Google’s Helpful Content update – all you need to know

A drastic change has recently come to Google’s search engine ranking algorithm, dubbed the “Helpful Content Update”. However, as Google doesn’t seem to have a history of rolling out updates that work in favor of existing SEO strategies, you may be wondering how this ”improvement” is affecting your website’s SEO and content. In order to help you get in front of this change, we’ve made it the topic of our article today to introduce you to Google’s Helpful Content update as much as possible. Keep reading and learn everything there is to know about it! Help yourself adequately adjust your digital marketing tactics to the new set of rules in the complex game that is digital marketing.

What Google’s Helpful Content update actually is?

A sign that says SEO.
Content that’s written with search engines in mind is likely to suffer thanks to the newest update coming from Google.

Google claims that this update comes as part of an effort to ensure that people get introduced to more unique, ”helpful” content. One that is written by actual people and is directed towards actual people. Its goal is to reward quality content (and its creators) that induces satisfactory feelings in visitors. On the other hand, content that doesn’t quite seem to be up to visitors’ standards isn’t going to perform as well, thanks to the change in algorithm.

But how exactly does Google decide if the content is of use to its readers or if it’s written solely with rankings in mind? Simply put – through the use of artificial intelligence (AI). That being said, websites that the AI recognizes as being of no use, are likely to find their rankings plummeting.

When has the update rolled out?

It’s been two months since the Helpful Content update has seen the light of day. By now, it has made an impact on not only thousands but rather millions of search results. Up until now, however, it’s been affecting strictly English results, although it’s expected to target other languages, as well, in the future.

What can be done to overcome this change?

While there’s only so much we can do about changing the algorithm or, actually, precisely nothing that we can do, that doesn’t mean that this ”issue” is impossible to overcome. Digital Dot, as the New York City SEO expert, has a couple of ideas on how to come out of this change a winner.

#1 Create ”People-first” content

People writing the word ''audience'' on the whiteboard.
In order to please Google’s Helpful Content update, make sure the focus of your content is your audience.

Rather than focusing strictly on SEO, make sure that the content on your website targets people, before anything else. Simply said – do well by your readers by putting them first. But, does that mean that the optimization has to suffer in the process? Absolutely not! Producing quality content that includes SEO best practices is more than achievable!

#2 Use SEO as a starting point but don’t overdo it

To create something that will resonate with the audience, and thus, please Google’s Helpful Content update, you are more than welcome to use certain SEO strategies. In fact, you are even encouraged to do so. For instance, to get the best of both worlds, you’ll need to conduct keyword research before you even begin creating content. That will also help you decide on the topic. However, instead of letting search engine optimization drive the whole narrative, think of it more as a guide that will allow you to produce your best work. And if you aren’t quite sure of how to use SEO to your advantage in this case, you can always reach out to the expert New York digital marketing agency for advice.

#3 Prioritize the needs of your audience

Put the needs of your target audience first. Always! If there is something that you can offer them that no website can, use it to your advantage. Make it a selling point that differentiates the content that you create from that of your competitors.

#4 Be clear and informative

To please Google, but also your visitors, the content of your website will need to be particularly clear and informative. Instead of providing your audience with vague answers to their queries, offer comprehensive explanations that will make them realize just how valuable your website is.

#5 Demonstrate dominance (and knowledge) over the subject

A person taking a look at the analytics after Google's helpful content update has rolled out.
By sticking to the topics that you know well, soon enough you’ll build the authority that your website needs to rank high.

Rather than producing content that focuses on hundreds of different topics, stick to one that allows you to speak about it with expertise, authoritativeness, and also trust. Give your website time to build authority. Yes, it might take a while to rank well. However, once Google and your readers have deemed your content ”helpful”,  you will have asserted dominance over the subject, and thus, the rankings will have drastically improved.

#6 Don’t overproduce

The more the merrier, right? Well, in this case, not so much. Truth be told, the recent Google’s Helpful Content update doesn’t take kindly to websites flooding their visitors with content. Or at least, it doesn’t take kindly to them flooding them with that of low value. That being said, instead of coming up with new posts all the time, you are better off focusing on the content quality. In other words, we encourage you to sacrifice quantity in favor of quality. And so does Google!

Now, while you work on improving the written aspects of your website, how about you let the web design company NYC handle the visuals? After all, the appearance and functionality of the site are just as important as the content itself! A visually appealing website will help visitors stick around. It will also make them come back craving more.

What to do if impacted by Google’s update?

First and foremost, if Google’s Helpful Content update affects your business, don’t fret: it’s possible to reverse the damage. As long as you purge your site of low-quality content and work towards creating that of value, you’re bound to see an improvement. Just how quickly, however, is tough to say as that will depend solely on machine learning. What we can recommend, though, is to stay patient. Again, please your audience, and soon enough, you’ll also please Google.

 

As a well-established NYC digital marketing agency, Digital Dot is always up-to-date with the latest digital marketing industry trends. We make it our goal to understand every factor in the market and to take advantage of it through the solutions we offer to our clients and blog subscribers. For more useful information on how to keep up with Google, make sure to keep reading our blog.

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