Everything You Need to Know About the Google Helpful Content Update

Are you tired of browsing the internet only to find content written specifically for search engines? While we need our websites to rank to reach new audiences, we can’t forget that we’re writing for people, not just computers.

Hence, to ensure companies adhere to a ‘people-first’ process, Google is rolling out a helpful content update that will devalue content written solely for search engines. To help you understand this change better, our team of digital marketing experts at First Page have outlined everything you need to know about Google’s new content update in 2022 and creating content that works for both people and the Google algorithm.

Read on to learn more about the 2022 Google content update and how our team at First Page can help you understand the change.

The New Content Update by Google – What is it?

Google search on tablet
Image source: BigTunaOnline / Shutterstock.com

The purpose of the Google helpful content update is to improve the quality of content shown in search result lists.

Google has realised that the content shown on its platform is primarily suited to the algorithm rather than ‘people-first’ content. Hence, most people do not find this content helpful as they feel it was designed to perform well in search and attract clicks or views rather than inform readers. Therefore, Google is aiming to improve its search platform by making it easier for readers to find helpful content that is made by people, for people.

To do this, Google intends to reduce not just unhelpful content but also click-bait or AI-generated content to achieve better rankings for original, quality content written by people. This 2022 core update will drop unoriginal or low-quality content down to a lower position in results pages – leaving the best quality content at the top for users to easily find.

How Does the Google Helpful Content Update work?

man thinking while using laptop

The helpful content update will become one of the many factors Google considers when ranking websites against each other.

It could, in many ways, be similar to how content was being ranked during the early introduction of the Penguin and Pana updates. These changes are now integral to how the Google algorithm works as Penguin targeted sites with poor or outdated backlinks, and Panda would tackle low-quality content across the internet.

Hence, the Google helpful content update stands as the next stepping-stone to overcoming poor-quality content in highly ranked websites. By implementing strategies that account for the best content possible, these websites that are ranking for SEO only will once again be able to reach the top spot. If you’re unsure about whether your website is focused on SEO and writing for a computer, our digital strategy experts at First Page can help audit your website and find the best content method to enhance your rankings efficiently and with ease.

Is the New Content Update by Google Penalising Websites?

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Although the Google helpful content update isn’t meant to serve as a punishment or penalty, it could seem like one if your website drops significantly in terms of rankings and traffic.

However, it is essential to remember that even if your website is affected, you can always re-think your content strategy and start to rank once again. When you begin creating informative, engaging content that helps users achieve a goal, the Google algorithm will understand that the content on your website has changed – and, therefore, your ranking will improve.

Will Every Website be Impacted by the New Content Update by Google?

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Some companies will see their website impacted more than others. Although you may think this is unfair – it’s a deliberate action taken by Google to ensure the right websites are targeted.

The new Google helpful content update will focus on decreasing the rank of websites that have manipulated their SEO strategies and are continuing to pump out content that has no relevant correlation with their business or services. Hence, the websites that rank highly due solely to the nature of their SEO rather than the quality of their content will be the ones that are targeted.

It’s important to ask yourself whether your website concentrates more on SEO or on producing quality content. If the answer is the former, your website may be impacted more than others. Therefore, ensure your website focuses on features such as readability, user-friendliness, and high-quality information to get the best results possible.

How do I Write for the Content Update?

woman typing on laptop

You may be wondering what the best way to write for this new content update is. While it may seem complicated and complex to restructure your online content, there are some simple ideas to keep in mind when mending your content strategy. Our team will break this down further.

1.    Don’t stray too far from the main topic

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When writing or publishing content, ensure that you have an existing or intended audience in mind. This audience will provide insight into what topics you need to create content on. Hence, whether your content is about the beauty industry, an industrial application, or something in between – it’s always best to stay on track.

Straying too far from the main conversation may confuse users and make them feel that the content is unhelpful. Hence, with Google’s helpful content update, only content related to the keyword will be shown as a top search result.

We recommend asking yourself these questions when creating content:

  • Has the content been primarily designed for search engine traffic rather than for humans?
  • Are you writing about things only because they’re trendy and not because they’re strictly related to your business?
  • Are you writing about a niche topic solely for views without knowing much about it?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, then it may be worthwhile rethinking your content choices and sticking to a topic that connects with your business interests.

2.    Provide sufficient answers to common user questions

woman using mobile phone

When writing your content, Google wants you to ask yourself whether someone will leave your website feeling as though they have learned enough about a topic to help them achieve their goal.

If the answer is yes, then Google suggests that this is helpful content as it teaches or helps accomplish a task. In the past, writing for a search engine meant publishing loads of content that didn’t provide any significant value.

Other essential questions Google suggests considering include:

  • Does your content leave users feeling as though they need further information from other sites?
  • Are you writing to reach a particular word count to rank higher rather than writing for better-flowing content?
  • Are you an expert in the topic you’re writing about, or are you guessing/talking about information you aren’t sure about?

3.    Write to enhance the overall reader experience

Below view of smiling young multi-ethnic colleagues analyzing website information on tablet and discussing promotion strategy outdoors

Google reminds businesses to think about the overall reading experience for a user. Will they leave the content feeling satisfied?

You must satisfy a reader’s wants and needs so that they don’t look for more information elsewhere. For example, if you are adding product reviews to your website, ensure that the content also includes photos or videos rather than just text. This is because a visual representation of the product will complete the user experience and leave users wanting to engage further with your brand and perhaps try the product out for themselves.

Google suggests considering the following questions when it comes to reader experience:

  • Is the content packaged together nicely? Does it include high-quality copy and images/graphics?
  • Does your information remain factual throughout or have you produced unhelpful content?

4.    Keep your content sounding natural

Robot working with laptop

Typically, businesses write with SEO best practices in mind – meaning most of their content is saturated with keywords. However, Google has recommended that when it comes to keywords, often less is more. As a result, stuffing your content with as many keywords as possible has now become an outdated strategy. In fact, it can now do more harm than good with Google’s helpful content update.

Google’s algorithm is quite sophisticated and can clearly tell when keywords are being used unnaturally. Hence, this will result in a lower ranking for your website. Instead of raiding your content with keywords, focus on using them naturally throughout your writing.

Ask yourself these questions when writing:

  • How many times am I using a keyword in my content? Does it sound unnatural?
  • Would I read something like this if I saw it appear on my search results list? Does it provide me with sufficient information, and does it read well?

5.    Find the primary purpose for your website

man thinking

What is your website’s primary goal? Are you attempting to sell, convert, or persuade audiences?

No matter what it is, having a solid understanding of what you want your audience to feel after reading your content is vital to the overall customer journey. Hence, the new update allows Google to rate the quality of your web pages in connection to the primary purpose of your overall website.

When the Google algorithm updates and understands how your website is trying to be helpful to an online audience, it will know how to rank your site properly. Hence, its effectiveness is paramount in connection to the Google helpful content update and meeting the needs of your target audience.

Some questions to consider when writing your content for a purpose:

  • Is the content you’ve created primarily to educate your audience on a topic?
  • Is your content focused on getting leads and sales?
  • Does your content seem confused in the grand scope of your website/company’s brand?

Ensure the Content Update Doesn’t Impact Your Ranking

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While we’ve discussed the importance of writing for people, we cannot forget how integral rankings are in terms of reaching new audiences and growing a brand. Hence, by understanding the introduction of the 2022 Google content update, you can ensure that your already high-ranking content remains at the forefront of the competition.

Find a Balance Between People-First Content and Your SEO Strategy

While the Google algorithm remains a mystery, we know strategies that can help boost your website’s rankings on the platform. This includes using relevant keywords and SEO best practices.

While this is your first step to ensuring your content stays ranking highly, the addition of the Google helpful content update forces us to look at the content itself rather than just the SEO strategies.

Google has provided high-quality information that makes it easier for brands to keep their top position in search results. The checklist includes:

  • Have an existing audience for your website that will gain value from your content
  • Your content must demonstrate first-hand experience and a depth of knowledge
  • Your content must help someone achieve a goal
  • Keep in mind core updates
  • Combine SEO best practices with user-friendly and informative content

Get the Expert Help You Need

Are you having trouble understanding the new content update by Google? Our team at First Page have you covered when it comes to generating high-quality content that optimises well and flows even better.

Our SEO marketing services are next level, with our experts ready to create and manage all your website content for you. When it comes to copywriting or content creation, First Page agency in America is the best in the business. With Google being almost impossible to figure out, it’s best to turn to those with expertise and a depth of experience. Hence, First Page is here to guide you through the world of SEO, rankings, and content creation.

Whether you’re hoping to generate leads through local SEO services, boost awareness for your brand, or enhance your annual revenue, you’ll be in the best hands when you team up with our content specialists.

We are a professional local SEO agency that will help your content reach the first page of Google search results and adhere to the new Google helpful update. For more information, get in touch with our team at First Page today.

Want to know more about the 2022 Google content update? Talk to our team of digital marketing professionals at First Page America today. We understand how to write SEO-focused content that will help you reach the first page of Google search results without compromising on quality. Contact us today for more.