In the dynamic realm of digital marketing, staying ahead means understanding Google’s algorithm shifts. The “Helpful Content Update” is the one of the latest ripples, a change that prioritises genuinely useful content over mere keyword matches, and this update signifies Google’s commitment to providing valuable, relevant information to users. While this update was fully unleashed to the world around the end of August earlier this year, there may be many website owners who are still unaware or confused about how this update may affect their online presence and performance.

So Why Does It Matter?

For online content creators and marketers, this update is pivotal. It emphasises quality over tactics like keyword stuffing, rewarding websites that authentically engage and assist users. It’s all about crafting content that truly serves the audience, enhancing both rankings and user trust.

The update is based on a machine-learning model that generates a site-wide signal to assess the helpfulness of content. Content that seems to have little value, low-added value, or is otherwise not particularly helpful to people will be less likely to rank well in search results, especially if there is other content elsewhere from the web that’s essentially deemed better. On the other hand, content that demonstrates first hand expertise, depth of knowledge and tangible value will be more likely to rank well and attract users.

Assessing Content Impact

How do you measure if your content is aiding or harming your site? Metrics like bounce rates, time spent on page, and user interaction become crucial. Positive feedback, comments and social shares contribute to relevance and authority, signals Google values highly in its rankings.

You can also use Google Search Console to monitor your site’s performance and identify any issues or opportunities for improvement. For example, you can check the coverage report to see if there are any indexing errors or warnings, the core web vitals report to see if your pages meet the user experience criteria, and the search performance report to see how your pages rank for different queries.

Mitigating Negative Impact

Is negative content affecting your brand? Act swiftly or pay the consequence. Address inaccuracies transparently, encourage positive reviews, and optimise existing content to meet the helpful content criteria. You can use the questions provided by Google to self-assess your content and fix or remove any that seems unhelpful.

Other Recent Google Updates

Beyond the “Helpful Content Update”, other shifts matter too. Core Web Vitals and E-E-A-T principles are integral factors shaping search results. Core Web Vitals are a set of metrics that measure the loading speed, interactivity, and visual stability of web pages. E-E-A-T stands for experience, expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness, and it is a framework that Google uses to evaluate the quality and credibility of web content. We have an article right here that explains what it is in a bit more depth and we highly recommend you read through it.

These updates and trends require website owners to pay attention to the technical, ethical and creative aspects of their online presence. They need to ensure that their web pages are fast, secure, and user-friendly whilst ensuring that their content is accurate, engaging and helpful.

Is It Time To Embrace Expert Assistance?

Navigating these or any updates can be daunting, and as such you should consider partnering with a specialist digital marketing agency well versed in SEO. This is where we can help craft comprehensive strategies aligned with Google’s evolving standards. We can help you create and optimise content that meets the needs and expectations of your audience and Google, all the time helping you monitor and measure your site’s performance and provide you with actionable insights and recommendations.