What is the Google Helpful Content Update?

Announced in late August, the Google Helpful Content Update is the most extensive update package since the Panda Algorithm was released in May 2011. With the Helpful Content Update, which is an algorithm update that will affect SERP rankings, Google aims to reduce the visibility of content [...]

Tugay Demir

What is the Google Helpful Content Update?

Announced in late August, the Google Helpful Content Update is the most extensive update package since the Panda Algorithm was released in May 2011. With the Helpful Content Update, which is an algorithm update that will affect SERP rankings, Google aims to reduce the visibility of content that does not benefit people and is prepared only to be listed in the front row of search results.

Instead of content written with the aim of moving up in search results, the update aims to highlight articles that will benefit users by providing accurate information about the subject searched for, weed out useless content and reduce their performance. The helpful content update, which is first implemented for English content, will be adapted to all languages over time.

If the content published with the update is deemed useless after being reviewed by the algorithm, it can affect the visibility of the content and damage the efficiency of the entire site. Let's examine the points to be considered with the update, which aims to provide users with a satisfactory experience.

How Will the Helpful Content Update Affect Content Creators?

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The most important innovation brought by the helpful content update is to improve the user experience. Therefore, the content prepared by content producers with the approach of prioritizing the search engine will not appear in the front rankings, and access to accurate and helpful information will become easier. This is one of the most significant indicators that Google approaches query pages as an area where precise information is accessed.

With the update, the search engine algorithm will start to receive negative signals from not helpful content and will ensure that this content is not displayed in the SERP. One of the most critical points to note at this point is that Google wants the subject of the content published on the site to be compatible with each other. For example, if 20% of the content on a site that consists of 80% science content has an entirely different topic, such as sports or decoration, this will cause the site to be marked as useless by the algorithm.

After the update announcement, many content creators wondered what to look for in published content. Let's examine what to pay attention to with the helpful content update.

1.Make Your Content Transparent

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The most crucial point that the update tells us is that the titles of the content listed on the query page should be in line with the topic of the content. To avoid trapping users into clickbait, the title of your content should be a good summary of the information that the post contains.

If your title is "Top 10 Best Soups for Winter", avoid irrelevant content in your article, keywords used to rank higher on the query page, in other words, anything that will leave users dissatisfied after visiting your site.

2.Understand Your Audience

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While most content creators know what it means to get their audience right, for many, it can be confusing. At this point, ensure that all the content on your website is in harmony with your entire site. Understand correctly which query the users who visit you come to your site with and develop your content accordingly.

For example, if users visit your website with the query "what is furniture," trying to sell them furniture will not work much with a helpful content update. At this point, the content you produce should only be suitable for users' searches and should have fiction that allows them to spend time on your site with satisfaction.

That's why with this update, Google aims for both old and new sites to analyze their target audience and produce helpful content instead of focusing only on SERP ranking.

3.Don't Limit Your Content

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You should make less effort to reach a specific word count in the content you produce. With the update, the content with higher views is listed according to the content's satisfying information on that subject rather than the word count. In this way, you can show your audience your real expertise on the searched topic and enable the algorithm to put your website in the helpful content section.

Yes, the number of words in the article is vital to rank high on Google, but if you have content that readers are not satisfied with, you cannot avoid sending a negative signal to the algorithm.

Therefore, if you are already paying attention to these points, your search traffic will not decrease after the update but will increase significantly. Make moves to improve the quality of your content and reach new users in addition to the users you already have with the update!

4.Don't Create Search Engine Focused Content

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One of the biggest misconceptions created by the helpful content update is that it will disable the concept of SEO. At this point, Google aims to ensure that correctly prepared SEO strategies stand out on search pages that are almost trashed with useless content. As a result of the research, the fact that the content that users are dissatisfied with is primarily content created for search engine traffic will be eliminated with the helpful content update.

When a content layout that emphasizes the user experience is built together with the other elements we have listed, your site traffic will increase as it should. So what are the ways to avoid a search engine-oriented approach?

  • Is the purpose of the content not primarily for users but to attract users from search engines?
  • Are you producing too much content on different topics in the hope that it will perform well in search results?
  • Do you use extensive automation to produce content on many topics, essentially summarizing what others have said without adding much value?
  • Do you write about topics only because they are trending, not because they are things you would normally write for your existing audience?
  • Do users who read your content feel they need to search again to find better information from other sources?
  • Have you heard or read that Google has a preferred word count, so you write your posts based on that word count?
  • Do you decide to provide information on a particular topic without knowing anything about it just to get search traffic?
  • Does your content claim to have the answer to a question that doesn't have an answer

If your answer to most of these questions is yes, it's time to change your content plan. By creating quality and helpful content, you can make your site stand out with the helpful content update that will soon be available in all languages.

AuthorTugay Demir