The Google Helpful Content Update: What is it and How Will it Impact Websites?

Google Helpful Content Update 2022

The Helpful Content Update, a new and significant modification to Google’s search algorithm, is about to go live.

The upgrade for helpful content will target websites with a disproportionately large volume of unsatisfactory or unhelpful information that was created for search engines rather than people

What is the Helpful Content Update?

With its latest helpful content upgrade, Google aims to target “content that seems to have been primarily created for ranking well in search engines rather than to help or inform people.”

According to Google, the goal of this algorithm modification is to make it easier for users to access “high-quality content.” Google aims to promote and reward better content writing that is more beneficial to users and written with human beings in mind.

The term “search engine-first content” or “SEO content,” which refers to information created with the intention of ranking well in search engines is a hot topic on social media.

With that said, searchers are dissatisfied when they arrive at useless websites that do well in search because those websites were built to perform well.

With its new algorithm, Google hopes to elevate human-designed websites above search engines while degrading those sorts of websites.

It is part of Google’s “ongoing effort to reduce low-quality content and make it easier to find content that feels authentic and useful in search,” the search engine company stated.

The Impact

Google stated that the following content types may be most affected, even if these algorithms do not particularly target any one niche:

  • Tech content
  • Arts and entertainment
  • Educational content
  • Shopping

This is due to the fact that information in such areas has typically been created with search engines in mind more so than with people.
According to Google’s study, certain regions may be more affected than other regions by this Google helpful content upgrade.

Not Just One Page

This new upgrade to the useful information on the site will be implemented across the board, unlike many Google algorithms that are applied page-by-page.

That implies your entire site will be affected if Google judges that it is creating a disproportionately large volume of useless material that is solely created for search engine ranking. This will have an effect on the entire website, not just on certain pages or portions of it.

Google won’t specify exactly what proportion of your site’s pages must be useful compared to unhelpful in order to activate this classifier, but they did state that it is sitewide and would have an influence on the entire site, even if you have many helpful pages.

So, if you have useful pages but a sizable portion of your information is useless, this upgrade will affect all of your content, even the beneficial areas of your website.

Write for Humans

The following is a list of things to consider when writing for humans, suggested by Google. Note that the list is NOT exhaustive:

  • Do you have a target market for your company or website that would be interested in the material if they visited you directly?
  • Does your writing blatantly show first-hand experience and depth of understanding (for instance, experience gained from actually using a product or service or going somewhere)?
  • Do you have a main goal or emphasis for your website?
  • Will a reader believe they have learnt enough about a subject after reading your material to aid in achieving their goal?
  • Will someone who reads your material come away from it feeling satisfied?
  • Are you following our recommendations for both core upgrades and product reviews?


Machine Learning

Google is employing a new machine learning technique to assess and recognise problematic material.

Between the automatic machine learning advancements and Google employees continuously fine-tuning and enhancing the overall algorithms, the algorithms should become stronger over time.

According to Google, the helpful content update considers a number of signals related to the page and the site when determining a page’s ranking.

As you may expect, Google hasn’t disclosed the precise signals that are utilized.

Extended Recovery

According to Google, this algorithm will operate automatically. The classifiers or scores will constantly be updated.

However, it may take many months for a site to recover if it is negatively affected by this beneficial content update.

It takes time for a website to establish itself as no longer publishing content just for the purpose of ranking in search engines, or having content that is search engine first.

Therefore, it appears that sites will have to go through some sort of waiting time, perhaps a validation phase, to prove to Google’s algorithms that the site is first offering beneficial material to people.

Making a modification now probably won’t show up in Google’s ranks for several months because this validation phase is automatic and Google regularly changes the classifier scores on your site.

Keeping it Real

SEOs will probably look back on Google’s helpful content update as a key upgrade that sparked a shift in the guidance they provide customers when creating content.

The extent to which this upgrade may affect Google’s search results, your site, or the sites of your clients cannot yet be determined.

Watch your statistics when the upgrade is implemented and, if required, rethink your content strategy in light of the suggestions Google has made above.

*Source: Search Engine Land: “Google’s new helpful content update targets sites creating content for search engines first”; https://searchengineland.com/googles-new-helpful-content-update-targets-sites-creating-content-for-search-engines-first-387237

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