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Google's helpful content update

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Google is about to launch another search algorithm update, the ‘helpful content update’.

SEO has come a long way from keyword overloading, now having quality content intended for humans is the best method.

This update solidifies that and will be implemented soon, it will have a great impact on search results and how your website ranks.

What is the update?

Google’s helpful content update will target “content that seems to have been primarily created for ranking well in search engines rather than to help or inform people.”

The update’s main purpose is to show users high-quality content that is genuinely relevant to them, rather than just optimised for SEO.

It isn’t just being implemented to punish websites with low quality content, but to reward better content that has been written for humans.

Searchers have been getting frustrated with the content Google presents to them, as SEO methods can be used to get your website to rank for specific searches, even if it isn’t good content or relevant.

This type of content is often called “SEO content” or “Search engine-first content”.

So, this update is aiming to promote more helpful websites that are designed for humans, while downgrading websites with SEO content.

A lot of it comes down to authenticity.

Who will it affect?

This may be worrying to you as a website owner, as most people use on-page and backend SEO in some respect.

As long as you have good content on your website, you shouldn’t stress.

It’s going to be targeting websites with ‘unhelpful’ content, meaning websites which have been search engine optimised only, rather than including good quality content for people to read.

Google did make it clear that this update won’t affect all sites that use SEO, and that SEO isn’t discouraged.

They said that “SEO is a helpful activity when it’s applied to people-first content” and advise people to use their search engine optimisation guide.

This update is only going to negatively effect websites that use SEO to rank, even when they don’t have good, relevant and insightful content.

Essentially, those who have used the system incorrectly for personal gain.

Google also stated that although the update wont target any specific content types, some still may be impacted more than others.

The content types that may suffer the most are:

  • Arts and entertainment
  • Technology
  • Shopping
  • Educational materials

This is because these content types often include more SEO first content than others.

The main thing to remember is not to panic.

You may notice changes in your website traffic and things may be a little shaky in the next couple weeks, as Google said the update will take about two weeks to fully take effect.

Until the update settles, everyone will be in a similar position, so don’t freak out too much.

If your website is lacking in human-first content and relies on simply SEO tactics to rank, now is the time to consider updating your content and putting the time in.

To talk to our SEO experts, get in contact with our team.

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