5 Tips for Google’s Helpful Content Update 2022


Google's Helpful Content update 2022


For those of you who don’t already know, Google is currently in the process of rolling out a new content update. This update is called Google’s ‘Helpful Content’ update and we’re here to tell you everything we know about it.

What is Google’s Helpful Content update?

This is a site-wide update designed to reward content that is written for people rather than content that seems as though it has been written for the search engine.

The update began on the 25th of August and will take around 2 weeks to complete. It might be worth taking a look at your ranking positions after the 8th of September to see how it has affected your business.

You might find that your ranking has stayed the same or even improved, but some may find themselves losing out on web traffic. If you do find yourself receiving less traffic, try not to panic, you may just need to take another look at your website’s content.

How does the algorithm decide which content is best?

Google’s algorithm updates use signals to identify what they’re looking for. In this instance, it’s the most helpful content, so Google will use signals to find this and reward it. Google has specified that this is not a manual practice.

Their advice to businesses who are unsure about their content strategy is to remove content that might be labelled as unhelpful. In the long run, the search engine will see that the content is no longer associated with your website and your ranking may be adjusted to account for that.

Most of the time when it comes to a Google algorithm update, their aim is to make the searches more relevant to people, which seems to be the case with this update.

The key question to ask yourself is are you answering the questions of the user and then optimising the content to add value or are you focusing solely on SEO and missing the point?

Tips for dealing with Google’s Helpful Content update

Thanks to Google you know what to do about your old content that may not be too helpful, but what do you do about writing new content? We’ve got some tips for making your content more helpful.

Cover the topic well

A good way to improve how helpful your content is involves choosing a relevant topic and covering it well. This means introducing it, explaining how it works and then offering further information.

If you can position yourself as an expert in the field then you’re more likely to be rewarded than someone who chooses a topic and hardly explains it.

Notice that we said relevant content too? One of Google’s tips is not to create content based around a trending topic that has nothing to do with your industry. Creating relevant content means it should be valuable and informative for your target audience.

Be specific

People interact with content that tells them what they want to know, so if you’re creating content with no real answer, you may find yourself struggling.

An example of this from Google refers to those promising information regarding release dates even though they have not yet been confirmed. This content is clearly written for the search engine to drive traffic rather than to provide accurate information.

Teach the user

For your content to be deemed useful, it should teach users what they’re looking for, ideally they shouldn’t need to look somewhere else too.

Don’t forget that Google can use other metrics such as bounce rate to find out if users enjoy your site or if it frequently attracts users for short periods of time.

Write what you need

Another way that Google has described content that may be labelled as unhelpful is if it is too long. Many believe that for content to be successful online it must meet a certain word count, Google have confirmed this is not true.

Sometimes longer content can become less relevant, however if you’re an expert in the field and you’ve chosen a strong topic to work on, you may find that your content has to be longer.

It usually doesn’t matter how long your content is providing that it is relevant and helpful.

Build on your SEO

Google has made it clear that quality SEO practices are still very effective. This update is their way of reminding you to create content with SEO as a guide instead of using methods such as keyword stuffing that end up making little sense to the user.

If you haven’t spent much time on your SEO recently, why not put some time aside to for keyword research and identify ways you could improve your site’s optimisation.

What can I do about Google’s Helpful Content update?

Until the update is complete (around 8th September 2022), there’s not much you can do. Our advice would be to wait and see if your website is affected.

If you notice a negative change, take Google’s advice and try to remove the unhelpful content. This is an ongoing signal meaning that websites can be rewarded over time for the removal of unhelpful content.

If you need any support with your website’s copy, don’t hesitate to contact us, we’re always happy to help.