Google’s Upcoming ‘helpful content’ Update To Improve Search Results for Users
More emphasis on original and unique content
For most websites, search engines like Google are the primary driver of traffic. You search for something on Google, and the results are often ranked by relevance to the query. So, for any website Search engine optimization is very important. Unfortunately, some websites also go with un-ethical SEO techniques to rank higher, like buying backlinks or spamming keywords.
Google, over the years, has introduced many broad core updates to their search engine to combat un-ethical SEO techniques, even recently the company announced another set of updates to weed out unhelpful content written only for clicks.
Google, with its upcoming search update wants to make it easier for people find helpful content made by, and for, people. Elaborating, Google wants the content to be easy to understand for the average reader. The content should also have unique information that might help the user. Last year, Google introduced updates to the search algorithm that would help better quality product reviews to rank higher. According to Google, these recent updates are part of an broader ongoing campaign to remove low-quality content from search.
Next week, we’ll launch the “helpful content update” to tackle content that seems to have been primarily created for ranking well in search engines rather than to help or inform people. This ranking update will help make sure that unoriginal, low quality content doesn’t rank highly in Search, and our testing has found it will especially improve results related to online education, as well as arts and entertainment, shopping and tech-related content.
Moreover, it seems the new update will impact certain categories more, like educational content, arts and entertainment, shopping, and also tech. Articles with additional perspectives, extra information, and original work is most likely to rank higher after the update. Google has also created a nice questionnaire, to help content creators understand the new update better. If your answer is a yes to any or some of the questions, there’s a chance Google’s upcoming update will impact your website.
- Is the content primarily to attract people from search engines, rather than made for humans?
- Are you producing lots of content on different topics in hopes that some of it might perform well in search results?
- Are you using extensive automation to produce content on many topics?
- Are you mainly summarizing what others have to say without adding much value?
- Are you writing about things simply because they seem trending and not because you’d write about them otherwise for your existing audience?
- Does your content leave readers feeling like they need to search again to get better information from other sources?
- Are you writing to a particular word count because you’ve heard or read that Google has a preferred word count? (No, we don’t).
- Did you decide to enter some niche topic area without any real expertise, but instead mainly because you thought you’d get search traffic?
- Does your content promise to answer a question that actually has no answer, such as suggesting there’s a release date for a product, movie, or TV show when one isn’t confirmed?
Google Wants to End SEO
Initially SEO was great way to incentivize websites to follow good practices, but over time it devolved into a spammy mess. The effort shifted from creating good content for people, to creating content for search engines. While this temporarily brought a lot of traffic to the websites misusing SEO practices , Google quickly caught on, and their iterative updates have forced many of these same websites to close down. Almost as early as 2011, Google declared a war on these SEO-fied content mill type websites.
Now in 2022, Google can proudly claim it has won, as most of these websites saw massive drops in their traffics with iterative updates. The company now wants all content creators to focus on the content itself, as they claim, that is the primary ranking criteria for search. Now this doesn’t mean SEO is not important, but it’s usefulness is certainly shrinking as Google’s RankBrain algorithm continues to get better with time.