comes from actually having used the product or service, or visited a place?)
- Does your site have a primary purpose or focus on something specific?
- After reading your content, will someone leave a feeling that they have earned enough knowledge regarding a topic that would help them achieve their goal?
- Will someone reading your content leave a feeling that they’ve had a satisfying experience?
- Do you keep core updates and product reviews in mind?
If all your answer is ‘Yes’ then you’re on the right track with people-first content.
Creating content with SEO- keywords is not always satisfying
Following Search Engine Optimization practices do not always produce desired results. SEO is a helpful activity when applied to people-first content, but content created especially for SEO traffic has a strong correlation with the content that people normally search for, and many times it’s found unsatisfying.
Then how do avoid taking an SEO first approach? Let’s delve deeper into some of the questions enlisted below:
- Is the content created to attract people from search engines or made for people (human beings)?
- Are you creating content based on different topics to see that some of them might perform well in search results?
- Are you using extensive automation to produce content on varied topics?
- Are you repeating the same things or summarizing without adding many values?
- Are you focussing on trending topics and not on topics for your existing customers?
- Is the content that you’ve written not up to the mark for the customers, i.e they need to search again in order to get better results?
- Do you prefer to write on a niche and uncommon topic, (without having much knowledge about it) but just to get high search traffic?
- Are you in favor of writing a particular topic with a specific word count, since you understand that Google has a preferred word count?
- Do you think that the content promise to answer a question that has no answer or is irrelevant?
Unlike many Google algorithms that get applied on a page-by-page basis, this new helpful content update will be site-wide. It means that if Google finds your site is producing a relatively high amount of unhelpful content, written just for ranking in search, then your whole site might be impacted.
As a result, your whole site will have a total impact, rather than the individual pages or sections of your site. Google will not specify what exactly of the pages on your site need to be helpful versus unhelpful; but would definitely help you to specify site-wide and will impact the whole site, even if you have many pages that have helpful content.
Again, if you have helpful pages but a relatively high amount of your content is unhelpful, then even your helpful content or sections of your site will be hit by this update. Here, removing unhelpful content could help the ranking of your other content, better.
Since irrelevant webpages rank well in searches, searchers often land on unhelpful webpages and get annoyed. In short, Google’s new algorithm aims to downgrade those types of websites while promoting more helpful websites, designed for humans, above the concept of search engines.
This update impacts English searches globally, to begin with, and we plan to expand to other languages in the future. Over the coming months, we will also continue refining how the classifier detects unhelpful content and launch further efforts to better reward people-first content.