Google’s Helpful Content Update: What You Should Know

The notion that Google prioritizes user-friendly content is nothing new; for more than a decade, and especially since the Panda update, the search engine has been upholding this commitment.

Yet, with Google’s new helpful content update, there are striking differences between past efforts and those in the present.

Here is what you should know about sweeping changes to the search algorithm:

  • Focuses on helpful content – As the name implies, the helpful content update is analyzing content to determine if it’s helpful or unhelpful to an actual human reader. According to the Google updates page, this means helpful content is created for a specific audience, features expertise, is trustworthy and credible, and meets the wants and needs of the searcher.

  • Prioritizes content written for humans – Websites that have a large amount of content written for search engines, rather than people, will be penalized by this change.

  • Impacts are sitewide – If Google determines your website is producing a large amount of unhelpful content, then the entire site will be impacted by the algorithm update. This is different from previous updates that conducted a page-by-page analysis.

  • Active now – The update that launched on August 25, 2022, was completed on September 9, 2022.

  • Months to recover – If your site has been impacted by the helpful content update, Google says it could take months to recover. That means any changes you make today are not going to be reflected in your rankings for some time.

  • Encourages improvements – If you noticed a significant drop in search engine rankings during and after the update, then it’s a good time to scrutinize your content according to Google’s guidelines and make adjustments.

Start Thinking Like Your Readers for Better SEO

To succeed in SEO, Google is making it crystal clear what’s most important: its searchers. Even if the update didn’t impact your search rankings (which we hope is the case), taking the time to evaluate your content sitewide can only help your position with searchers and Google. If you don’t know where to begin, these SEO services can get you off the ground.

Reach out with any questions you might have regarding how RSO can help you with your digital marketing.

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