What Is Google’s Helpful Content Update?

Google recently just rolled out its helpful content update for 2023. Google has always prioritized the quality of content when it comes to website ranking but the update improves on this, an effort meant to ensure that users can immediately find helpful and higher-quality content.

(Note: New helpful content update was released by Google on April 2023)

The helpful content update gives more emphasis on a visitor’s satisfying website experience. This update aims to reward websites that prioritize the user’s overall experience. With this, websites that do not really meet the visitor’s expectations will not person as well as those that do.

Google also mentioned that for you to succeed given this update, content should be created with users in mind instead of search engines. Creators should start creating content that satisfies the users first while applying SEO best practices for added value.

Google states that their long-standing advice and guidelines are still the best practices to follow if you want to create successful content in the midst of the update. To be more specific, let us discuss a few things to help you keep up with the helpful content update.

In this article:

  1. Tips to Best Utilize the Helpful Content Update
  2. Frequently Asked Questions

Tips to Best Utilize the Helpful Content Update

Google Helpful Content Update
Google Helpful Content Update

Let’s look at each of the categories in brief and how to improve your content based on the Google helpful content update.

1. Write For Your Audience

Write for your Audience
Write for your Audience

The helpful content update is an effort to produce more people-first content on websites.

Although this technique is commonly followed by content creators, it is again important to emphasize this basic tenet: writing for your audience is the main priority. You can identify your audience by going back to the basics with the question, “WHO is this product for?”

You can also further categorize your content based on demographics. If you are offering services based on a specific location, you can tailor your content in a way that appeals to the culture of that location. You can also target your audience based on their age or gender. Personalizing your content and making sure that it is relatable to your audience is the easiest way to publish people-first content.

2. Be Straightforward and Provide Answers

Provide Direct Answers
Provide Direct Answers

When people use search engines, they are looking for answers or valuable information. These answers can be about a random fact or which businesses provide the best product or services. Good content is one that gives accurate and value-adding answers to these queries.

Google’s helpful content update is more sensitive to clickbait content or those that do not talk about the intended topic, and this update is important, as it prioritizes quality information.

In content marketing, it is typically assumed that longer content is given more credit by Google’s search engine algorithm. However, content that is not related to the topic may be flagged as irrelevant, therefore hurting your ranking.

With the update, you are more rewarded for creating content that provides information and answers instead of hitting a specific word count. Be straightforward in your content and make sure that the content contains relevant and factual information.

3. Review Overall Website Content

Review Overall Website
Review Overall Website

Google’s new update does not only affect new content, it will also crawl through a website’s old ones. So, it is highly advisable to review those that have been published even before the update rolled out. In the process of reviewing, removing unhelpful content will help you keep up with the update.

4. Stay On Topic

Stay on Topic
Stay on Topic

As already mentioned above, do not publish clickbait content. If you have a topic at hand, the content of your material should always be related to it. Do not add an unrelated discussion for the sake of meeting a minimum word count.

For example, if this article is about Google’s new update, adding other factors not related to the update may not be perceived as high-quality.

Google suggests answering these questions as a guide. If your answers are mostly yes, then it is best to review and tweak your content;

  • Is the content primarily to attract people from search engines, rather than made for humans?
  • Are you mainly summarizing what others have to say without adding much value?
  • Does your content leave readers feeling like they need to search again to get better information from other sources?
  • Are you writing about things simply because they seem to trend and not because you’d write about them otherwise for your existing audience?
  • Are you writing to a particular word count because you’ve heard or read that Google has a preferred word count?

5. Provide First-Hand Experience

Provide First-Hand Experience'
Provide First-Hand Experience

With the helpful content update, Google advises content creators to write things they have personally experienced. When you are writing for the search engine’s sake, the products or services you are writing about may be things you have not tried yet. Since you haven’t tried what you are writing about, the content may not be as helpful and value-adding.

6. Do Not Mix Up Different Topics

Do Not Mix Up Different Topics
Do Not Mix Up Different Topics

The relevance of your topic to your website niche will also play a huge role with Google’s new update. Instead of publishing several unrelated topics under one website, it is better to categorize these into different websites.

An article about digital marketing services and home furniture should be published on two different websites. This way, Google’s new update will not tag your content as unhelpful or spammy.

7. Cover the Overall User Experience

Cover the Overall User Experience
Cover the Overall User Experience

The overall user experience is not restricted to just content quality. You should also consider other factors such as website responsiveness and loading speed as they affect user experience and SEO ranking as well.

As a content creator, you can also add photos or videos to make sure that your readers can understand your content better.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I make my content helpful to people?

* Be specific & relevant to your target audience
* Always provide direct answers & avoid beating around the bush at all costs
* Conduct SEO audits for your website & make sure your content is up-to-date.
* Provide Hands-on experience with products and honest reviews.
* Follow the rater’s guidelines and focus mainly on E-E-A-T content.

2. What are the highlights of Google’s latest helpful content update(HCU)?

The helpful content update was aimed at rewarding content of websites that actually satisfied people with their search queries as opposed to those content that didn’t help visitors. As an information provider, your focus must totally lie in publishing content that would help people and ensure that your website provides a seamless user experience.

3. What if Google’s classifier signals content as unhelpful?

Even if the classifier signals your content as unhelpful, once you make the necessary updates to your content and when Google finds it useful, then the previous signal (unhelpful content) will no longer apply to your page.

Until The Next Update!

Google is one of the most significant search engines in today’s digital world. With the number of users it daily caters to, businesses will benefit by targeting these users. So, abiding by its guidelines is highly recommended. The great thing about this update is that it is more people-centric.

Google’s helpful content update focuses on a more people-first approach to publishing content. The new update is a reminder to content creators that SEO should only come second to satisfying the readers. Content creators are highly advised to always keep this in mind and visit old content to see if it meets these new guidelines for a better chance of ranking in Google Search.

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