Google has always been bringing fresh turns in its search engine algorithm, tweaking, and twisting the system with its new updates. These updates are a piece of popular news over the years. However, due to the frequency of these updates, it seems like a step taken on behalf of some little interest.
But public opinion has slightly changed this time. The latest google helpful content update announcement was considered a bold move released on August 18th, 2022. It introduces a user-friendly name with a significant user-friendly signal. This is done to offer added benefits to both marketers as well as consumers.
Thinking, what is this fuss all about?
Well, Google has introduced the Helpful Content Update in its search engine. It assesses the degree to which material satisfies the consumer. It gives Google a fantastic chance to assist advertisers in developing a valuable consumer experience that begins with a search.
How Does The Helpful Content Update Work?
Helpful Content Update is a ranking indication that is determined by an algorithm. It evaluates how well a specific web page sticks to the fundamental search criteria of Google. It includes offering thorough descriptions, transparent source attributions, and innovative research and analysis within the content. The prime intention of this update is to minimize the value of information that has been unduly optimized or has low-quality content for search engines.
- Thin and lacking depth
- Written to rank, rather than to help people
This signal does not seem novel at first. The search rules were published in 2019. Several suggestions for HCU are similar to those that have long been provided to discourage the use of black hat SEO techniques. You can seek help from a full-service Digital marketing agency to understand the viewpoint that SEO and marketing specialists are acquainted with. Further, Black hat SEO strategies involve over-optimizing page components to sway search engine query results.
However, well-intentioned website content strategies to avoid misleading practices have gone too far. It is because content producers from varied backgrounds abuse different search engine optimization strategies that border on Black SEO techniques. They provide searchable material, but a lot of it does not have an objective tone like Wikipedia. However, the metadata and H1 tags have enough keywords without random stuffing, this sort of material hints at a solution that may not be the best for the reader.
Additionally, some publishers developed an unhealthy obsession with tracking algorithmic changes. This is even though each disclosed modification would just be one among hundreds of Google algorithms for SEO.
Panda, for instance, was only one of Google's 500+ search algorithm updates. Let us understand the Panda algorithm’s change in these years.
- 2011: Panda: The search algorithm was designed to rank the pages based on their quality. The low-quality sites had a poor rank.
- 2012: Penguin: This update was aimed to restrict the use of black hat link techniques.
- 2013: Hummingbird: it was modified to increase query and accuracy for conversational speech
- 2014: Pigeon: Google decided to interpret local business on a website
- 2015: Panda 4.2: This update was an essential improvement for the algorithm, focusing on, site quality and rank.
- 2022: Helpful Content First: The latest update encourages creators to develop valuable content on their sites.
The Helpful Content Update might be considered a Panda expansion.
As Redditor /u/Viacheslav Varenia joked, "The son of Panda will come and kill many."
How Can You Bring A Balance To SEO Tactics?
The Helpful Content Update signal is a component of Google's broader endeavor to balance what users see in the material they find via its search engine. In their structured data, marketers are now encouraged by Google to incorporate the benefits and drawbacks of various goods and services. The query results for rich snippets will reflect the addition of these. To check its acceptance in its search engine, Google provides a Rich Results Test.
As a matter of fact, the play on words in the phrase Helpful Content Update to reset expectations is intriguing. In simple terms, it is a label. Previously, Google's algorithm updates were identified by their code names, such as Pigeon, Hummingbird, and Panda. The idea was to select a word that appeals to ordinary users. These names might appear insignificant at first glance, but they actually mark the culmination of a number of algorithm improvements. All of these characteristics reflect the technical aspects of a query.
The goal of Google's most well-known algorithm updates was to consider the placement of HTML components on web pages for search queries. The search algorithm can now sophisticatedly discern the purpose of various web page items. Additionally, SEO strategies have improved. They are determining the best locations for keywords and considering links as an indication of interest.
What Are The Things That Creators Must Keep In Mind?
Google Search is always attempting to provide users with more relevant results. In order to accomplish this, Google is introducing the "helpful content update.” It is a prominent initiative component to ensure users see more useful, original information in search results.
But how should creators move forward to ensure capturing the attention of their potential customers? The change and specific considerations for creators are covered in greater detail below:
Focus On The Concept Of People-First Content
The helpful content upgrade intends to reward material more favorably where users believe they have had a pleasant experience. On the contrary, content that falls short of a user's expectations will not do as well.
How can you ensure that your content will be effective with the recent update?
By adhering to our steadfast recommendations and principles to produce content for humans rather than search engines. People-first content producers put the needs of their audience first while still using SEO best practices. It is to provide searchers with more valuable results. Here is a set of questions that you can answer to ensure that your people-first strategy is undoubtedly on the right track:
- Does your company or website have a target audience that would benefit from the material if they visited you directly?
- Does your website have a primary goal or focal point?
- Will someone who reads your material believe they have learned enough about a subject to aid in achieving their goal?
- Does someone who reads your material come away from it feeling satisfied?
- Are you following our recommendations for both core upgrades and product reviews?
Keep Yourself Away From Creating Content For Search Engines
Implementing SEO best practices is not incompatible with the content strategy required to ace this update. Google recommends putting the needs of people before anything else. SEO is a valuable activity when used on material that puts readers’ needs first. The material that searchers find disappointing is closely connected with content produced with search engine traffic in mind.
If you answered "yes" to any of the following questions, you should rethink how you produce content for your website:
- Is the material designed more for search engine traffic than human consumption?
- Do you create much content on various subjects in the hopes that some of it would do well in search results?
- Do you use automation to create content across various topics?
- Do you mostly restate what others have said without really adding much to the conversation?
- Do you write about topics only because they appear to be trendy rather than because you would typically write about them for your current audience?
- Do people who read your material feel like they need to recheck their sources for more accurate information?
- Have you heard or read that Google has a desired word count, so you're writing to that specific word count?
- Did you write on a particular niche subject without having any genuine knowledge, but primarily because you anticipated it would attract search traffic?
- Makes your material claim to respond to a genuinely unanswered question, such as by implying that a product, movie, or TV program will have a release date when none has been established.
Time To Optimize Your Content According To The New Update!
It is pretty evident that this fresh update might affect you unless you buckle yourself up for it. So, how can you cross the hurdle of dealing with strong interaction on your content?
Well, if the Google algorithms and users do not interact with your content, it may hamper everything. It is because poor content can lead to a lack of organic interaction. But do not get sad yet! Instead, remember that it may indicate something wrong with your strategy. Try some of these strategies if you want to restart your audience engagement.
1. Know Your Intended Readers
No matter what industry or niche your blog focuses on, you should determine and address the primary readers of your content. Your blog approach will be directed by understanding who your readership is and what you expect them to do after clicking on your content. You can utilize buyer personas to target readers based on their purchasing patterns, demographics, and psychographics. Without this knowledge, you risk writing factual and grammatically sound content that few readers will click on because it doesn't resonate with them.
2. Be Authentic
Being more authentic is one of the best strategies to increase users interaction because 90% of customers claim that authenticity influences their choice of business. When communicating with your fans and followers, choose a social media marketing voice that personifies your business and stays true to it. Since most users like humorous material, you may consider employing humor as a content optimization strategy to increase your shares, comments, or likes.
Being truthful is another strategy you might use. Honesty can go a long way in establishing your audience's confidence and maintaining their interest in your business online, whether it's admitting mistakes or expressing your corporate principles.
3. Pay Attention To Your Reader’s Experience
An excellent writer or creative content agency will tell you that the reader experience is the most crucial aspect of a blog article. Readability, formatting, and page speed are just a few elements that go into the reading experience. As a result, you should develop easy-to-understand, thorough, and correct content in light of the most recent statistics and market trends. Using subtitles and headings to organize the text is crucial because it lets readers skim quickly to get the information they want.
You'll be well on your way to posting an article customized for the search engine by concentrating on what the reader wants to know and structuring the post to accomplish that aim.
4. Use Simple Language
When users enter a specific question or query into Google, they usually expect to see a short, easy-to-understand piece of content that will provide them with the necessary information and clear up any confusion.
One of the content optimization tips is to write concise, understandable sentences. After all, no one looking for a quick cheesecake recipe or the best digital marketing services in 2022 wants to read a dissertation-length article. Use benefit-driven language and demonstrate to users why they should choose your content information. Keep your sentences brief and concise.
5. Focus On Your Niche
When it comes to content, don't rely on a hit-or-miss strategy. Write with specific goals in mind that communicate your brand. Unfortunately, some creators take whatever is popular, create mediocre content, and cross their fingers that it will resonate.
You can delve deeper into the most relevant content by narrowing your focus. You can stop stumbling for ideas and start producing content that you actually know about.
6. Be Original With First-Hand Content
When reporting news, you must stick to the facts. You can add value to your content by asking pertinent questions such as how and why. These types of content offer a detailed examination or a fresh perspective on a topic. You can discover your users' needs by using polls or surveys with the help of a content strategy agency. Rather than simply repeating what has already been said, assist your users by providing interesting commentary, telling informative stories, providing fact-based analysis, or solving problems.
7. Correct Interpretation Of AI Tools
Artificial intelligence is a tool that can help you improve your work and boost your productivity. Unfortunately, AI tools like article spinners have been used to flood search engines with garbage content to rank high in search results.
Use AI to reduce your workload, but don't rely entirely on it. You can use online tools, for example, to check your grammar and polish your writing. Alternatively, you can use AI-powered text visualization to turn your ideas into actual images. However, the main ideas and final say should remain yours.
8. Offer Versatile Knowledge
It is not a good idea to use the same terms or phrases over and over. It produces content that is difficult to read and may appear untrustworthy to a discerning audience, lacking the addition of new knowledge. Upgrade recurring words to their equivalent alternatives and offer the versatile ability to optimize your content. This will make reading much more interesting and engaging.
It also offers search engines more contextual information while avoiding the temptation to overuse specific keywords, which could lead to poor search performance. The use of versatile knowledge strengthens the topics you're writing about by providing numerous points of reference. It can also provide you with more ranking opportunities using content syndication.
9. Use formatting correctly
The way you structure content aids in conveying its meaning.
For instance, a numbered list could be a step-by-step procedure or a ranking system. Bullet points typically denote a list of items of equal importance. The bold or italic text makes items stand out and emphasizes them. The best way is to look for experienced content creation services.
Image Source: Ahrefs
The proper formatting will assist readers in reading your content in the manner you intended. It will also make scanning and processing easier. However, it will benefit search engines as well because they recognize these formats and their common meanings.
10. Cover The Whole Story
You should do content gap analysis as great content should always be researched. We frequently believe we know what our target audience wants, but as content creators, we may have a skewed perspective.
This is where the data from search queries come in. It's a goldmine of information about what people are looking for. While it is essential to use this with caution as a digital content strategy, it should not be overlooked.
Understanding how people search for the topics we write about is critical for content optimization. Readers will notice that your content is more relevant to what they searched for to find you, and search engines will serve your content in the appropriate context.
The distribution of the helpful page update has begun. It is predicted that other supporting features will be provided in the upcoming months. Along with a tool for determining if the improvements would affect your website, Google now offers a page where updated information is given.
The current push has been switched from UA to GA4. As a marketer, this is your time to take advantage of an SEO content strategy. It will help you to determine how to enhance content so that its digital presentation is person-centric.