With Summer coming to an end, Google is beginning to implement some big changes, clarifications, announcements, and updates to start off Fall on the right foot. Our August SEO update will focus on several aspects of two big changes that Google has announced. We will start with one of the bigger items in Google News this year, so far.
Google’s Helpful Content Update
Midway through the month of August, Google announced that they would begin to launch the “Helpful Content Update”. This new update began to roll out at the end of the month, and could take many weeks to roll out entirely. The Helpful Content Update’s goal is to help users see more authentic and helpful content written by real people, for people in their search results. This indicates that Google is cracking down on AI written content posted by SEOs trying to cheat the system by using articles solely written to rank higher, and not written to improve the user experience or inform people.
Next week, we will launch the “helpful content update” to
better ensure people see more original, helpful content written by people, for people, rather than content made primarily for search engine traffic. Learn more & advice creators should consider: https://t.co/fgf2TPNIqD pic.twitter.com/xOuX2iVk2d
— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) August 18, 2022
Articles and content should still be written with best SEO practices in mind, meaning it is important to incorporate high ranking keywords, good meta descriptions, and content clustering for your articles. However, you also want to ensure that your posts are informative, helpful, and written with good writing practices. These are the factors that Google will use to determine if a piece of content is high-quality or not. The more high quality articles you add to your site, the better chance it has of ranking higher as a whole.
Google states that “removing unhelpful content could help the rankings of your other content” as well. This goes above just having good articles, but also indicates that removing any bad content can improve your other content, this can include any shorter content pieces, content with fewer keywords, poorly written content, and content that doesn’t give any value to the reader. One helpful method in fixing this issue is to set up redirects to more purposeful content which holds greater value.
What is helpful content?
When you are composing content for your site, try to think about the kind of content that you want to read when browsing the internet. Most people want articles on topics that have a lot of supporting evidence and research to back up any claims made. People also want to trust the source they are getting this information from, and want to know that they are reading content from an authoritative source, not just some occasional blogger.
Google provides guidelines and questions that can assist you as a writer in building content with a “people-first” approach. These questions provided by Google include:
- Does your content clearly demonstrate first-hand expertise and depth of knowledge?
- Does your site have a primary purpose or focus?
- After reading your content, will someone leave feeling they’ve learned enough about a topic to achieve their goal?
Helpful Content Feedback Form
Quick Read & 5 Minute Read in SERPs
Well that’s fancy (except when every article is
less than a 5 minute read 😅)
— Lily Ray 😏
(@lilyraynyc) August 26,
Google Search Console Updates
We’re preparing to migrate all Search Console
properties to the updated item classification in approximately 2 weeks. In order to do it smoothly, we are going to
disable task validation of index coverage issues until we finish the migration. Thanks for your understanding. https://t.co/FWHxLcoNfl
— Google Search Central
(@googlesearchc) August 1,
Today we fixed a Search Console issue that affected many properties: we were reporting pages that are not indexed as being indexed. As a consequence, you might see a drop in your indexed pages in the Index Coverage report.
— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) August 17, 2022