There was a lot of hubbub in the search engine optimization (SEO) community after Google released an update on August 25 called the helpful content update (HCU) which made its rounds till September 9.
The goal of the update is to improve the quality of content in Google’s search results. This will ensure that users get high-quality, relevant information when they use Google Search.
The Helpful Content Update focuses on three main areas: quality, relevance, and user experience.
- Quality refers to content that is well-written, accurate, and up-to-date.
- Relevance means that the content must be related to what the person is searching for.
- User experience means that the content should be easy to read and understand.
Google has made a number of changes to make sure that its search results only show high-quality, relevant content. These include:
Websites affected by the Helpful Content Update (HCU)
Most websites that were affected by the September HCU had outdated or low-quality content. This includes websites with thin content, duplicate content, keyword stuffing, and spammy links.
The business websites impacted by the HCU were mainly websites from –
- Arts & Entertainment
- Hobbies & Interests
- News & Weather Information
- Personal Finance
December 2022 Helpful Content Update Impact
On December 5, Google announced a December 2022 helpful content update. This update is meant to make the classifier better and work with all materials and languages around the world. It is possible that the rollout will take up to two weeks to complete.
We are still waiting for adjustments in the rankings but based on past experience, you should only expect penalties against your website if it includes obviously improper information.
If this update affected you suddenly in August and you took steps to get better, you will be able to get back on your feet in December.
However, there is also a negative consequence. If you were not punished in August, your ranking may change following the December update.
The most notable changes have occurred in news, retail, art, and sports. However, because the upgrade is still being sent out, there is still time to assess its impact on any niche. Google maintains that individuals should develop content for people. But, regardless of what Google claims, we must not only avoid the algorithm’s penalty but also exploit it to our advantage!
What are the reasons for Google releasing an update at this specific time?
SEO experts are notorious for manipulating Google results. Most frequently, they examine the top ten sites that presently rank for a term and then create requirements for an article that should outperform the majority of them.
While a talented copywriter or a professional content writing company can generate original language on any topic, developing excellent content is a considerably more challenging endeavor, and Google is purportedly becoming more adept at detecting it.
Another issue with Google is that expert users may locate high-quality stuff, such as medicine. Inexperienced users, on the other hand, accept the initial result as the truth. This is a helpful upgrade for users in this regard.
But it’s not that easy. In the end, the impact of the helpful content upgrade was underwhelming in September, and many SEOs did not see a significant change.
According to Aleyda Solis’ Twitter survey, 63.1% of respondents saw no change in the ranking, 8.9% saw an increase, and 12% saw a negative influence from the modification. The remaining 16% did not examine the changes. Furthermore, the volatility was excessive, as seen by the figures above.
If you’ve noticed a substantial dip or climb, it’s probable that something on your site was either incorrect or really good, but Google didn’t notice it previously. Google states in practically every recommendation that individuals should create content for people, so if you’ve followed that guidance, you should be good.
Google is likely to keep working to improve the quality of the information it shows in its search results.
Websites should make sure their content is up-to-date, accurate, and relevant to what users are searching for. They should also ensure that their content is easy to read and understand.
Here are five ways to get the most out of Google’s December Helpful Content Update
Google’s helpful content update in December 2022 is meant to keep users happy by giving them high-quality, relevant information when they use its search engine. This should help businesses get more visibility and, potentially, more customers if their websites meet the criteria for quality content.
By following these guidelines, websites can stay ahead of Google’s changes and continue to show up higher in their search results. This will help them get more traffic and potentially increase the number of customers they have.
1. Concentrate on developing content that is closely relevant to the site’s theme.
Count the number of articles related to a specific topic to identify the topic. Check the quantity of traffic you get from pages that do not match the main topic if you have a lot of them.
If additional traffic is required, you should eliminate these pages to increase the overall relevancy of the site.
2. Improve your content’s fullness.
Remember that the emotional component of your writing must be felt by the user before they leave your site with no more inquiry. To do this, you must use important aspects of your content as well as on-page SEO.
Otherwise, no one will be able to read what you’ve written.
3. Create content that adds value.
This is an important point. You should always provide the user with unique and important information that he cannot discover elsewhere. This way of thinking will help you increase the quality of any website you own. But how can you provide users with unique data?
If you produce the content yourself, you must extensively research the issue, look at what your rivals are writing, and deliver the material in the best way possible through the lens of your viewpoint. Hire an SEO expert if you require additional information and expertise in the topic you wish to write about.
4. Include terms that validate your content’s expertise.
If you are creating content about marketing strategies, include words like “SEO,” “social media,” and “marketing automation.”
Use these terms strategically throughout your piece to demonstrate your knowledge of the subject. You can also include case studies and data to back up the points you make, which will further enhance the credibility of your content.
5. Avoid discussing broad topics.
The Helpful content update specifically targets sites that write about everything. It’s better to focus on a few key points or ideas and discuss them in detail. Make sure the discussion is relevant to the topic.
This will enable you to provide meaningful insights and make your discussion more engaging. Use concrete examples, analogies or metaphors to illustrate your points. When possible, use visuals such as diagrams, charts, or pictures to help explain your points.
For example, if your site is about musical instruments and you create a post on the finest snow tires in 2023, you will not only fail to reach the top, but it may even harm the overall rating of your site.
The HCU was an effort from Google to improve the content out there and make sure it’s up-to-date, relevant, and useful to searchers. It also presented a chance for webmasters to update their sites with fresh content that could help them rank better in search results.
Google’s John Mueller said the HCU was the first step in a process that would ensure high-quality content for users and better search engine results. He also noted that Google does not want to penalize webmasters for having outdated or low-quality content, but it will take the quality of content into account as part of its algorithm.
Overall, the Helpful Content Update is meant to improve the quality of content that appears in Google’s search results.
By ensuring that users get high-quality, relevant information when they use Google Search, this update should make it easier for people to find what they are looking for.
It should also help businesses show up higher in Google’s search results, which could bring more people to their websites and increase the number of people who buy from them.