How Does Google’s Helpful Content Update Impact SEO?
Have you heard about the uproar of algorithms on the internet in recent history? Google recently released a new update that is shaking up the SEO world. The Helpful Content Update, as it is called, is designed to reward websites that produce high-quality content.
This update has caused a lot of confusion and speculation in the SEO community, so I decided to put together this piece to help break it down.
This article will explain what the Helpful Content Update is and how it will impact your SEO efforts. Keep reading to learn more!
What is Google’s Helpful Content Update?
Google’s Helpful Content Update is a new algorithm update that is designed to reward websites that produce high-quality content written for people.
Here’s how they expressed it in their own words:
But what do they mean by “primarily to gain search traffic?”
In the past, many companies have written articles to rank high in SERPs. While this can be great for website traffic, are they really driving traffic from people who have intent to buy? Content written strictly with SEO and keywords in mind often lacks a human touch. It’s more focused on how many times a word that someone is searching for will be used in their piece than the value it offers their readers.
When content is written for people, value is the priority. The article focuses on providing the information the reader is looking for and making it easy for them to digest. While keywords can be included naturally, the content is much more focused on the human components than on SERPs rankings.
In order to be considered high-quality, content must be informative, well-written, and provide value to the reader. This update responds to the growing trend of publishing low-quality content online.
How often have you searched for something online, only to click on a result and be immediately disappointed? This happens all the time, and Google is trying to fix it.
With this update, they are essentially saying, “if you want to rank high in our search results, you need to produce helpful content.”
How To Achieve High SERP Rankings For SEO With The New Update
To achieve high SERP rankings with the new update, you need to focus on creating helpful content. It sounds simple on paper, but requires a plan to execute properly.
Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Write For An Intended Audience That Will Find Your Content Helpful
Before you start writing, it’s important to know who your audience is.
Who are you writing for? What are their needs and wants? What kind of problems do they need help solving?
Your content should be designed to help your target audience in some way. If it doesn’t, then it’s not going to be considered helpful by Google, and you won’t see any benefits in your SERP rankings.
Here are Google’s thoughts on what makes a piece of content relevant for a given user:
So keyword usage is one thing, but relevant adjacent content as well as the intended audience of your content all factor in.
So how do you know who your intended audience is? If you already have a website or blog, take a look at your Google Analytics data. This will give you insights into who is currently reading your content and what kinds of things they are interested in.
Look at their demographics such as age, location, and language. You can also see their behavior, like whether they are new or returning visitors and whether they are mobile or desktop users. Each of these details can help give you better insight into who your intended audience is.
If you don’t have a website or blog yet, then you’ll need to do some research to figure out who your target audience is. Try searching for similar businesses or products online and see who they’re targeting. This will give you a good starting point.
Will Your Audience Members Feel Satisfied After Reading Your Content?
One of the best ways to gauge whether or not your content is helpful is to ask yourself this question: will my audience members feel satisfied after reading this?
If the answer is yes, then you’re on the right track. If the answer is no, then you need to make some changes.
Keep in mind that being satisfied doesn’t necessarily mean that your readers will be happy with every single piece of content you create.
It’s impossible to please everyone all the time. However, as long as a majority of your audience members feel satisfied after reading your content, then you’re doing something right.
For example, if you run a blog about cooking, a helpful article might teach your readers how to make a new dish. They might not be perfectly satisfied with the recipe, but if it’s helpful and they learn something new, then they will likely feel satisfied overall.
On the other hand, an unhelpful article would be one that doesn’t teach your readers anything new. It might be poorly written, or it might regurgitate information that they already know.
Either way, an unhelpful article is not going to satisfy your readers, and it’s definitely not going to satisfy Google’s Helpful Content Update algorithm.
Create Content With First-Hand Expertise
When it comes to creating helpful content, it’s important to have first-hand expertise.
In other words, don’t just regurgitate information you’ve read elsewhere. Instead, share your own experiences and insights.
Your readers will be able to tell if you’re an expert on the topic or not, so it’s important to be honest. If you’re not an expert, that’s okay! You can still produce helpful content by doing your research and sharing what you’ve learned. Not everyone will be a subject matter expert, but that doesn’t mean you can’t provide valuable information.
However, if you claim to be an expert when you’re not, your readers will likely see right through it, and you won’t be considered helpful by Google.
Here’s how I communicate my expertise on every blog I put out:
As soon as you start a blog, you instantly know who I am, what I do, and what I’ve done in the digital marketing world. Not too shabby.
But more importantly, it establishes my expertise in the world of digital marketing.
Everyone needs content in one way, shape, or form. Check out my article, packed full of great content writing tips, for more help on creating your content.
Be Sure Your Site Has A Primary Objective Or Purpose
Every website or blog should have a primary objective or purpose.
For example, a cooking blog might have the primary objective of helping people learn how to cook. A travel blog might have the primary objective of helping people plan their dream vacations.
Having a clear primary purpose will help you create truly helpful content for your target audience.
If your website or blog doesn’t have a primary goal, take some time to figure out what it should be. Once you have a clear purpose, you can start creating content that aligns with that purpose and will be considered helpful by Google. This task fits neatly with finding your ideal audience.
I want to share a poll that went out shortly after the update on Twitter:
The Google Helpful Content Update is a significant change that will impact SEO efforts. By understanding what Google is looking for in terms of helpful content, you can ensure that your content meets their standards and avoids any potential penalties. The age of writing to please an algorithm is over, you need to write for people.
Google’s Helpful Content Update should highlight that no matter what industry you’re in, your content should always be useful to your audience first and foremost.
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