The “Google Helpful Content Update,” as Google has named its fifth official update in 2022, was just announced and launched. In anticipation of the upgrade, SEOs and web admins worldwide were stuck to their screens, constantly reviewing the data in Analytics and Search Console.
The deployment was completed last Friday after two arduous weeks of uncertainty, leaving SEOs perplexed about why there was such a fuss. The majority, though, haven’t noticed many changes in their ranks. Because of this, we’ll examine this upgrade in more detail in this piece, as well as what is currently known about its effects and what you can do to make sure your site keeps running well.
Google’s Helpful Content Update
With its helpful content update, Google hopes to make it easier for consumers to uncover more worthwhile material while conducting searches. As Google strives to promote high-quality content that humans author to help people, the focus of this upgrade should result in a better experience for both searchers and content authors.
This algorithm change targets “material that seems to have minimal value, low-added value, or is otherwise not particularly useful to individuals doing searches.”
The update in a nutshell
- Name: Helpful Content Update
- Rollout: between August 25 and September 9, 2022
- Full effects were seen: up to a few months after it was fully rolled out.
- Type: Algorithm update (new signal, applied automatically)
- Goal: Reward user-focused, helpful content
- Mechanism: The new negative signal will feel like a penalty if applied.
- Effect: Site-wide
- Location/language: Impacts English searches globally
What’s the process for the Helpful Content Update?
In essence, Google is altering how it assesses material by determining through machine learning if it is genuinely “useful” for a user. A new site-wide signal will be created by this study and added to Google’s overall ranking algorithm. There won’t be any alerts in Google Search Console as a result, as it isn’t seen as a manual or spam action.
Since your rankings will be your first (and only) indicator that Google has a problem with your content, you’ll need to keep a watch on them yourself. Google intends to push out the update for other languages in the future, although it is presently only available for English language searches.
The Impact of the Update
First off, it’s a site-wide update that is currently exclusively aimed at English-speaking users. Therefore, it won’t affect other languages, although Google anticipates doing so in the future.
The Update’s objective
What are they aiming for now? They are interested in all content. Not only that, but websites they have judged to have a lot of unhelpful content. Even if this update has a significant amount of unhelpful content and some excellent pieces, you may still be offended by it.
Machine learning and ML classifiers are used to establish how helpful the content is. This technology will go out and scrape your content, examine it, compare it to what they already know and to all the other ranking variables, and then decide whether or not it satisfies the end user’s intent.
Respond When You’re Affected
According to Google’s current statement, eliminating unhelpful content may improve your ranking. They are viewing your website as a whole. Site-wide refers to your entire website.
Additionally, suppose Google determines that your site is useless and is used to manipulate search results. In that case, unhelpful content in other sections may also impact your beneficial content’s performance. Therefore, we must consider all aspects of our operations, website, content development, and user needs to determine whether they will satisfy those needs.
This is a brand-new signal, one of many that Google uses to assess and rank content. This is another signal within the algorithm; it is not the be-all and end-all.
Will current SEO best practices be rendered obsolete?
Google explicitly said that the upgrade prioritizes user-focused content above search engine-focused content, which means they prefer information intended for readers instead of only written content to perform well in search engines. But they also point out that SEO best practices need not be wholly disregarded, saying the following:
“Our recommendation to put the needs of people first does not negate using SEO recommended practices, such as those detailed in Google’s SEO guide.” SEO is useful when used on content that puts readers’ needs first. However, there is a direct correlation between content produced primarily for search engine traffic and disappointing content for users.
The google helpful content update has only recently been added to Google. Content and SEO professionals are still evaluating the effect on site rankings. But the advice provided by these points is sound. If you write content, you will learn how to adjust your workflow so that Google views your content favorably following this algorithm upgrade.