Google has come out with a major update for its search engine ranking algorithm. Google’s Helpful Content Update is expected to roll out soon, and it’ll mainly focus on the role of content in SEO. Google has offered the update to uproot content primarily written to boost a site’s search engine rankings and may not be informative.

Google says it will “help make sure that unoriginal, low-quality content doesn’t rank highly in Search.” In other words, Google’s putting an end to writing keyword-stuffed articles to boost SEO visibility and traffic. 

So, what does it mean for your website? Let’s see.

Google’s Helpful Content Update: What SEO Should Know in 2023
Impact On SEO

We know SEO practices of the 2000s were effectively dead by the early half of 2010, and fast forward to 2023, SEO has metamorphosed into something never before seen by the practitioners of the 2000s. 

The SEO we know in 2023 is drastically different from the one in the 2000s. Despite what some suggest, Google’s Helpful Content Update will not destroy SEO. It’s going to elevate (maybe even revive?) it into something more than a traffic generation tool.

When a website combines SEO best practices with ideas behind the Helpful Content Update, it opens up new avenues of possibilities and can greatly increase a website’s search engine rankings.

Now, Google states that websites must follow the latest SEO best practices to boost their rankings.

New Set of Rules

While Google’s Helpful Content Update applies to the whole website, it doesn’t make it as bad as getting a manual action. You can turn around declining rankings by following a simple set of rules.

Don’t Depend too Much on AI

Many websites handle their content creation through AI auto-generation tools. However, the reality is that most, if not all, of those tools just rephrase and rework the text that’s already on other websites. Here are some pointers:

  • Use AI for review only: If you ever use AI tools to generate content, make sure to edit and review them to see if they deliver the point. In most cases, AI-generated content about general topics is highly susceptible to duplication and plagiarism. 
  • Write Original content: Write fresh, first-hand content about a topic that makes complete sense to the reader and provides your unique viewpoints. Plus, since the content is original, it means that it’s not available anywhere else.

Of course, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use AI tools. You can certainly use them to get suggestions that can help improve your text. 

Google's helpful content update
Google’s Helpful Content Update: What SEO Should Know in 2023
Write In Your Specific Niche

It’s understandable that a part of running a website is to produce content outside your niche, which can be pretty helpful in some cases. But, you can’t do this regularly, and the Helpful Content Update suggests the same by asking, “Is the content primarily to attract people from search engines, rather than made for humans?”

Many websites have tried to generate traffic by publishing content on a wide range of subjects and providing guest posts, but Google is trying to pull those sites down from the top search results. 

In other words, you can’t write a post just because it can drive traffic from search engines. It’s better to write about an area you have an in-depth understanding of. Plus, if it can add information to the website that’s not currently available on your website, even better.

Focus on Ideas, Not Word Count 

Many websites believe that long-form content is the key to boosting SEO rankings. That may have been partly true because up until recently, you could see some top-ranking websites with high word counts. 

That’s why many websites usually stray from the main topic and provide general information to reach a certain number of words. But, with the latest developments in the Helpful Content Update, we can expect a ranking drop for those websites.

Here are some tips to avoid hurting your rankings:

  • Stay Relevant:  Only add relevant information that is useful for potential readers.
  • Be Concise: Don’t go too deep. For instance, the buyer doesn’t want to know everything on a product category page. Just a standard review will suffice.
  • Don’t overuse keywords: Google will detect an unusual level of keyword density. Use them when it’s natural and logical.
Avoid Speculations

Websites that publish a lot of speculative content might also experience a drop in traffic and rankings after the Helpful Content Update.

There’s a load of websites that publish articles and content about hot topics without even making sure that it’s coming from the right source. In other words, they’re pumping speculative content to boost their rankings. 

Google’s prime example is articles about the release date of a specific product or movie or even celebrity gossip that speculates about an actor’s personal life. In other words, these posts promise to solve a mystery or answer a question but misguide the reader. That’s a red flag for Google.

Bottom Line

Despite some misconceptions, Google’s Helpful Content Update is not here to make SEO harder. Rather, it’s a plan to reward those that feature quality content. Therefore, it’s vital to focus on optimizing your existing content and working on a better content plan. 

Of course, your team may already have their hands full with the current tasks and don’t have the extra time to focus on revamping your content. There’s no need to worry because we at GTECH have the expertise and infrastructure to level up your SEO efforts. Get in touch, and let’s get started. 

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