Google helpful content

Google Helpful Content Update Explained

Plans for the Google helpful content update to roll out may prove to be one of the most impactful changes in over a decade.


What is the Google Content Update? 

The Google helpful content update is set to penalise content that has been primarily created to assist in ranking well on search engines rather than to provide information or help others. Meaning the more useful and helpful the content is for the user, the better in Google’s eyes.

This algorithm change will be applied sitewide and aims to assist searchers in finding high-quality content as Google hopes to reward the better and more useful content written for users. 

To simplify it, users are becoming increasingly frustrated with search engines when they land on unhelpful irrelevant pages simply because they were designed to rank highly on SERPs. 

The new Google content update aims to penalise these types of websites whilst promoting content written specifically for users.  Instead, this update will use machine learning to identify the unhelpful pieces of content, and instead, help useful content rank higher on search.

When will the Google Helpful Content Update be rolled out?

The update is set to begin rolling out from the 22nd of August 2022, but you can keep an eye out on Google’s updates page for updates on the launch and continued rollout over the coming weeks.


What types of content will assist in the content update? 

The Google helpful content update algorithm will not target any specific niche, but, Google has confirmed the following types of content will notice the most impact: 

  • Entertainment
  • Shopping
  • Tech-related content
  • Online educational materials

This is ultimately a result of the way these forms of content have been written in aid of search engines rather than considering humans.

These algorithm changes will be rolled out automatically, and the way your website rankings could fluctuate. 

But what happens if your website takes a hit?

Well, it could take a long time for your website to recover with Google noting it could take several months. 

Your site needs to prove itself to Google and show clearly that it no longer published sub-par content in Google’s eyes. This includes writing content specifically for search engines rather than users.


Google’s tips for building the right content for users

Google has kindly shared the following questions you should ask yourself when building content that is human-centric.

  • Do you have an existing or intended audience for your business or site that would find the content useful if it came directly to you? 
  • Does your content clearly 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?

In terms of avoiding that dreaded search engine first content, Google laid out the following things to consider: 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 mainly summarizing what others have to say without adding much value? 
  • Are you writing about things simply because they seem to trend 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?

The full list of questions Google has offered to create your human-first content can be found here. 

In short, this update means that businesses need to think more about what users want and need to read about. Doing this will help them rank better and higher online.

At ROAR Digital Marketing we offer a unique service called the SEO Bomb®. This one-of-a-kind piece of technology focuses on creating content clusters around niche terms and creating engaging, informative content specifically for users to interact with. You can learn all about how to create content clusters like a pro with our blog post. 

We can also provide blog writing services, where we can write the content for you, we’re that good😉

If you would like to hear more about how ROAR can assist your business on its content journey, get in touch.



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