Did you know Google has been updating its search algorithm for years?
It makes sense to educate yourself on the latest changes impacting the Google algorithm. Some of these changes have been small and unnoticeable, while others have impacted how SEO helps companies compete in their markets.
One update that has recently taken the web by storm is Google’s Helpful Content Update. This post discusses what you need to know about this change in Google’s algorithm. So read on!
What Is the Helpful Content Update?
The helpful content update is a ranking signal that identifies pages that provide answers or help to users. Google is constantly looking for ways to improve the search results to offer the most helpful and relevant information, and this update is one of their latest efforts.
It’s important to note that the new Google update does not generally affect ranking factors; it only affects pages relevant to specific queries. For example, if you have content on your website about “how to loop a tie” and someone searches for that exact phrase, you will likely not see any changes in your rankings because Google knows you already have what they’re looking for.
In contrast, if someone searches, “Why do people wear green ties?” a page discussing various reasons why people might wear green ties may rank higher than a page explaining how to loop a tie. This is because there isn’t enough information about how to loop a tie on your site yet.
As has always been the case, data is super important for SEO and ultimately making better business decisions.
How Hassle-free Is It?
You might be wondering whether this change will negatively impact your website. The short answer is no, but there are some things to keep in mind.
Google isn’t penalising websites. They aren’t removing pages from the index, links from the index, or sites from search results. They aren’t updating their algorithms, either.
Updates happen automatically through machine learning technology, so webmasters don’t have to do anything extra for their site to be affected by this update (or negatively affected).
Google has been trying to improve the quality of its search results for years, with varying levels of success. The top-ranked pages aren’t always the type of results you’d expect them to be.
Some time ago Google added more details factors into their algorithm. They made a significant change in how they evaluate websites. They are now looking at well over 200 different signals instead of just 10 or 20.
The basic factors include things like:
- Authority—how many links does this site have?
- Value—is the content relevant and valuable for users?
- Quality—does the site load quickly, and are there spelling errors or broken links?
- Timeliness—has this page been updated recently?
- Visibility—how many people are linking to this page?
Trustworthiness is also vital: whether the site or pages are likely to have been created solely to rank highly on Google but without any value for the visitor.
What About Vague Questions?
Google is also getting better at identifying vague questions. Historically these would produce poor results.
So you can expect a slight increase in the number of good results for these kinds of queries. For example, if a user searches for “how to make chocolate chip cookies” and the top result is a recipe blog post that doesn’t answer the question directly, Google will be able to recognise and assign it as ‘not an answer’. This won’t get displayed or will get ranked lower in search engine results pages (SERP’s).
On the other hand, broad or ambiguous questions may have improved answers with this update. This is because they aren’t being flagged as duplicate content anymore. In fact, you might even notice some new pages popping up as quality answers on broad or ambiguous topics!
How Is Google Making Sure That Pages Are Helpful?
If you want to be sure that your pages are helpful and well-linked, there are a few things you can do.
Make sure your content is high quality. Google looks at the content on your page and evaluates how useful it is to its users. If the content meets or exceeds their expectations, it will be deemed high quality and likely rank higher in search results.
Be helpful to users. If your page has little value for people searching for information about a topic, then it’s unlikely that Google will rank your page highly in search results due to this lack of utility (or usefulness). Making sure that all of your pages are useful should help you get ranked higher by the Google algorithm because they’ll be able to see how helpful they are.
Create links between related topics on different sites around the web so that search engines like Google can understand what each page is about based on what other sites say about them, too. This means those pages will probably appear higher when someone searches for something related.
What Kinds of Content Will Be Affected by the Update?
The helpful content update is designed to reward sites that provide high-quality information. The search engine will look for practical, easy-to-understand, and useful content. This type of content can range from informative articles on technical topics to entertaining videos about cooking.
Because the new algorithm prioritises the quality of a website’s content, it’s vital for marketers who rely on SEO tactics like keyword stuffing or duplicate content to make adjustments. They need to do this to stay competitive with other brands that provide truthful and helpful information online.
If you’re struggling with whether your existing content is hitting the spot, consider paying for an SEO audit to give you an idea of where you’re at.
How Can We Use This Information As SEOs and Marketers?
This is the part of the article where you start thinking about how these changes can be applied to your own content and site. As an SEO or marketer, what should you do?
Make sure that your content is helpful to readers. Ask yourself these questions:
- Is my content written in a way that will help people find answers?
- Is my content actionable?
- Does my content work for a local audience as well as the world?
- Does it tell people what they should do next based on what I’ve said?
- Is something unique about my business or industry that sets me apart from competitors (and makes me worth sharing)?
- Does it describe the same thing everyone else does (and is not worth sharing)?
If so, great! If not, then maybe now would be a good time to re-evaluate your website’s usefulness and why people might want to share it with others.
Also, remember to include SEO as a significant component of your digital marketing budget and services, not as an afterthought.
How Can You Use This Update To Improve Your Content?
Focus on providing answers to questions. This is the easiest way to improve your content for this update and a great way to get more traffic from Google searches. The more you can answer users’ questions, the better off you’ll be with this update.
Focus on providing helpful content to users, not just yourself or your business. If it helps solve a problem or gives people what they need, it will bring in more traffic without any adverse effects, as spammy links do.
Be clear and concise when writing your articles, so they’re easy to understand by humans and machines alike. You should also try using some examples within your posts. This will show readers how to use what they’ve learned so far (and keep them coming back).
Stay Focused On Producing High-quality Content
While Google seems to be taking a more helpful approach toward users, they have been testing these changes for some time now, and there are still things that can go wrong.
For example, if you don’t have enough information on your page regarding the topic, then Google may not be able to identify it as helpful content.
So don’t worry too much about what will happen with this update just yet. Instead, stay focused on creating high-quality content that is useful at its core level (and maybe even entertaining).
the New Helpful Content Update
It’s worth taking time to understand the helpful content update so that you know what Google is looking for without being beholden to it. Be aware of what it entails.
If in doubt, you can always engage our online SEO consulting services. We can assist you in benefiting from changes to the algorithm allowing you to stay focused on producing great content and running your business.