What Content Marketers Need to Know About Google's Helpful Content Update

What Content Marketers Need to Know About Google's Helpful Content Update

When it comes to Google, there's one thing you can be sure of: It is constantly changing. It seems like there's a new update every time we turn around, and then marketers and SEOs have to pivot their strategies accordingly.

In August 2022, Google launched its latest search algorithm update called the "helpful content update." This update uses a new machine learning algorithm to identify unhelpful content that seems to be solely created for the purpose of ranking well on search engine results pages rather than truly informing and helping searchers. According to Google, this update is "part of a broader effort to ensure people see more original, helpful content written by people, for people, in search results."

So how can you make sure your content will rank well in light of this new algorithm update?

Google's helpful content update will ultimately reward those who provide a great user experience and high-quality information. To create content that fits the bill, put these tips into action:

You need to think about people first when you're developing content and providing an engaging experience for visitors. To help you do this, Google shared a list of questions you should ask yourself before clicking publish:

If you answered "yes" to these questions, you're on the right track.

This one should be a given after reading tip 1, but it's worth reiterating that creating content for search engines first is a mistake. Google can tell which content is truly helping visitors and which content is just stuffed with keywords in hopes of ranking high in search results.

So how do you avoid taking a search engine-first approach? Google has offered up a list of questions to help with this as well:

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you should probably give your content strategy another look.

A surefire way to frustrate visitors and provide an unhelpful experience is to publish jumbled content that's difficult to navigate. To make sure you're putting your best foot forward and ensuring visitors can find the valuable content they're looking for, ask yourself the following questions:

If you answered "yes" to these questions, you're on the right track.

If your website isn't performing well — loading slowly, encouraging visitors to bounce quickly, etc. — Google will deduce that your website and your content are not providing a good experience for visitors. To signal to Google that you're offering helpful, engaging content experiences on your site, you'll need to monitor and improve the technical performance of your website.

Think through the following:

If you answered "yes" to these questions, you'll want to do an audit of your website to improve performance.

To provide a truly helpful, engaging experience for visitors, you have to put yourself in their shoes and think through how they might perceive your website and its content. So zoom out and consider what might be frustrating the people who come to your website.

As you're evaluating how visitors might be experiencing your site, ask yourself the following:

If you answered "yes" to these questions, you should give your site a review and note updates or revisions that would improve visitors' experience.

To be perfectly honest, content marketers who were already creating relevant, helpful content for their audience might not need to change much in light of Google's helpful content update. But let this article serve as a gut check for you to make sure this update won't have a negative impact on your content marketing results.

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