- Google has changed its algorithm again. It is called “Google’s Big Helpful Content Update”. This update may affect websites that write their content strictly for SEO.
- Google has stated this update won’t affect person-first content.
- Experts believe this update may change the way you rank in SERPs.
Oh, snap! On August 18th, 2022 Google rolled out another algorithm update called “Google’s Big Helpful Content Update” Some of the effects from the update can be seen as soon as this week!
This begs us to question, is my content created to rank or created to help?
If this update has a big impact experts are predicting, content creators may be in for a rude awakening similar to the launch of Penguin a decade ago.
With that said, if your content is heavily focused on SEO rather than creating content that is indeed helpful, this could affect your website’s performance.
Ready to dig a little deeper?
Google’s Big Helpful Content Update: What to Expect Moving Forward
Let’s begin with this snippet of information.
Google stated in their blog post about the new helpful content update that this update will not negatively affect best SEO practices.
They go on to mention, “SEO is a helpful activity when it is applied to people-first content.”
Let’s dive deeper:
Google’s Big Helpful Content Update: What are they saying?
Google is basically saying that using SEO is great, utilize it to the best of your ability, but still try to create content that is high-quality and useful.
Also, Google’s crawlers know all.
They will know if you are trying to outsmart the system and they will know if you are trying to create great content with the help of SEO practices.
They will know.
Okay, that sounded a bit ominous, however, only time will tell how true this statement is.
Another element to consider regarding the update is that it is website wide.
This means that you need to revamp your entire website and not just one piece of content to make sure that Google doesn’t devalue your whole business.
If you are a member of the “my content is super helpful, I’m fine” group, you may need to reconsider and ask yourself:
- Is all of my content helpful, or just some of it?
What can you expect moving forward?
Google wants to provide people with the absolute best, most accurate, and most helpful information possible.
This update is looking like high-quality content is the future of searches rather than beefy keyword-rich clickbait.
Authentic, helpful, content is what Google wants to push its users towards. Which is a good thing, especially for a dominating entity like Google.
So expect websites that are solely based on SEO-only content to be de-ranked, and more useful content to gain much more traction.
That means the little guy might actually have a chance to rank for previously untouchable keywords and niches that have been dominated by the SEO guy that knows the algorithm better than everyone else.
Oh no, what if you are that guy?
What If You Do Write Your Content Just to Rank? What Now?
Yikes! Well, stop doing that ASAP!
Okay, that’s a bit harsh, but really.
If you’re writing content just to rank, you’re only out to help yourself and, to be honest, the world doesn’t need any more of that.
Google seems to agree, however, they have created a list to help you help yourself.
Here’s how Google suggests knowing if you’re ranking just for SEO:
- Are you writing for humans or for search engines?
- Are you creating a ton of content on various topics just to rank?
- Are you using bots or automotive apps to produce a ton of content?
- Are you simply summarizing what others have already said without adding value?
- Do you only write what’s trending just for traffic?
- Does your content leave your audience unanswered?
- Are you strictly writing a word count that you think Google will like? (Google states there is no perfect word count.)
- Are you only writing content because you think it will rank, but you aren’t passionate about it?
- Is your content Clickbait?
With that said, Google is pretty careful about using the word, “penalty”, you may not be penalized for creating content solely based on SEO, however, it might feel like it.
Why you may ask? Because Google will use signals to categorize this type of content in similar ways it signals that a website is authoritative and trustworthy.
It seems like the helpful content update signals will be similar to the Penguin and Panda updates which started out as filters but are now a part of the core algorithm.
How do you fix your broken content?
If you are indeed that SEO guy, but you begin to see the error of your ways and begin creating high-quality content with actionable steps to actively help your audience, then you can fix the damage done.
Obviously, the first step is to write for humans, not for Google’s crawlers.
All you need to do is improve your content.
Keep your content:
- Friendly, direct, with short paragraphs
- Use basic SEO (this update won’t strike you down for it, Google just wants you to write good content too)
- Use keywords in your title, sub-headers, and throughout your content
- Offer helpful, actionable steps
- Use relevant external and internal links (nothing older than 2 years)
- Understand your audience’s search intent
- Hire a freelancer to do it for you
That’s About it!
Blogging can be hard, and Google’s random updates have made it even more difficult to know what will work and what won’t.
There are so many different people creating so much content daily, it’s difficult to rank in search engines anyway, even if your content is helpful, SEO-friendly, and up to Google’s standards.
If you aren’t sure where to start, contact me today so we can succeed together!