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Google Helpful Content - How helpful can it be?

Google has initiated its roll-out of Google Helpful Content updates.

Google has initiated its roll-out of Google Helpful Content updates. It has been a long time coming and has been on our thoughts since the creation of AI written content as it could greatly outperform a human writer in terms of speed and optimization (maybe not optimized just yet) having tried a few platforms. 

Google is all about providing the best suitable result for humans looking for an answer or question and companies are doing their best to improve organic traffic and as mentioned in a previous article - it is about providing content that can be consumed by a user to achieve this. 

This has resulted in SEO efforts from specialists and companies that shoot far and wide when it comes to content. We write about multiple topics with the hopes of getting picked up by search engines, which can then be used to show an increase in organic growth. No more… At Least not for English searches. 

What does Google Helpful Content update mean? 

Googles own comments on the update and what it actually means are “content that seems to have been primarily created for ranking well in search engines rather than to help or inform people.” 

They want to reward quality content that is useful and written by experts/humans, and not “SEO content”. This is due to the frustration from users landing on web pages that were designed to rank well but not provide deeper insights or meaning. Google is downgrading and slowly removing these types of pages providing us with a better general full funnel experience. 

How do we write for humans and not for SEO? 

We have compiled a list from Google themselves so you don't have to: 

  • Do you have an existing or intended audience for your business or site that would find the content useful if they came directly to you?
  • Does your content clearly demonstrate first-hand expertise and a depth of knowledge (for example, expertise that comes from having actually used a product or service, or visiting a place)?
  • Does your site have a primary purpose or focus?
  • After reading your content, will someone leave feeling they've learned enough about a topic to help achieve their goal?
  • Will someone reading your content leave feeling like they've had a satisfying experience?
  • Are you keeping in mind our guidance for core updates and for product reviews?
  • 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?


To summarize

Write for humans and think about the value that you provide for your potential customer. Here is a real life example to leave with:

Think about where you would place your store and why that is (keyword strategy). How would you present the business and what would it say in the window that made someone realize that you have the solution to their problem(content marketing strategy) in that exact moment the potential customer walk by - and what do you say when they enter the store (on page and user experience) and where will you meet them with your sales pitch(CTA)? 

A scenario like this will help get perspective of how to write content that helps, and if you are still unsure. Send us an email and we will help you.