3 Important Tips to Prepare for Google’s Helpful Content Update

Estimated reading time: 5.5 minutes

Helpful content that’s focused on your audience and their needs has never been so important. Earlier this month, Google finished rolling out its ‘Helpful Content’ update. This means if your website’s content isn’t in sync with the new algorithm, it could be penalised.

According to Google, websites that get penalised can take months to recover.

The update ensures users see more relevant content that answers their search queries. Original, helpful content by humans for humans, rather than primarily for search engine traffic. 

Not only will this help weed out unoriginal content that doesn’t offer any value, but it enables a positive impact on those business owners who publish educational content. Those who aren’t writing for people first will see their search rankings significantly drop. 

The best (and only) way to create helpful content is to prioritise your audience and potential customers. Here’s what you need to be doing. 

1. Always Write for Humans

The golden rule of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is to write for people first, Google second. Unfortunately, there are still many businesses that don’t follow it. 

It’s why Google is taking more steps to combat unconstructive, dissatisfying content. Previous updates such as E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness) and YMYL (Your Money, Your Life) all prioritise valuable content written by experts.

This latest initiative continues to give authority to websites that better connect people to the helpful information they seek. 

People-first content will always be rewarded. 

Not just by Google, but by your audience and potential customers too. When you understand your audience and their needs, you can write content that attracts and engages more like-minded people – the people you want to do business with and who’ll benefit from your products/services.

2. Publish Authentic Information

Authentic content must be written by industry experts. If you’re not writing from first-hand knowledge or experience, then you shouldn’t be publishing. Business owners who are experts in their industry, or creative SEO copywriters who are experienced in the subjects they’re writing about are the best people for valuable copy.  

Make sure you write and publish:

  • Topics you fully understand
  • Content that demonstrates authority, expertise and trust
  • Content that leaves readers feeling they’ve learned enough about a topic
  • A substantial, comprehensive description of the topic 
  • Don’t use clickbait titles

3. Write Original and Relevant Content that Solves Problems

Are you writing original content that solves your user’s query?

The best type of content is written with purpose. It’s created to inform and help the reader by answering their questions or guiding them to the next step. How-to guides and FAQ articles are particularly great for this, as long as they’re informative without being long-winded. 

Keep these essentials in mind:

  • Use content to inform, rather than for rankings
  • Focus on your niche to keep content relevant to your business
  • Use AI content intelligently – excessive automation like article spinners are harmful to your site
  • Never copy or rewrite other content

Audit Your Content

Over the next few weeks, you can expect to see a major shift in the search results. If you already prioritise people-first content written for your audience, then you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. 

The best way to prepare yourself is to review and remove unhelpful content from your website. 

This includes:

  • Content that’s primarily written to attract search engines, rather than made for humans
  • Unclear, unhelpful and unoriginal content
  • Content that promises to answer a question, but doesn’t 
  • Content that leaves readers needing to search again to access better information

Google’s update will be especially valuable in improving results for online education, shopping, arts and entertainment, and tech-related content.

Need help navigating helpful content and Google’s guidelines? Get in touch below.

I’m a qualified SEO Copywriter who specialises in creative web copy. I write for humans first (your audience), and Google second. 
Contact me today to learn how I can improve your website’s content. 

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