20 Sep Google’s New Helpful Content Update and How it Affects Your Website: 9 Things You Can Do To Be On Top
Google has 5.4 billion searches per day.
With so much control over information, it is in their best interest to value content tailored for human needs rather than search engine satisfaction.
So in August 2022, Google rolled out the content update.
In this blog, based on my decades of experience helping NZ businesses with SEO, I’ll help you decipher what the Google content update is, how it works and how it affects you. I will also give you insights on what you can do to get on top of this update.
What is the Google Content Update? How Will It Work? Do I Need to Change My Content Strategy?
The Google content update is a change within Google’s SEO algorithm aimed at prioritising authentic and helpful content written by humans for humans.
Google wants helpful content that the user values. No AI. No content written for SEO, just helpful content that helps users with their questions.
A new site-wide signal will be added with this release. It will be one of the significant signals used by Google to rank a web page, along with other signals.
This upgrade will present a chance for your content to gain visibility in searches if it satisfies users’ needs and assists with their goals.
In terms of your content marketing strategy, it’s very simple. Write content that answers human questions – relatable content that connects with human emotions.
Here are some pointers you will find helpful.
9 Things You Can Do To Keep Your Website On Top Of Search Rankings
1. Write for Humans First; Not For Search Engines
Content that brings value to the searchers rather than satisfying the search engine’s specifications is now the definite new norm. As such, you need to be accustomed to writing for human gratification first.
Humans before search engines.
And in view of this, here are some essentials that would help you in that direction.
a) Don’t overuse keywords, aka, keyword stuffing
Keywords have been known to ‘trap’ search engines into ranking their content. This is no longer the case, overuse of keywords might actually hurt your SEO rankings. It’s okay to optimise on keywords but don’t overuse them to a point where Google flags your website for being spammy.
b) Create a connection with the reader whilst still being objective
How humans perceive things is mainly due to emotions. Tapping emotions will establish a strong connection with your reader and with a connection, it’s much easier to deliver your content effectively. Satisfied readers will serve as an indication to Google telling them to trust your content and rank it higher.
c) Guide the reader – Use headings and subheadings
Highlighting your work and sub-sectioning it makes it seem less intimidating. People are more likely to read your content when it’s in neat sections, you can leverage this to increase the time spent on your website indicating to Google that your content is worthwhile.
d) Write content that is relatable to humans
Stories are the best way to do this. Cite real world examples in your content, mention real world people, you are simply telling Google you are human and that your content is aimed for human consumption.
2. Avoid Too Much Content On The Same Topic
Content writers are always publishing new blogs whenever they get the chance.
Statistics show that over 4 million blogs are published every day. With such figures, it doesn’t take a genius to conclude that much of the content is repetitive. I mean, there is only so much you can write about something. 🙂
Let me give you an interesting example.
Let’s say you write a blog on ‘The beginner’s guide to digital marketing’. A few months later, you write another blog on ‘How to get started with digital marketing’.
If you analyse closely, the two topics are more or less the same.
Google took note of this and became aware of the situation. They realised there are websites with so many blogs rehashing the same idea and not giving any new value or information to the searchers.
The best thing you can do is deliver content that is unique and informative all the time. By doing this, you are simply telling Google to trust you and rank your content higher on the search engine results page.
3. Update Old Content
As time goes by, the irrelevance of past compositions becomes a problem. What might have been essential in the early 2000s might not be so relevant in our current day and age.
Let’s say there you wrote a blog on ‘How to get started with the flip phone’.
Back then, this type of blog would have been massive for anyone starting out on using the flip phone.
Today, very few people might find this sort of blog useful. This is just one of the many examples, there is so much content out there that is irrelevant in today’s world. And in view of this, Google wants to favour content that fits the modern world.
You can handle this by ensuring all your website’s content is up to date. Write content that tackles modern day problems and provides modern day solutions.
Ask yourself this –
Is my content relevant to someone in the current world we live in?
4. Try To Tailor Content Within Your Niche
Most times, your website’s brand is affiliated to a particular niche. Your niche is a specialised segment of the market where your product or service resonates.
Let’s say you are a chef; and your website is about food.
You’ve been posting recipes there. There are foodstuffs you sell on the website. Even your blogs are food related.
For some reason, you discover there is a trending post on ‘How to drive traffic to your website’.
You write a post on it with hopes that you might probably get some traffic from the blog.
Chances are, you might smuggle some traffic with this, but these are not your business’s target audience. Google will catch you and hurt your SEO rankings.
To position yourself strategically within the confines of the content update, produce writings that are adherent to your niche.
Google will get a feel of the message you are trying to deliver and eventually your content will rank higher.
5. Demonstrate First Hand Experience
Broad and deep understanding of a topic elevates the stature of your content delivery.
Believe it or not, readers can distinguish between profound writings written by an expert and mediocre scripts composed by non professionals.
Dispel content that is authoritative and one that speaks volumes on the kind of knowledge you have for the topic at hand.
6. Engage Your Audience
Involving your audience enables you to grasp their attention and gives them reason to listen to you.
It makes your audience feel like they are part of the experience.
And you know what?
Google aims at giving users a positive search experience.
The happier their users are, the better it is for your content in SEO terms.
Engaging your audience can take different forms:
• Asking provocative questions
• Reminiscing a recent event
• Sharing a personal story
• Using compelling visual images
• Challenging your readers to pursue their dreams
7. Hire A Highly Experienced SEO Agency
As an SEO Agency we are always discerning Google’s new updates and conceptualising new strategies that are adaptive to fit update descriptions.
SEOPro does a lot in optimising your SEO rankings, we perform:
• SEO audits
• Competitor analysis
• Custom strategies
• Off-page optimisation
• On-page optimisation
• Monthly reports
• Progressive optimisation
We simply take the weight of content marketing strategies off your shoulder and do it for you.
You should definitely consider hiring the SEOPro team if you want to position yourself effectively in light of the Google updates.
8. Produce Content That Answers Searcher’s Queries
Google processes over 8.5 billion searches per day. Google’s system is based on receiving queries and returning outputs. Searchers come to Google with questions and Google in turn gives them answers based on their requests.
So, what does this mean for you?
Simply tailor your content in a way that communicates to Google; I am giving an answer to a query. Employ interrogative adverbs when writing statements when possible.
Here is a list of the common ones:
Instead of writing your headline as, “Starting out on SEO as a beginner”, you can phrase it as, “How can I start out on SEO as a beginner?”
This approach is more direct as it tackles the searcher’s query head-on and more of your content will be visible to the outside world if you use this simple but effective approach.
9. Keep Tabs With Google Guidelines For Other Major Updates
Always be up to date with existing Google regulations. This will allow you to implement tweaked strategies that are in line with the current state of affairs.
To sum it all up and give you a rundown on what you employ to stay on the safe side.
Here is what you as a content creator can try and avoid while creating content:
• You should avoid producing content primarily for search engines as they often are not the answers to users’ queries.
• Avoid writing content for your website using AI tools..
• Don’t write articles on many topics or niches to attract Google’s traffic.
• Simply writing or replicating what others are doing will no longer cut it; your material must give value.
• Contrary to what many SEOs advise, don’t lag behind the word count parameters. Google doesn’t favour any one word count over another.
For any queries or a free consultation, write to us at [email protected]