Google Search is always trying to improve how it connects users to helpful information. To that end, we’re releasing the “helpful content update,” which is part of a larger effort to guarantee that consumers see more original, useful information produced by people, for people, in search results. More information on the change and considerations for creators may be found below.
Focus on people-first content
The helpful content upgrade intends to better reward material where visitors believe they’ve had a gratifying experience, but content that fails to match a visitor’s expectations won’t perform as well
How can you assure that your content will be successful with our latest update? By adhering to our long-held guidance and principles to develop content for people rather than search engines.
People-first content writers develop engaging content while leveraging SEO best practices to provide additional value to searchers. If you answered yes to the following questions, you’re probably on the right track with a people-first approach:
- Do you have an existing or planned audience for your business or website that would benefit from the information if it came to you directly?
- Does your content perfectly demonstrate first-hand skill and deep knowledge (for example, expertise gained by using a product or service or visiting a place)?
- Does your website have a primary purpose or focus?
- After learning your content, will someone leave feeling they’ve learned enough about a topic to help achieve their goal?
- Will someone who reads your article feel satisfied with their experience?
- Are you following our recommendations for core updates and product reviews?
Avoid creating content for search engines first
Following SEO recommended practices, such as those given in Google’s own SEO guide does not negate our advice about putting people first. When applied to people-first content, SEO is a beneficial activity. Material developed solely for search engine traffic, on the other hand, is highly associated with content that searchers find disappointing.
How do you prevent relying solely on search engines? Answering yes to some or all of the above is a red flag that you should reconsider how you create content for your website:
- Is the information created largely for search engines, rather than for humans?
- Are you creating a lot of content on various topics in the hopes that some of it might still rank well in search results?
- Do you use a lot of automation to create content on a variety of topics?
- Are you primarily paraphrasing what others have said while adding little value?
- Are you writing about things solely because they appear to be trending, rather than because you’d write about them anyway for your existing audience?
- Does your content leave readers feeling like they need to search again to get better information from other sources?
- Are you writing to a particular word count because you’ve heard or read that Google has a preferred word count? (No, we don’t).
- Did you decide to enter some niche topic area without any real expertise, but instead mainly because you thought you’d get search traffic?
- Does your content promise to answer a question that actually has no answer, such as suggesting there’s a release date for a product, movie, or TV show when one isn’t confirmed?
Google Search’s “Useful Contents Update 2022” project will highlight unique and helpful content in search results. The upgrade is intended to enhance users’ search experiences by exposing more practical and valuable content.
If you have any feedback about this update, you can comment on this thread in our help forum. If you’d like to give us feedback specific to your site, you can use the feedback form for this update. We use your feedback to help our engineers find ways to improve our systems overall.
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