What is it?
The Google helpful content system is an update implemented to improve a users search experience on Google. The update aids Google’s automated ranking system to provide original and helpful content, written by people, for people.
Let’s discuss how the helpful content system works and how it may affect existing sites. We will also cover off on ways you can assess and improve your website by aligning your content strategy with Google’s updated guidelines.
How does it work?
The update identifies and rewards content that brings value, is helpful, and enhances user experience, while simultaneously tracking and penalising low value content that does not help the searcher. Therefore any sites with a high amount of unhelpful content overall are less likely to perform well on Google.
What does it mean for your website?
According to Google, in order to be classified as helpful content and benefit from the update, the purpose of the content created must be to deliver value to people and not to manipulate and rank well on search engines. Therefore, content creators are better off removing unhelpful content and focus on generating content that adds value to their readers.
The classifiers run continuously monitoring sites new and old. If there is any content on your site which has been classified as unhelpful by the update, it will take notice when you remove the unhelpful content, and in the long term the classification will no longer apply.
Alternatively, when Google rolls out a new helpful content update, if the refined classifier sees an improvement in the quality of your content, the unhelpful classification from the old classifier will be retracted.
How can you assess and improve your content?
Google recommends evaluating your existing content and content strategy with a set of questions to improve your content quality. These questions can help content creators understand if they are creating helpful and reliable content for people and it can also help them steer clear of creating unhelpful content that inadvertently manipulates search engine ranking performance.
In addition, Google also recommends auditing any significant drops in search engine performances of pages affected by the helpful content update.
For any search query, Google’s automated ranking system favours content that demonstrates experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. In line with this criteria, consider the following when creating content for your site:
- Always produce original content
- Seek to add value by sharing your own opinion or drawing insightful analysis rather than simply reporting from a third party
- Include references for facts and figures to establish credibility, and author information to instil accountability and trust
- Always ensure the title of the page accurately describes the article and does not mislead people to click the link (click bait)
- Well written content, free of spelling and grammatical errors presented with a responsive display and minimal ads can enhance a user’s experience and the perceived value of your site
- Create content that will bring value to your target audience. In addition, this will also help you maintain a focus for your site and build authority over time through accumulated knowledge.
A site that lacks focus by discussing many unrelated topics may lack depth of knowledge and therefore struggle to establish authority. Google says, a people-first approach is the way to go, if you want to succeed on their platform.
The Key To Good Marketing Is Great Content
Here at Content Hive, producing top quality digital content is exactly what we do best. We have itemised a list of digital content services, and allocated credits next to each of these. This means that each month, you can use your credits with us to produce digital content such as blog articles, social media posts, videos and even animated Instagram stories. By using this model, we believe that it enables us to produce quality content with faster delivery times.
If you aren’t quite sure where to start on your content marketing journey and would like to speak to a professional, why not book in a free discovery call with us at Content Hive today to discuss how we can get your brand buzzing online.