Google’s Helpful Content Update Explained

Google released the Helpful Content update to its algorithm that seeks to improve the quality of content users see when searching.

Whenever there is a major algorithm update from the search giant, anyone involved in SEO can get a little worried. In order to calm any of these anxieties attached to big changes, we’ve summarized the changes you should expect from Google’s Helpful Content update.

If you’re short on time, we can generally summarize the update in one sentence for you. The new update will prioritize content that’s written for humans over content that’s overoptimized for search engines.

Not so scary, right? Essentially, if you’ve been producing quality content across your site and taking Google’s advice, you should be just fine. If you’re confident that you fall into that category, feel free to go about your day.  

If you’re not entirely sure, then keep reading as we go into what exactly this update is going to mean and how you can ensure you’re still ranking well.

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What exactly is Google’s new Helpful Content Update?

On August 18th, 2022, Google announced that they will be making an update to better connect people to helpful information. The point of this update is to reward both searchers and content creators by serving up high-quality content.  

This update will tackle the issue of articles written primarily for search engines, with people coming second. This means that Google will favor original content over aggregated posts or others that simply aren’t as helpful.

What does this mean for your eCommerce business?

Essentially, if you have been following Google’s own SEO best practices, you shouldn’t have any issues with this update.

However, if you have blog articles that aren’t super original or that pull content from other top-ranking pages, you may need to review your content. Using tactics like keyword stuffing, relying too heavily on optimization tools, and trying to overoptimize your content for crawlers will result in your content ranking lower than before. 

If your content is too generic and leaves readers wanting more, you’ll want to invest in a more robust content strategy. Some strategies we suggest you try:

  • Cite experts from within your company or partner companies to gain original insights and explore new angles
  • Pull your own internal data to back up your points about trends you’re seeing
  • Ensure your content flows well for human readers

 

Now, this doesn’t mean you can forget all about keyword research, of course. You’re still going to be trying to rank for the key topics in your sector. But it does mean that you will need to focus on quality over quantity. After all, one article on page 1 is going to do a lot more for your business than ten pages on page 4.

Conclusion

If you’re following best practices when it comes to writing content for humans, keep doing what you’re doing. If you’re primarily writing for robots in order to rank, now is the time to rethink your strategy. Do your research and provide an original take. Have your writers draft your articles first, without using SEO automation tools, and use these for editing instead. 

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