Google’s Helpful Content Update Goes Live
Google has emphasised yet again the importance of creating content for humans rather than search engines. Just recently, the search giant started rolling out the helpful content update. The rollout, which reportedly took at least two weeks to complete, signalled the arrival of a new ranking factor Google uses to determine a web page’s search ranking.
Google’s new algorithm update seeks to prioritise content written for people while devaluing those created primarily for SEO. Furthermore, it is sitewide. This means it can potentially affect all pages on a website. In comparison, the product review update, released in March 2022, only targets specific types of web pages.
The update affects English searches worldwide. However, Google stated that it plans to expand it to other languages, as well. The search giant further revealed that it would continue improving its capabilities to detect unhelpful content while promising better rewards for websites with “people-first” content.
What to Do Next
At Springhill Marketing, we have always stressed the importance of creating content that offers value to your audience. Not only will it enable you to meet Google’s standards, but it also has a positive impact on your reputation and credibility.
With the launch of Google’s helpful content update, writing for humans is now more critical than ever. To help ensure that your site will benefit from the search giant’s most recent algorithm update, here are a few pointers you should consider.
1. Stick to your area of expertise
You might be tempted to publish content outside your niche or industry to take advantage of trending or high-volume keywords. After all, if you’re writing about a popular topic (even if it has nothing to do with what your business is offering), there’s a chance that you can attract a significant amount of web traffic.
However, such a strategy will never be viable, especially now that Google reiterated its stance on creating content outside your field of expertise.
Sticking to content relevant to your niche/industry would be best to ensure better search rankings.
2. Write what you know
With the recent update, Google warns against writing about something you haven’t personally experienced yet. This includes writing about products or services you haven’t used to obtain affiliate links.
For this reason, you should always write about what you know. If you have first-hand knowledge or experience with a product, service, or place you want to write about, you’re likely to create content that will offer significant value to your audience. It also makes it easier to provide your readers with something they will find unique or interesting.
3. Don’t be a Jack of all trades
Ensure that your site has a primary focus. For instance, if you offer landscaping services, it would be best to provide content relevant to landscaping and gardening. Don’t try to be all things to everyone. More importantly, never publish content about different topics in hopes one of them will rank well in search results.
Such a strategy will only confuse your existing audience. Furthermore, it will also make it difficult for Google and other search engines to understand what your website is all about. Instead, build your site around a specific topic or niche. If you want to write about other topics, publishing it on a different website would be best.
4. Answer your audience’s questions
Google defines “helpful content” as something that teaches people or helps them complete a task. That being said, whenever you create a piece of web content, ensure that it can answer your audience’s question or address a concern that led them to your site.
Also, do not pad your content with useless information just to hit a specific word count. Contrary to popular belief, Google doesn’t have a preferred word count. You’re doing yourself a great disservice when you add fluff to your content.
However, at the same time, Google’s helpful content update discourages answering any question that doesn’t have an answer. For instance, you should never suggest or claim to know the release date of a product or service (e.g. movies and TV series) when there’s still no verified information.
Always Prioritise Your Audience
While optimising your content for search engines is crucial, you should never lose sight of your target audience. Even if your web pages contain the right keywords and are highly visible on search engines, web visitors are unlikely to appreciate them if they can’t find the information they are looking for. Therefore, you should always write for humans and then optimise for search engines to ensure compliance with Google’s latest algorithm update.
Do you need help optimising your website with Google’s algorithm updates? At Springhill Marketing, we are happy to assist you. Contact us today, and our team of highly skilled and experienced SEO experts will create an SEO plan tailored to your business.
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