Spokane SEO

Google Helpful Content Update – Are You Ready?

Google’s latest search algorithm update has many content creators and marketers understandably confused (and maybe even a little worried). The Google Helpful Content Update was just rolled out and is expected to bring better content to the top of SERPs, so users get the best possible experience out of Google.

For businesses in the Spokane area and beyond, this could be bad news or great news, depending on what kind of content you’re putting out. It brings up some critical questions:

Do I need to revamp all of my content creation

Will this affect my entire website or just specific pages? 

What if I’m automating the content-making process?

Let’s dive into the latest update for Google’s search engine and find out if you and your business are truly ready for it!

How Will this Helpful Content Update Work?

Google has taken extensive steps over the last decade to eliminate as many black hat techniques as possible (as detailed in their Webmaster guidelines). With this update, things are no different. 

Google is launching the helpful content update as a large-scale effort to identify websites putting out misleading or low-quality content. Websites targeted by Google will rank worse when compared to content creators and blogs that are putting out helpful, people-first content.

What Is Unhelpful Content?

Google defines unhelpful content as “content created primarily for search engine traffic” and “is strongly correlated with content that searchers find unsatisfying.” In essence, aiming to get clicks simply for the sake of clicks will do you more harm than good from an SEO view.

To create rich, valuable content, creators and businesses are asked to bring informative, engaging content to the table. Best SEO practices are still encouraged by Google as a way to get that helpful content in front of searchers, but it has to be useful content in the first place (more on that later).

Expect a Sitewide Survey of Your Website

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this most recent update is that Google will be targeting entire websites and not just a single page’s results. This means that bot-written content (which, as a practice, currently goes against Google’s guidelines) or content that isn’t good could threaten the rest of your site.

Although content on sites that are found to be unhelpful by Google could still rank well if other signals identify the people-first content as helpful and applicable to what they’re looking for, the signal is weighted. This means that sites with a lot of unhelpful information will see a greater impact.

It’s crucial to take stock of the content you’re putting out and either revamp it if it’s not helpful or potentially eliminate it.

However, this isn’t to say that one lousy article could throw off your entire site. Google is looking for “sites determined to have relatively high amounts of unhelpful content,” according to their description of the update. 

Ultimately, this is excellent news for creators putting out high-quality, informative content and even better information for users of Google’s search engine.

How Does Google Determine What Is Helpful Content?

Along with this new update comes a new machine learning algorithm from Google. Google will use this new algorithm to identify unhelpful content based on various values and signals (which, as usual, they’ve been a little vague about).

Both old and new content creation needs to focus on being people-first content. It must be reworked if the content isn’t enjoyable, informational, and understandable.

Google’s new algorithm is also entirely automated and not manual, which could mean additional tweaking in the months to come by Google’s engineers as the update’s lifespan continues.

How To Create Better Content

Content creation must be better than ever for websites and businesses to succeed in SEO. To this end, you might wonder how to improve your content to match these guidelines.

To help everyone a little bit, Google put out this handy list of questions for content creators to review before they publish something on the web:

1.  Is this content designed to attract people from search engines rather than give humans valuable information?

2.  Are you creating lots of content on different topics in the hope that some of the articles could perform better in search results?

3.  Are you relying exclusively on automation to produce content on many topics at once (like a machine gun)?

4.  Are you mainly summarizing what other authors have already said without adding any extra value or your own?

if you answer yes to these questions – you need to seek help right away. No one can guarantee you better results when it comes to SEO, but providers who prioritize easy, cheap, click-bait content aren’t going to be around for much longer. Google has the “sniper rifle” aimed and at the ready. 

This Google helpful content update prioritizes the end user’s experience more than anything else. Eliminating content that uses practices that only increase search ranking and not great content is Google’s modus operandi right now, so make sure you’re valuing that as well.

Google Helpful Content Update – A Step In The Right Direction

As Google’s algorithm gets more intelligent and innovative, the field of SEO and content creation will only continue to require more human-written articles. This news is excellent for people and businesses with knowledge and expertise, as Google will end up rewarding that more than people looking to cheat the system. Those who’ve gotten ahead with black hat SEO practices should duck for cover. Google is coming for you.

If you’re a business owner or website administrator in the Spokane or Spokane Valley area, we’d be happy to help you resolve issues surrounding the GHCU (google helpful content update). We highly recommend you take this update seriously. 

We haven’t seen this substantial of an update since the Penguin / Panda algorithm changes. 

Final tip: Consider your competitors and audience – if you’re trying to be the first result that people see, create valuable web pages. Prioritize great content and ensure your customers have the best information you can give them. It sounds simple, but that’s all it is.

Send us a message and let us know how we can be of service, or contact us Toll-Free at 1-509-381-2700. 

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