Google Launches Helpful Content Update
#SEO was trending on Twitter today which can only mean one thing – a new Google update! Yesterday Google announced it will be launching its “Helpful Content Update“, with rollout starting next week.
Next week, we will launch the “helpful content update” to better ensure people see more original, helpful content written by people, for people, rather than content made primarily for search engine traffic. Learn more & advice creators should consider: developers.google.com/search/blog/20
— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) August 18, 2022
In short: the Helpful Content update is designed to punish content that is not useful to users. This update will feature as a new signal within the algorithm, so Google will not be applying manual actions/spam penalties via the update, and will be one of over two hundred ranking signals.
What does this update mean for SEOs?
SEOs need to be extra vigilant about the content they’re pushing out moving forward, as Google has said to ‘avoid creating content for search engines first’. What does this mean exactly?
The update will be punishing content that is clearly designed predominantly for search engines with low value for the user. Examples of this include:
- Content that offers low value to users and is only created to target bots
- Targeting a question-based query and failing to answer the question – think of film/products that don’t have a release date yet
- Producing content on irrelevant topics purely to gain traffic
- AI written content
- Scaling content through duplication with minimal changes (doorway pages)
What changes should I make in preparation for the update?
It’s no secret that Google updates tend to send SEOs into a flurried state of panic. All their hard work can change overnight, with changes in Google’s algorithm causing rankings to tank. The important thing is not to panic!
Jamie Grant, our Senior SEO Strategist here at Kaizen has listed his top tips on how to approach this update:
- Don’t panic – rankings will see heightened volatility BUT that doesn’t mean it’s game over.
- Check your content against the questions provided in Google’s documentation
- Ensure each piece of content you write serves a purpose to the user (cut out the fluff if it’s just to meet word count targets)
- Communicate quickly and effectively with your SEO team/agency
If you’d like to find out more about Google’s updates and how they can impact your SEO, reach out to our SEO team.