Google’s Helpful Content Update

Google’s helpful content update. Have you noticed that when you search, some of the content that is ranked on Google is just obviously written for search engines. And when you read that content it provides little to no value. Some of those pieces of content contain even tons of keywords that don’t really flow within the article.


So why do people write these kind of content pieces? Well, it’s because they want more SEO traffic. But what’s the problem with that? It creates a terrible experience for users. So what did Google do? They released the helpful content update, in which their goal is to rank non-helpful content not as high. They want to rank that non-helpful content lower, and they want to rank the helpful content, which is great and amazing, and is not created for search engines, higher.

Now, here’s what Google has told us about the update.

They first said, Focus on writing content for people. and they give us feedback such as: “After reading your content, “will someone leave feeling like they’ve learned enough “about the topic to help them achieve their goals? “Will someone reading your content feel like “they have had a satisfying experience? “Does your content clearly demonstrate first-hand expertise “and depth of knowledge? “For example, expertise that comes from “having actually used “a proctor service or visiting a place?” Second, they said, “Don’t focus on writing content for search engines.” And here’s what they mean by that: “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 mainly summarizing what others have to say “without adding much value? “Are you using extensive automation “to produce content on many topics? “So what does all this that Google has told you, “mean for you?

Well, number one: Google wants you to focus your content on a specific industry or niche. As Google stated, they prefer that you don’t create lots of content on different topics. They want you to focus. Be the expert. Know what you’re talking about. That way people get the most value.

Number two: make sure your content is executable. If someone reads your content and they don’t have any specific takeaway, and they don’t know what to do next, your content is failing. What I like to do, and here’s a quick solution for this. Is, at the end of my articles, I summarize my learnings through a conclusion section and I label that section ‘Conclusion’ And I define my key takeaways. That way, in case someone just wants to skim, they can just get the main points from the conclusion.

Number three: continually update your content. Things change over time. Don’t assume that if you write a piece of content it’ll keep getting traffic. As things get stale, your traffic will go down. It’s sad, but it’s reality. Keep your content up-to-date, fresh, relevant, so it provides users with the most benefit. When updating your content, it’s not about how much you change, it’s more about what do you need to do to keep it amazing. And that could be very little or it could mean that you make a lot of changes.

Try to update your content at least once a year, and if you’re confused on how, how to make content more amazing, search for your main keywords that your article ranks for on Google, or you wish to rank for on Google, and look at all the people that are ranking that aren’t your website, and see what they’re doing that’s different than you are. That’ll give you ideas on how to make your content more amazing and ideally even better than theirs.

Number four: adding your secret sauce. What do you know about the others don’t? What have you experienced that others haven’t? By adding in your secret sauce and your personal experiences, you are more likely you get social shares back links and generate more traffic. If you’re just regurgitating what everyone else is already saying, then there’s nothing unique. So in every content piece, try to add your personal experiences. That’s how you beat the helpful content update. You just go above and beyond and delight users.

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What do you think?


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  1. Google is just a 💩-y company and a monopolist who capitalises on the work of content creators while treating them like 💩. And we all play along in the hopes that maybe it let's us have some of the traffic that we collectively create so we can have a tiny amount of the money it makes.

    And then one day we'll wake up to find that it has used our content to create an AI which is now answering all the questions using our knowledge. It's time to leave the internet. It's no longer worth your time guys!

  2. Neil my content is about side hustles, I often talk about affiliate marketing, YouTube, Blogging…I've seen a huge decline on my site, do you think it has to do with the fact that I didn't niche down completely and I talk about many different topics

  3. All of this sounds great in theory, but my site didn't benefit from the latest updates, despite writing helpful content, buying and testing all the products I review and trying to keep my articles well formatted. In fact, my site even got slightly hit with the unconfirmed mid October update (before the Spam update), while sites with less helpful content (i.e. content from Amazon) and sites that never even tested their articles rank above my site.
    Hope Google gets better than this soon.

  4. Thanks Neil. I have a question, what to in this situation: Example: We have a job site, for the keywords (jobs london, full time jobs london) we need to create 2 different pages with unique content (because google shows different results for each keyword , so we can't target those keywords on one page). We have only 100 jobs open and we want list these jobs in both pages. We want to show the jobs on many pages (which are very relevant and match the search intent), is this considered duplicate content? The pages will have different unique content, but the job section will be the same. Is this bad for SEO and should I avoid, or is it good for SEO?

  5. My site got hammered – lost many 1st page rankings & were filtered out of search results for many of our top keywords, even low competition ones, over the Summer. We came roaring back a few weeks ago. 99% sure we got carried away with block-quotes. Before the update, they helped us rank articles quickly. Because they were relevant and cited , it seemed like a legit, if easy tool. However, post-update, Google saw too much duplicate content and penalized us. Just a guess because that's all you can do but that's pretty much the only major change I made to the site. The frustrating part was waiting a few months to see if Google liked the changes.

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