Google’s Helpful content update rolls out today
What the update is – the websites that will likely be affected, and what can be done from now on.
Google’s helpful content update is meant to reduce spam on the internet. Websites using AI content writers and sites that create content in multiple niches to attract search engines.
AI detection is pretty straightforward. They will look for sites that scale content quickly and have software to detect linguistic patterns that Open AI and similar platforms use.
The next few weeks will probably be rough if you have a website with content in multiple different categories. Remove posts that have nothing to do with the main topic of your website and concentrate your expertise and in-depth knowledge.
Google Search is continually working to connect people to helpful information better. To this end, we’re launching what we’re calling the “helpful content update” that’s part of a broader effort to ensure people see more original, helpful content written by people, for people, in search results. Below is more about the update and things creators should consider.
Focus on people-first content
The helpful content update aims to better reward content where visitors feel they’ve had a satisfying experience, while content that doesn’t meet a visitor’s expectations won’t perform as well.
How can you ensure you’re creating content that will be successful with our new update? By following our long-standing advice and guidelines to create content for people, not for search engines. People-first content creators focus first on creating satisfying content while also utilizing SEO best practices to bring searchers additional value. Answering yes to the questions below means you’re probably on the right track with a people-first approach:
- Do you have an existing or intended audience for your business or site that would find the content valuable if they came directly to you?
- Does your content demonstrate first-hand expertise and a depth of knowledge (for example, expertise that comes from having actually used a product or service or visiting a place)?
- Does your site have a primary purpose or focus?
- After reading your content, will someone leave feeling they’ve learned enough about a topic to help achieve their goal?
- Will someone reading your content leave feeling like they’ve had a satisfying experience?
- Are you keeping our guidance for core updates and product reviews in mind?
Creating content for Search Engines
SEO is a helpful activity when it’s applied to people-first content. However, content created primarily for search engine traffic strongly correlates with content that searchers find unsatisfying.
How do you avoid taking a Search engine-first approach? Answering yes to some or all of the questions is a warning sign that you should evaluate how you’re creating content across your site:
- Is the content primarily to attract people from search engines rather than made for humans?
- Are you producing lots of content on different topics in hopes that some of it might perform well in search results?
- Are you using extensive automation to produce content on many topics?
- Are you mainly summarizing what others have to say without adding much value?
- Are you writing about things simply because they seem trending and not because you’d write about them otherwise for your existing audience?
- Does your content leave readers feeling like they need to search again to get better information from other sources?
- Are you writing to a particular word count because you’ve heard or read that Google has a preferred word count? (No, we don’t).
- Did you decide to enter some niche topic area without any real expertise, but instead mainly because you thought you’d get search traffic?
- Does your content promise to answer a question that actually has no answer, such as suggesting there’s a release date for a product, movie, or TV show when one isn’t confirmed?
How the update works
The update will start rolling out next week. We will post on our Google ranking updates page when it begins and when it is fully rolled out, which could take up to two weeks. This update introduces a new site-wide signal that we consider among many other signals for ranking web pages. Our systems automatically identify content that seems to have little value, low-added value or is otherwise not particularly helpful to those doing searches.
Any content — not just unhelpful content — on sites with relatively high amounts of unhelpful content overall is less likely to perform well in Search, assuming there is other content elsewhere from the web that’s better to display. For this reason, removing unhelpful content could help the rankings of your other content.
A natural question some will have is how long will it take for a site to do better if it removes unhelpful content? Sites identified by this update may find the signal applied to them over a period of months. Our classifier for this update runs continuously, allowing it to monitor newly-launched and existing sites. As it determines that the unhelpful content has not returned in the long term, the classification will no longer apply.
This classifier process is entirely automated, using a machine-learning model. It is not a manual action nor a spam action. Instead, it’s just a new signal and one of many signals Google evaluates to rank content.
This means that some people-first content on sites classified as having unhelpful content could still rank well if there are other signals identifying that people-first content as helpful and relevant to a query. The signal is also weighted; sites with lots of unhelpful content may notice a stronger effect. In any case, for the best success, be sure you’ve removed unhelpful content and also are following all our guidelines.
The above content is from Google’s website. Read the full article.
At the moment, Google says the update impacts the English-speaking segment. However, in the coming months, they will focus on non – English speaking segments.