After looking at Google’s notes on this update, they appear to be targeting content creators who write content specifically targeting search performance rather than creating content for the audience.
Google wants content written “By People For People” not by AI and not content focused primarily on search engine ranking.
“The helpful content update aims to better reward content where visitors feel they’ve had a satisfying experience, while content that doesn’t meet a visitor’s expectations won’t perform as well.” Source: https://tinyurl.com/activSEO
The goal of the update is to help searchers find high-quality, useful content
The goal of your content should be to satisfy the users search not just satisfy your SEO strategy. Google announced that the release date for the “Helpful Content Update” was the week commencing 22nd August 2022 and would take about a fortnight to complete.
How Can You Prepare
- Understand your intended audience – Make sure the content focus of the page is what the user is looking for. Offer quality content that answers the question or need they have.
- Focus on Content Quality – Rather than word count, frequency of keywords avoid clickbait (you should anyway) the idea isn’t just to get people to the page, the page should inform and be useful and more importantly fulfil your promise that got them to click through to the page, for example if you said “10 Ways To Improve Your Ranking” then make sure you give the 10 ways, giving 9 ways or offer content that has nothing to do with what they thought they were getting is a sure way to increase your bounce rate and the users won’t come back.
- Stay with your area of expertise – Demonstrate your experience, don’t try and offer information you know nothing about simply because it’s trending. Visitors to your webpage or blog article should feel that you have fulfilled their search for information by attracting them onto the page.
If your site content is written for “People First” you should be fine. You need to ask yourself:
- Is your content aimed at an existing or intended audience, would they find it useful for what they need.
- Do you demonstrate that you have knowledge and expertise in this area.
- Does the page have a primary focus, each page should ideally have a single focus.
- Will a visitor leave your page feeling that you have fulfilled their reason for clicking through.
If your answer is Yes then you should be ok.
Finally some notes from Google
How do you avoid taking a search engine-first approach? Answering yes to some or all of the questions is a warning sign that you should re-evaluate how you’re creating content across your site:
- Is the content primarily to attract people from search engines, rather than made for humans?
- Are you producing lots of content on different topics in hopes that some of it might perform well in search results?
- Are you using extensive automation to produce content on many topics?
- Are you mainly summarizing what others have to say without adding much value?
- Are you writing about things simply because they seem trending and not because you’d write about them otherwise 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?
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