Google Algorithm Update: Helpful Content Update

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In accordance with its mission, Google wants to provide original, relevant content that prioritizes the needs of its users. Every algorithm created focuses on achieving that mission. On August 18, 2022, Google launched an algorithm update called Helpful Content Update.

Broadly speaking, this algorithm is part of Google's efforts to ensure that users can find more original and useful content written by humans and for humans in search results. The following guide will explain in more detail about this helpful content update.

1. Quick Facts About Helpful Content Update

Google Algorithm Update

Over time, Google continues to update its algorithm to display quality content on search pages. The latest update from this search engine is called Helpful Content Update. The details of the Helpful Content Update update are:

  1. Release date: August 18, 2022
  2. Start implementing on: the week of August 22, 2022 (lasts for 2 weeks)
  3. Update goal: make it easier for users to find content from and for humans
  4. Impact: low-quality content will lower website ranking
  5. Penalty: Google may remove content deemed irrelevant from the SERPs and result in decreased website performance
  6. Types of Industries impacted: Online Education, Arts and Entertainment, Shopping, and Technology
  7. "Helpful" signal: the website as a whole goes through Google's system that runs automatically
  8. "Unhelpful" classification: content still ranks in the SERPs if other signals are considered relevant
  9. Actions that can be taken: do optimization with an SEO audit and rework content to improve its quality

2. What is Helpful Content Update?

This update from Google is different from before. Helpful Content Update is intended for the website as a whole. So, not only specific pages will be affected. This latest Google update affects all pages of a website.

The Helpful Content Update will give birth to a new signal that Google uses to rank website pages in the SERP. These updates are expected to result in original content created by and for humans.

By implementing updates regarding this quality content, Google is committed to removing web pages that are not helpful to users, such as articles written by AI, from search pages. This method can later push informative articles or content to the top positions.

3. How the Helpful Content Update Algorithm Works

Although officially released on 18 August 2022, the Helpful Content Update started to be implemented on 22 August 2022. Please note that this update will only impact English searches and will follow in other languages thereafter.

The algorithm for updating this helpful content applies to the website as a whole. The way it works itself is by analyzing most of your website content which is considered search engine-first or too optimized for SEO needs.

In other words, content that looks like it's not written naturally and doesn't help users will reduce the website's overall performance. The Helpful Content Update algorithm also makes no exceptions to the quality content on the website.

The effects of this Google update can be felt by the website for several months. Therefore, you need to delete or fix content that is of poor quality in Google's eyes. After conducting an audit and evaluating the content, the website will be able to start operating as before.

4. Helpful Content

Given the importance of this latest Google update, it's important to pay attention to publishing quality content. The content on your website must contain information that can help users. For this reason, the purpose of writing must involve the interests of the reader.

In other words, helpful content is content that is not made to achieve top rankings in the SERP alone. Information in the content must present information that is appropriate to the context and can be digested by the reader.

To find out what helpful content is in more detail, you can recognize its characteristics below:

4.1 Audience Interested Topics

The characteristics of helpful content are discussing topics that are being searched for, interested in, or needed by the audience. Usually keywords with high search volume can be the best indicators of this. After that, content development can be done by determining the context and what type of information can be created.

4.2 Written by Expert

Helpful Content Update attaches importance to informative content. In other words, avoid writing articles or content that looks amateurish and is only intended to get the most clicks. For this reason, article writing or content creation by experts in their fields needs to be prioritized. Or, alternatively you can write content reviewed by experts.

4.3 Content Relevant to the Title

In addition to expert input, the content you present must also be relevant to the title. To avoid penalties from Google, make sure to create content that is not clickbait. The information contained in the article or content needs to be adjusted to the title so as not to confuse the reader.

4.4 Easy to Understand Human

Basically, helpful content is content that humans can understand. The information provided should help solve users' problems, not confuse them.

In other words, avoid using AI technology to write content. Writing information using language that is easy for humans to understand will be able to help readers. In the long term, CTR will increase so that website performance will also improve.

4.5 Written Following SEO Rules

Even though the focus of Helpful Content Update is to remove content that prioritizes ranking in the SERPs, that doesn't mean you have to avoid writing with SEO rules.

Make sure to follow SEO principles by focusing on keywords that are relevant to the user's search intent. In addition, evaluate content regularly so that website optimization gives maximum results.

5. Unhelpful Content

On the other hand, avoid writing content that doesn't help users solve their problems. Unhelpful content tends to confuse readers. The main goal of creating it yourself is just to rank high in the SERPs.

The following are characteristics of unhelpful content that you need to pay attention to:

5.1 Only Focus on Search Engines

Content that is written only to get the top position in the SERPs falls into the search engine-first category. Generally, the content found is not easy for humans to understand. The information also tends to be irrelevant to the search terms.

5.2 Different Topics in One Niche

In order to get high traffic, unhelpful content is usually filled with information from different topics. This can confuse the reader because one section tends to be unrelated to another.

5.3 Not Written By Experts

Unhelpful content is generally made to meet the needs of websites to reach the top positions on search engine search pages. Therefore, content is often created by amateurs and unsupervised by experts. Instead of helping users, published information tends to be confusing and difficult to understand.

5.4 Not Answering User Questions

Search engine-first content usually doesn't help users and instead confuses them with the information provided. In general, unhelpful content appears in the top position, but is unable to answer user questions.

6. Strategies for Dealing with Helpful Content Updates

To deal with issues related to Helpful Content Update, you can start making plans to improve content on the website from now on. Therefore, apply the following strategies to resolve issues that may arise from the Google update:

6.1 Focus on People-First Content

In order for content to be considered quality, make sure to prioritize the interests of readers or users. In other words, create people-first content by presenting information that is relevant to the context and search terms of the users themselves.

6.2 Avoid Creating Content for Search Engines

On the other hand, don't create content with the primary goal of getting top rankings on the SERPs alone. Often search engine-first content contains irrelevant information and is not focused on a single topic. The content in question includes PBN strategies and other ranking manipulations.

6.3 Answer All User Queries

Helpful Content Update invites content creators to present information that can answer user questions. For this reason, make sure the content created is relevant to user searches and helps them solve problems according to the context in the discussion.

6.4 Make Content More Relevant to Your Business Niche

In addition to prioritizing user needs, content also needs to be tailored to business needs. The more relevant your content is to the business niche, the better your brand reputation will be in the eyes of the Google search algorithm.

That's all the information about Helpful Content Update from Google. Be sure to publish content that can help users solve their problems. Even so, still follow SEO rules so that your content can be optimized and get top rankings in the SERPs organically.

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