Google’s “Helpful Content Update”

Google’s newly announced “Helpful Content Update” plans to tackle what it considers “unhelpful content” versus content that’s created to truly help users. Their focus is set on reducing “search-engine-first” content and highlighting valuable “people-first” content. Here’s what you need to know.

Google’s main target with the newest update is low quality sites that are constructed purely to game the algorithm and not provide value to a user. An example of “search-engine-first” content would be sites that simply aggregate content from other sources without providing some unique value or insights. Unlike past updates, this update is created to impact whole sites, rather than individual pages or sections.

Google will be rolling out this update starting next week and will continue over the next few months. A few things users may start to notice:

  1. New features in Search Console & Google Analytics to help site owners identify this type of content
  2. Downranking of sites with large amounts of unhelpful content in search results
  3. New guidance on how to improve content if it’s flagged as being unhelpful

As this update is rolled out over the next few months, here are some things you can do:

  1. Keep an eye on your site analytics for any dips or trends
  2. Review Google’s questions to ask yourself when creating content
  3. Continue writing content that is helpful to users with topics you are an expert on

Google continues to put more and more value on high quality, unique content. The better you can provide quality and informative content, the more Google will value your content, and the better your organic search performance should theoretically be.

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