Google's algorithm has always aimed at providing users with a satisfying experience by offering valuable content that responds to their searches. Back in 2011, Google Panda was launched, an update aimed at giving value to original and informative content, penalizing replicas and articles that are misleading and do not answer users' questions. With the same purpose, the Helpful Content Update, an additional update to Panda that will implement a new SEO-based content ranking system, was announced on Google's official blog.
What does the new Google update consist of?
The basic idea is to value content created by people for people, not targeted to the search engine for the sole purpose of achieving good SEO rankings. Under rollout from the week of August 22, 2022, the update will reward in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) the most qualitative content that contains information relevant to the user. Instead, articles only designed to meet SEO "best practices", but not users' information needs, will be downgraded. In this way, Google wants to prevent users from landing on useless pages, on the one hand, and to encourage them to continue using Google Search to find information. In fact, a current trend among young people is to use other sources such as Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok as a "search engine."
The new Google update will evaluate the website in its entirety: one piece of content that is not deemed useful will penalize the entire domain, while removing that one piece of content may boost the whole site's ranking. The domain will be rewarded thanks to content that offers a plus to the reader, more complete and detailed information than the ones they can find in other articles.
All websites will be analyzed and impacted by the Helpful Content Update, but the update will focus especially on informational-educational, arts and entertainment, shopping-related and technology-related content.
8 ways to avoid the penalization of the new Google update:
After the rollout phase, which lasts about 2 weeks, the Helpful Content Update will be fully functional and will evaluate the usefulness of content for users, repositioning it in the SERP. If you have concerns about your content, here are some tips on how to improve its quality, based on the guidelines provided by the search engine:
- Write content that, if you were looking for an answer to your questions, would meet your expectations
- Do not mislead users (e.g., with clickbait headlines aimed at attracting the user's attention but not pertaining to the actual content of the article)
- Demonstrates expertise, experience, and authority on the topic you cover
- Create authentic content with an added value instead of providing a summary of other articles that can be found online
- Make sure that the content is complete and thorough, so that the reader does not have to continue his or her research after reading your article
- Pay attention to spelling and stylistic mistakes
- Avoid irrelevant keywords, which will classify your content as designed for the search engine and not for people
- Put in place SEO practices aimed at providing more value for users
For the moment, the Google update will only affect English-language content, but will later be extended to other languages as well. For this reason, even if your site pages or blog articles are not in English, it is a good idea to start analyzing your content now and assessing its quality, so that you do not run the risk of penalization.
The Ander Group Team can help you to optimize your Content Strategy to create valuable content and rank in the top SERP positions, thanks to our experience in both Content Marketing and directly with Google and its algorithm.
Do you want to be found by users and generate new leads with your content?