Google Updates

Google’s Helpful Content Algorithm Update

Summary: Google has released a new update to their algorithm that aims to promote helpful and useful content in the search rankings. Learn how this may affect you.

Google’s latest algorithm update, the helpful content update, was just released on August 25th. This update has significant implications for SEO and digital marketing in general. Today, we will discuss how you can prepare your website for the changes it will bring.

What Does the Helpful Content Update Do?

Google’s helpful content aims to do exactly what its name suggests: promote helpful content in search ranks. After this update is in full effect, websites that publish derivative or vague content that is of little value to users will suffer a ranking penalty for doing so.

The goal of this change is to ensure that Google promotes content that is made with users’ best interest in mind. Google has always considered the practice of publishing unhelpful content to be gaming the system, but they now have a way to monitor and enforce this policy.

The helpful content update will be applied to English websites first and will be slowly rolled out to other languages over time. The update has already begun to review its first round of English-language websites, and this process will continue over the next several weeks.

The helpful content ranking signal will not be manually administered. Instead, Google will be relying on a machine learning model to determine which pieces of content are helpful or not. This means that you will not be able to argue your case if you are given a ranking penalty for unhelpful content. Your content will either qualify as helpful or it will not.

Individual pieces of content will still be ranked according to their value, and truly valuable content will still rank well even if it is published on a site with lots of unhelpful content. The signal will also be weighted, meaning that websites with just a few pieces of sub-standard content will not suffer as great a penalty as those that mostly publish unhelpful pieces.

What Should I Do If the Helpful Content Update Impacts Me?

If you notice that your website’s search ranks have dropped after this update goes live, Google recommends removing any low-quality content from your website. You can also update old unhelpful content to make it more valuable to readers. Either way, your site should be free of any generic content that is clearly made just to boost your search ranks. Any remaining content like this will damage your ranks and detract from your ongoing SEO efforts.

Understand that it will probably take some time to reverse the effects of the unhelpful content penalty. According to Google, this update is designed to continuously monitor websites and observe long-term trends. The algorithm will not update your site’s ranking signal until it has spent several months free of unhelpful content. Remain persistent – as long as you commit to your new content standards, you will eventually be able to reverse the penalty.

Google Helpful Content Advice

The helpful content update will impact every company’s content marketing efforts going forward. For best results, you will need to plan your future content with this new framework in mind.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to determine if your content will meet Google’s new standards:

  • Think about how you would feel if you read your content. Would you feel satisfied with the information presented, or would you need to keep researching to find the information you need?
  • Does your content offer valuable first-hand knowledge, or is it full of the same basic information users could find anywhere on the web?
  • How are you choosing your content topics? Are you writing on subjects that your users have real interest in, or are you choosing subjects based on search trends or a lack of traffic competition?
  • Are you writing more than you need to in order to hit a higher word count?

These questions will give you a good starting point for aligning your future content with the Google helpful content update.

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Google's Helpful Content Algorithm Update

Google’s helpful content update is just the latest in a long series of changes that have rocked the SEO world. If you want to keep on top of all of these new developments, you will need the kind of up-to-the-minute digital marketing assistance that only an expert SEO company can provide.

At WSI Comandix, we take pride in helping our clients grow their business with effective organic marketing tactics that easily overcome major algorithm changes like these. Contact us today to enlist our help in creating quality evergreen content that will easily satisfy the people-first requirements of the Google helpful content update.

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