Google has announced a major update to its algorithm that is intended to “better connect people to helpful information”. The “Helpful Content Update” will start rolling out this week and should be complete within two weeks. (You can keep tabs on this by visiting Google’s Search Ranking Updates page.)
What is the Helpful Content Update?
This update focuses on people-first content. It aims to reward content that offers a greater benefit to users. Are you writing for your audience? Do you demonstrate knowledge and expertise? Does your site have a primary focus? These are all things Google will be looking for as part of the update.
Should you be worried? Maybe.
If you have been following Google’s advice and guidelines for creating content, then you are already focused on bringing value to site visitors and not simply search engines. If not, then you will definitely need to re-evaluate how you are serving your visitors. This new approach will require you to write original, helpful content specifically for people – answering their questions or otherwise being a helpful resource.
An important difference in this update versus Google’s typical updates is that this introduces a site-wide signal to the algorithm. This update has the potential to have an impact on an entire website, not just on a page-by-page basis. If Google decides that a website does not have enough helpful content, the entire site can be discounted in rank.
Overall, this update is a good thing. Especially, for those who have been diligent in following the “rules”. Being outranked by a website that is thin on content yet, optimized to the hilt by manipulating the system is frustrating. Creating content this way will level the field in terms of ranking based on user experience.
To see all of the details, visit https://developers.google.com/search/blog/2022/08/helpful-content-update.