Google has just announced a planned algorithm update for this month called the ‘helpful content’ update.
The update seeks to promote websites that have content that is helpful to users above those that don’t. It rewards people-first content and devalues content written for search engines and will look at individual pages as well as the site as a whole.
Google says, “The helpful content update aims to better reward content where visitors feel they’ve had a satisfying experience, while content that doesn’t meet a visitor’s expectations won’t perform as well”, and offer these tips:
- Do you have an existing or intended audience for your business or site that would find the content useful if they came directly to you?
- Does your content clearly demonstrate first-hand expertise and a depth of knowledge (for example, expertise that comes from having actually used a product or service, or visiting a place)?
- Does your site have a primary purpose or focus?
- After reading your content, will someone leave feeling they’ve learned enough about a topic to help achieve their goal?
- Will someone reading your content leave feeling like they’ve had a satisfying experience?
- Are you keeping in mind our guidance for core updates and for product reviews?
If you answer yes to these, you’re unlikely to be affected at all.
The update was announced on 18th August 2022 and started rolling out from the week of 22nd August 2022, and while it’s expected to take two weeks for the update to finish, it’s a rolling update, so it might seem quiet while things progress.
Google has indicated there are further content updates to come, “Over the coming months, we will also continue refining how the classifier detects unhelpful content and launch further efforts to better reward people-first content.” Google Search Central.
If your website is negatively impacted by the update, you may see a drop in performance so it will be useful to keep an eye on your site and individual page rankings.
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