4 Things You Need To Know About Google’s Helpful Content Update

4 Things You Need To Know About Google's Helpful Content Update
4 Things You Need To Know About Google's Helpful Content Update

Google’s helpful content update sets the stage for gaining more site traffic. Understanding the search engine’s latest algorithm adjustment is key to ranking well, growing your online presence and avoiding loss of visibility.

Google aims to maximize user experience by identifying sites with both helpful and unhelpful content. Engaging content is boosted to rank higher and irrelevant content is knocked down the ladder.

Share content that aligns with Google’s preferences to rank higher, gain more site traffic and grow your audience. Here’s what you need to know about Google’s update to live up to their standard of high quality information.

Key Takeaways

  • Google holds over 92% of search engine market shares worldwide – adhering to their ranking tips is key to increasing your site’s visibility
  • Google aims to reward quality content and minimize visibility of unsatisfying content
  • SEO marketing strategies drive more than 50% of site traffic and depend on the sustained growth of your business
  • Focus on increasing your portfolio of helpful, high-quality content and remove content that is deemed unhelpful

Align your content with Google’s update and use SEO best practices to share high-quality information that engages your audience.

Google’s Helpful Content Update 101

Google’s most recent search engine algorithm update, also known as Google’s helpful content update, is part of the site’s effort to improve the quality of content seen by searchers.

The update introduced a new site-wide signal that works to measure and identify the added value and relevance of searchable content. By doing so, Google users are more likely to find reliable and high-quality information.

Google’s goal is to reward content that provides information visitors are looking for, also known as helpful content. Helpful content will rank highly and result in more site traffic.

Google also wants to weed out content that doesn’t meet the expectations of visitors, commonly known as unhelpful content. Unhelpful content will rank poorly and lead to less site traffic.

Since Google holds over 92% of search engine market shares worldwide, making sure your content qualifies as helpful is key to having visibility. Later on, we’ll discuss what steps to take to ensure you’re sharing high-quality content.

pie chart depicting search engine market shares worldwide

Image Source: Mangools

4 Things You Need to Know

Google’s most recent helpful content update sheds some light on how you can heighten your chances of sharing content that ranks well. Here’s what you need to know to see your content shine in Google searches.

Focus on People First

Google emphasizes that people-first content is rewarded with high rankings. This means you should focus on sharing educational, user-friendly content to ensure your posts are regarded as helpful.

Show first hand experience and avoid straying far from your topic to ensure a satisfying visitor experience. To better understand the significance of a people-first mindset, enjoy the short video below.

Video Source: Simon Sinek

Determine whether your content focuses on people-first by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Will your target audience find your content useful?
  • Is your site’s purpose and focus clearly defined?
  • Does your content provide a cohesive understanding of information discussed?
  • Are your posts guided by Google’s helpful content updates?

If you answered yes to the questions above, it’s likely that you’re on track to sharing helpful content. If you answered no, it’s not too late to get started. We’ll cover ways to get back on the ball later on in this post.

Avoid Writing for Search Engines

Google advises to avoid writing content catered to search engines, or solely with intent to rank higher. Search engines saturated with content written to rank is frustrating for searchers and makes for an unsatisfying experience.

Instead, focus your attention on creating engaging content. A marketing strategy that overlooks human consumption will only confuse both the search engine and your readers, resulting in unhelpful content.

It’s time to re-evaluate your posts if you’ve shared any content that:

  • Uses extensive automation
  • Summarizes other sites’ content without adding value
  • Focuses solely on trending topics
  • Leaves readers unsatisfied
  • Aims to gain search traffic instead of educate visitors

Using data to trick the system into ranking your content higher isn’t a reliable marketing strategy. Instead, channel your energy into creating people-first content and raise your chances of high-ranking results.

Use SEO Best Practices To Bring Additional Value

With that in mind, it’s both possible and advised to use a data-driven strategy to gain site traffic. Google confirms that having a people-first approach does not invalidate SEO best practices. They also recommend reading-up on their SEO guide for more tips.

Following a strategy that accounts for SEO and customer interest will bring value to your content and keep readers satisfied. Over time, Google will acknowledge your effort and thank you with higher ranking content.

SEO applies to both on-page and behind-the-scenes factors relevant to your site’s growth. Best practices in SEO are always changing, so hiring experts to do the heaving lifting is one of the most efficient ways to capitalize on an SEO-driven strategy.

infographic depicting several factors that make up search engine optimization

Image Source: Seochatter

Alt-text: infographic depicting several factors that make up search engine optimization

Although SEO can be daunting to tackle, it’s critical to seeing sustained success in Google searches. A marketing strategy that aligns with SEO drives more than 50% of all site traffic and has a heavy hand in the growth of your business.

Remove Unhelpful Content

Remember, Google’s site-wide signal is constantly identifying valuable, relevant content that appears during searches. Google also aims to reduce visibility of content that’s unhelpful, unnecessary or unreliable.

Any content deemed as unhelpful will perform poorly in searches assuming there’s better content available elsewhere. If you’ve shared both helpful and unhelpful content, Google’s perceived value of your site will decrease.

Removing or updating unhelpful content from your site will increase the overall quality of your content and let Google know that you’re dedicated to serving people-first.

Prune your posts, weed out the weak and give your helpful content the spotlight it deserves. You’ll benefit from a better site evaluation, increased value of content and higher rankings because Google trusts you.

What Does This Mean for Your Site?

Since Google’s site signal is weighted, your focus should be on increasing the overall value of shared content. Sites with an unhelpful majority will notice a stronger impact than sites sharing mostly helpful content.

If you’ve already shared unhelpful content in the past, prioritize updating those posts with information that is educational, elaborate and engaging. Doing so will help minimize any negative impact that Google’s updated algorithm will have on the visibility of your content. And then don’t make the same mistakes again!

The bottom line: the more helpful content, the merrier. Here’s some pointers on how to share high-quality, people-first content.

checklist for creating content according to Google’s helpful content update

Image Source: No Brainer

Share Trustworthy Information

Most high-ranking content can be trusted. Similarly, most trustworthy content is highly-ranked.

Trustworthy content includes original, insightful information. Create content that demonstrates expertise so readers trust your site and feel satisfied leaving your page.

Sharing helpful content also means checking your facts. Posting untrue information is a sure-fire way to be deemed untrustworthy and get knocked down in rankings.

Post Well-Written Content

Most people won’t trust an article with elementary content and neither should you. Build your quality-content portfolio by:

  • Communicating cohesive ideas
  • Explaining topics in-depth
  • Proofreading for grammatical errors
  • Adhering to optimal length

Be clear, be specific and stick to a word count that’s representative of similar top-ranking articles. Only include information that’s necessary to educate and remove anything that’s not relevant to your topic. This way, Google will note your content as a valuable contribution.

Address Your Target Audience

Demonstrate your dedication to posting people-first content by directly addressing your target audience. Make your target audience feel seen and satisfied after a visit by covering topics of interest and answering their questions.

Doing so will create an emotional bond and build trust between you and your readers. This raises the likelihood of readers returning to your site and increases Google’s perceived quality of your content.

Share Helpful Content Today

Following the preferences of Google’s helpful content update is the best way to keep your content at the front of the line. Secure your spot for success by using an SEO marketing strategy to share quality content.

Creating helpful content consistently is a tall order. Share quality content today with the help of marketing strategy experts, Marketing Insider Group. Check out our SEO blog writing service or schedule a free consultation now!

Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner  is a Top CMO, Content Marketing and Digital Marketing Influencer, an international keynote speaker, author of "Mean People Suck" and "The Content Formula" and he is the CEO and Founder of Marketing Insider Group, a leading Content Marketing Agency . He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael helps build successful content marketing programs for leading brands and startups alike. Subscribe here for regular updates.