Completed on September 9th, Google’s ‘helpful content update’ has now finished being rolled out after starting on August 25th. The update is to target websites with a high amount of unhelpful content that is designed for search engines rather than people.
In short, the question Google wants the answer to is “Is your content written to help users or just to rank well on search engines?” The update is giving Google the chance to reward content that is written by humans for humans and is more useful and better overall.
The idea is to connect people to more helpful information when content is shared online. Visitors should have a satisfying experience and feel as though they have been informed or educated; people-first creators should produce fulfilling content while using the best SEO practices to bring searchers additional value.
Searchers are starting to become frustrated with landing on web pages that don’t help them find what they are looking for but rank well in search engines because they have been written in a way to do so.
The algorithm is designed to downgrade those types of websites and instead promote helpful websites designed for humans. Google said this is an “ongoing effort to reduce low-quality content and make it easier to find content that feels authentic and useful in Search.”
So, what you may need to ask yourself now is what this means for your content. If you are being hit by this update, it may take you some time to recover. However if you make changes to your content, things will eventually start to pick up again.
Google is offering up advice and guidelines to ensure your content is successful with the new update. However, creating content users want to read as opposed to keyword-heavy content that serves little purpose is the only way to wriggle out of the impact on the update.
If you have been using practices such as publishing auto-generated content or content that is based on assumptions, you may be hit hard by the update.
On the other hand, if you regularly publish unique content that is highly authentic, the chances are that this update may benefit you considerably.
For the best success, it is best to remove unhelpful content for your website and follow Google’s guidelines on producing content that puts people first.
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