Things Creators Should Know About The New Google Helpful Content Update 2022

“By people, for people” – this is the focus of the recent search ranking algorithm update named the helpful content update by Google.

In the recent update, Google has made it clear, when writing a content for a search engine, your target should be on people aka the readers, not on the search engine rankings. This update has been launched on the 25th of August and has now been completed.

SEO is about people, not AI

Like Panda and Penguin did ten years ago, the new “Helpful Content Update” will alter how SEOs approach content strategies moving forward, regarding content and link strategies.

The new trend is “People first – not Search Engine first content.” Google said this update will “tackle content that seems to have been primarily created for ranking well in search engines.”

In this new update

  • Any content created by bots or AI will be devalued, as they are filled with spam and junk materials. These are not at all helpful for readers. These contents will instantly rank low in the search engine.
  • Google stated, these are majorly for product descriptions, educational sectors, technical websites, and online shopping contents. But that does not mean this update will not be applied to other sectors.
  • This update is solely focused on sitewide algorithms – if the machine learning algorithm tracks your content as unsatisfying or unhelpful, it will immediately rank low in the search engine

But the update is not completely done yet, that is a thing to keep an eye on for. Google’s Search Liaison, Danny Sullivan tweeted about this situation – rankings should be fine for websites publishing quality content and reiterated a point made last week about the update being a part of an ongoing effort.

Danny Sullivan, via Twitter –

“Update isn’t done. It’s also part of a continuing effort, as we’ve explained. We’ll keep refining how it works. Directionally, the guidance we’ve  given is what SEOs and creators should be considering.”

This update is a component of a larger initiative to make sure users see more original, helpful content created by people, for people, in search results.

How the Update Works?

  • The update automatically identify content that has little value, low-added value or is otherwise not particularly helpful to those doing searches.
  • 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 sites and existing ones.
  • This classifier process is entirely automated, using a machine-learning model. It is not a manual action nor a spam action. Instead, it is 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.
  • This update impacts English searches globally to begin with and we plan to expand to other languages in the future.

Things to consider for creators

Stick to your expertise

Publishing articles outside of your niche might be useful, but the site’s regular visitors who come looking for recipes are unlikely to find it useful.

This also applies when you are creating Writing content about goods and services you have not personally used may be necessary when creating content first for search engines. The content is not as helpful as it could be because the author has no experience with the subject matter.

If you have first-hand knowledge of the good, service, or location you are writing about, make that clear enough with your own photos or observations.

Focus on the main topic of your website

Create your website with a single focus in mind. A website cannot serve everyone’s needs. If you want to write about a variety of subjects, you can always create multiple websites. That is not only useless to visitors, but it also makes it difficult for search engines to comprehend the website.

Do not write content just to get more traffic without having any prior knowledge about that area. They may seem to be trending, but your regular readers will not be satisfied with these contents.

Enrich the readers with answers

When creating content for readers, try to address any issues that may have brought them to your website in the first place. Writing a lot without adding any value to the conversation is a widespread practice when producing content for search engines.

Great content enables people to learn something new or complete a task, it is helpful. Readers should not have to search more or anyone else for the answers they are seeking – and that should be your main goal.

Wrapping up

Contrary to what we all anticipated, the Google helpful content update is minor so far in terms of what SEOs and tools are picking up. Remember that the update is not finished and that we still anticipate more from it.

Only 20% of SEOs reported seeing ranking changes since the update, whether they were positive or negative, according to a recent survey by Aleyda Solis.

About Pulkit Agrawal

Pulkit Agrawal is the founder and managing director of UR Digital. Pulkit has over 15 years experience in SEO for small, medium and some large sites globally. Today he leads the SEO team at UR Digital. He is also an Advisor at Realise Business for Digital Solutions (formerly ASBAS), Top 50 Small Business Leader 2022 and Top 20 Australian Digital Marketers To Work With in 2022. When not helping with SEO, Pulkit can be found playing and building his Monopoly empire.