Can Your Rankings Survive Google’s Helpful Content Update
If you’ve ever surfed the web for an answer to a question, we guarantee you’ve stumbled upon a blog or page title in search results that seemed helpful but left you with more questions.
As a content creator, you never want your content to be “all filler, no fulfillment”. That’s why we harp on quality content. It keeps visitors happy, creates conversions, and can increase your search engine rankings.
Recently, Google announced the Helpful Content Update, a new update that began to rollout on August 25th and will take roughly two weeks to completely roll out. If your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy relies on successful content (as it should), this update will affect you.
Let’s take a look at the most essential content update in a decade, how you can improve your content, and your odds of ranking success in the coming months.
What Is the Helpful Content Update?
Google’s Helpful Content Update is here to humanize how audiences receive content. Gone are the days when sites could succeed at SEO by generating content geared solely towards search engines and ranking.
This latest update proves that quality, not content, is king for Google.
The Helpful Content Update will downgrade “search engine content” and lift quality content that is useful for audiences and answers their questions. This is massive for users and content creators alike and could shape how writers present their content in the long term.
No one should click on a baity link that disappoints and wastes time. Dallas SEO Dogs tries to create useful blog content that reaches and engages our target audience. Other brands do, too, so we track where we’re succeeding, where we can improve, and what this update means for the future of our industry.
Let’s get into the details.
What Constitutes Helpful Content?
As we wait for this content update to roll out over a span of weeks, let’s look at what Google means by “helpful content.” One of the most significant factors of helpful content is going into detail on your blog post beyond the standard summary. Google is now looking for content that:
- Isn’t written to jump on the bandwagon
- Adds value to the already available content online
- It leaves audiences satisfied with their queries and doesn’t require them to research further
- Writes for valuable information and not with a specific word count in mind
- Doesn’t tease the answer to questions without payoff.
If these new factors of helpful content sound complicated, we believe that taking some extra time to achieve these goals can pay off in the long run.
How Much Can Poor Quality Content Hurt Your Rankings?
We’ve always written content aimed at the human audience because we know that’s the content that connects and leads to audience engagement and sales. SEO content can help rankings but rarely connects with the readers that land on it.
If your site focuses on crafting SEO content, it may rank well now, and that’s great! But once this update finalizes, its low-quality content could impact your rankings for months.
This update doesn’t just downgrade pages with poor-quality content. It will demote entire sites with enough content deemed unhelpful (service pages, homepages, blogs…all of it!).
Will the Update Impact You?
If you’re worried about how this update could impact your rankings, Google provided a list of content pieces that may get hit the hardest during the rollout.
Content that often contains unhelpful or misleading information includes the following;
- Tech-related pieces
- Arts pieces
- Entertainment content
- Educational materials
In most cases, for these types of content pieces, the writers merely collected content from other sources, aggregated it, and didn’t add any additional information while posting it to a site. This means the content holds little value to a curious reader and is only there to appease search engines.
The bottom line: Without an original spin that makes your content new and valuable to readers, your piece runs the risk of losing ranking in the search engines.
What Steps Should You Take Now?
We’ve yet to see the impact of the Useful Content Update on sites across the United States. So, our biggest advice for steps to take now is to consider the content you’re currently creating:
- How can you add to the information already available?
- Do you have any personal experience with the subject you can add to the piece?
- What questions are audiences asking, and how can you answer them directly?
Taking this route should help you stay in the clear as far as future content goes.
However, if the update hits your site, while the recovery will be lengthy, consider this timeframe an opportunity:
- Delete unhelpful content
- Update current articles and pages to be more helpful and timely
- Expand information to provide more value to the reader
Analyze the site’s content and take a deeper dive into what audiences look for and how content can give them answers that answer questions and leave them satisfied.
Change in SEO can be a tough road, but every site has to walk it. In the end, remember that the Helpful Content Update is here to stay to help improve the search experience and to build more significant connections with our audiences.
Keep Your Content Useful With Dallas SEO Dogs
If you’re concerned about your content not meeting the quality standards Google has in play, reaching out to professionals is your best chance of maintaining your rankings.
At Dallas SEO Dogs, we specialize in original, quality content creation that appeases Google and speaks to the human audience. Don’t let poor-quality and copied content hold your rankings down.
Contact us today to learn more about our content management and schedule your free consultation with our SEO team.