Yet another update from Google! They announced Google’s helpful content update” that discredits unhelpful content written to rank high on search engines, sitewide. The update increases rankings for content written to provide value and with the user in mind.

This major update affects the way we write content across our sites. Trying to conquer the algorithm is pointless now; the update’s machine learning algorithm will continuously get better at identifying helpful and unhelpful content. Not to mention, the update is sitewide, so blog posts aren’t the only content on your site that needs optimization.

It’s all a bit vague right now but there are a few things we know like what it is, when it launches, what it affects and that it changes SEO. Other things we have fairly educated guesses on like how to make the algorithm happy without trying to “conquer it” and exactly how it changes SEO.

For now, let’s dive into what we know about the helpful content update:


What is the Google helpful content update?

The update directly affects website ranking, starts rolling out next week and should fully implement within two weeks. It takes value away from the articles its algorithm views as unhelpful to users by ranking them much lower. The content the algorithm sees as helpful and informational to users are to rank higher. 

This isn’t news to marketers. The main focus of content has always been to inform readers, but there are SEO tactics we’ve followed to rank high on Google. Now, some of those tactics may decide whether your content is deemed helpful or not. More on this later!

What can I do to make my content people-first?

A term we see over and over is people-first content, but what does that mean? One of the first things we tell our clients when crafting a content strategy is to understand your audience. 

However, to do that, you need to know who your audience is. Start by building a customer persona based on the data you’ve gathered. That may sound daunting, but there are plenty of customer persona software products on the market. 

They make it as easy as uploading your records, waiting a few minutes and getting a fully interactive report that will better inform your strategy. One such platform that does just that is HUCKLE, Futurety’s customer research software. Start uploading today!

Now you can thoughtfully answer the questions your audience has while positioning yourself as an expert. This approach is great not only for brand recognition, but also for following Google’s questions to consider whether your content is people-first or not. Following Google’s detailed guide to determining who your content actually targets is the best way to reinforce or update your strategy.

How Google’s helpful content update changes SEO

Let’s be clear, you shouldn’t stop using SEO. It’s an important aspect of your digital marketing strategy. Futurety Digital created an infographic all about the Google helpful content update for your convenience. Feel free to download below and share with any of your clients in an effort to inform everyone about this major change coming to Google.

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