The new “Helpful Content Update” from Google

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Last Updated on 15.Sep.2022

Google announced a new update to its search algorithm at the beginning of last week, which will be implemented this week. The aim is to reward websites with high-quality and distinctive content by ranking them higher (Lewanczik, 2022).

This update may cause problems for websites that have previously only achieved higher rankings through the use of many keywords, targeted bypasses and low-quality content (Hutchinson, 2022).

It will benefit users by making websites with high-quality content and value-added information easier to find.

Google places special emphasis on content that puts people first and rewards those who do so. The checklist below is designed to help businesses review their own website and make changes where necessary (Google Search Central, 2022).

Is the material just there to improve search engine rankings?

Is there an attempt to include many different elements to increase the likelihood of a higher ranking?

Is there too much automation in the production?

Are mainly topic summaries written without additional information from external sources?

Do the writers use hot topics more often, even if they do not apply to their target group?

Does the information tempt readers to look for it elsewhere?

Is the text shortened to a certain word count because Google is believed to prefer it?

Is the material, in order to increase traffic, thematically focused on a specific industry without expertise?

Are ambiguous promises and unanswerable questions addressed?

If you can answer the above questions in the affirmative, Google advises you to review your own website and make targeted changes (Google Search Central, 2022).

Conclusion:

Keeping your own website consistently updated with new Google updates and strictly adhering to all guidelines is difficult. One often finds oneself in a dichotomy between quality material and the question “What will get us a better ranking?”, as I have also experienced in my own organisation. So perhaps in the future one can focus on producing quality material with a little more peace of mind.

References:

Google Search Central. (2022). What creators should know about Google’s helpful content update. https://developers.google.com/search/blog/2022/08/helpful-content-update. Accessed: 20 August 2022.

Hutchinson, A. (2022). Google Announces New Search Updates Which Will Put More Emphasis on Content Depth. https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/google-announces-new-search-updates-which-will-put-more-emphasis-on-content/630048/. Accessed: 20 August 2022.

Lewanczik, N. (2022). Huge Change at Google: Launch of Helpful Content Update Announced. https://onlinemarketing.de/seo/google-launch-helpful-content-update-angekuendigt. Accessed: 22 August 2022.

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