Google Search Ranking Algorithm Update

A Detailed Study on Google’s New ‘Helpful Content’ Update

Google’s upcoming “Helpful Content’ (search ranking algorithm) update could be a game-changing moment for content creators and website owners. 

It is, perhaps, the next big thing after the Panda algorithm update in 2011.

Through a Twitter announcement, Google made it clear that they are rolling out this new signal soon to help searchers find original, valuable and high-quality content. 

This update aims to reward content that has a ‘people-first’ approach. Simultaneously, it will demote content that is created solely for search engines.

Google has published an article on this Google search ranking algorithm update to help creators understand this better. 

Here is an in-depth guide on this “helpful content” update and how it is going to impact both creators and searchers. 

What is New Google Search Ranking Algorithm Update?

It is a new sitewide Google algorithm where it will identify and classify content into two types – helpful and unhelpful.

Firstly, through automated machine learning it will promote websites and blogs that publish authentic and insightful content (categorized as helpful content by Google).

Secondly, it devalues or downgrades  “search-engine first” or SEO content (categorized as unhelpful content by Google).

To sum up, this is a progressive effort by Google to help searchers reach purposeful content on the Internet faster. 

Likewise, it encourages the creators to write productive and beneficial content.

How Will Helpful Content Update Function?

Most of us are still unclear regarding how this algorithm tool will work. 

Well, it will be a completely automated process based on Machine learning. A sitewide signal will be introduced to rank web pages. 

More precisely, a classifier will function continuously to detect unhelpful content by evaluating new as well as existing web pages. 

This new signal is just like other page ranking signals that Google uses. 

However, it is a weighted signal which implies sites with relatively large amounts of unhelpful and irrelevant content will be hit hardest. 

Initially, Google will be running its new algorithm signal only on English searches. 

How does Google’s New Algorithm Update Impacts Content Creation? 

One thing for sure is that, with this new update, the amount of irrelevant, unhelpful, and unoriginal content on search results will decrease. 

To start with, Google will specifically target content related to these four fields:

  • Education 
  • Arts and Entertainment
  • Retail and Shopping
  • Tech-based 

The reason behind picking these 4 areas first is because these are the most searched and most widely covered topics on search engines.  

The amount of existing content related to these 4 subjects is way more than in other sectors.

Who Benefits From This Update? 

Those creators who focus on producing fact-driven and decision-driven content are going to reap maximum benefits. 

For instance, you have written an article on “best gaming mobile phones”. You did your primary research, went through the best and worst reviews thoroughly, and made a list finally. 

Now, suppose you have collected all the information from the mobile companies’ official websites as well as from the people who use these phones. 

Google will certainly identify your article as information-rich and hence, will improve its ranking. 

Thus, your article should not only be expertise-driven but also have the potential to help readers make their final decision. 

Who Gets Impacted Negatively?

The answer to this is – the publishers and creators who focus only on generating traffic and increasing ranks on search engines. 

Creating content primarily to get high traffic from search engines is a Big No!

However, Google also mentioned in their article that following the “people-first” approach doesn’t imply abandoning SEO best practices completely. 

Any content that fails to answer a searcher’s query or doesn’t add value will be considered low-quality content. 

Google will ensure that this type of content doesn’t perform well in the search engine results. 

Advice to Creators and Publishers 

Google suggests posting content that has an original perspective, fruitful information, and substantial facts.

Information that is baseless and irrelevant will be identified as “unhelpful” content by Google. 

Needless to say, this new update will also cause a dramatic shift in the SEO strategies of marketers. 

Moreover, you should avoid creating content using extensive automation and adhering to a specific word count. Google never had such preferences. 

Closing Thoughts 

There is no doubt regarding the fact that this new update will transform the way content is written and published.

It ensures that readers have access to only genuine and useful content.

All in all, Google’s new “helpful content” update is a big effort to enhance a reader’s experience and help them with decision-making. 

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