Google’s Helpful Content Update: Why It Remains Relevant in 2024

Helpful Content Update

Google’s helpful content update was designed to help content creators by making sure that high value and relatable content ranks highly on the search engine results pages, and those that are less relevant are weeded out.

Users want a satisfying experience when they search for something on Google, and this can only happen if they are finding the content that they want, easily and quickly.

But why is it still relevant now, in 2024?

And what else does the content update mean for SEO and online content?

We will be discussing all of these in this blog post, so read on to find out more.

What Is Google’s Helpful Content Update?

Google’s Helpful Content Update is an algorithm update that is constantly being modified, but basically aims to go after any content that is low value, lacks expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness.

With the emergence of AI content being generated to appeal directly to search engines, it is becoming harder and harder for Google to recognise original and helpful content, and distinguish it from that which isn’t. 

So, a page may rank highly on the search engine results pages (SERPS), but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it answers the question of the searcher, and offers them the content that they are looking for.

Websites that are deemed as ‘unhelpful’ by this update will have their ranking factors affected massively, and recovering from this will not be easy.

It’s all about improving the search engine experience of the searcher and ensuring that original content is favoured over that which isn’t.

Why Should I Care About the Helpful Content Update in 2024?

The content update is still incredibly relevant because it ultimately determines if your website is full of helpful and relevant content that user’s want to see, or if it doesn’t.

If the update algorithm decides that your website doesn’t have these qualities, it won’t rank well on searches and this will impact all of your website’s content, not just one or two bits of it.

With all the content that is available on Google these days, it has never been more important to make sure that your content has a good SEO ranking, and that it ranks highly on the search engine results pages and reaches your target audience.

Without these things, your content will get lost in the sea of all the other content that is available these days, so standing out and appealing to your user’s is essential, and something that you should always be paying attention to.

What Things Should I Be Aware of When Looking at My Content?

One other reason why Google’s Helpful Content Update is still so relevant even this year is because it forces you to keep assessing your content and ensuring that it meets the expectations and requirements of top quality, high ranking potential content.

When you are assessing your content and deciding if it is going to be received well by the content update or not, there are a few things that you need to make sure you are paying attention to.

It is important to remember first of all that content that is helpful is content that satisfies what the searcher is wanting to know, and is original and will not leave them looking elsewhere to find it out.

Here a few questions to ask yourself about your content when deciding if it is ‘helpful’ or not:

  • If you were using your website to find out something, would you be satisfied that you had found out all you wanted to know after you had looked at it?
  • Is your content more people-focused than search engine-focused? Google encourages people-focused content over search engine-focused content in the hopes of prioritizing higher quality content.
  • Does your content show an in-depth knowledge of your subject matter?
  • Are you following Google’s helpful content guidelines?

How Do I Go About Creating Helpful Content That Fits With the Algorithm in 2024?

One thing about Google’s Helpful Content Update is that, even now in 2024, it continues to be monitoring content and weeding out the good from the bad.

That means that you need to ensure your content is fitting with its guidelines to make sure that you are putting it in the best lane possible for ranking success.

Though we have spoken a lot so far about creating content that is people-focused more than search-engine focused, that doesn’t mean that you should be abandoning all of your best search engine optimisation processes, nor does it mean that you should be forgetting about it either.

When you are putting your content together, instead focus on satisfying the user’s search intent first, and then incorporate the SEO elements.

This will ensure that it is appealing to both the user and the search engine, ultimately producing a piece of content that is valuable, optimised and therefore likely to rank higher and be received well by the helpful content update.

Here are some further tips:

Ensure That Your Content Stands Out

As we have already touched on slightly in this article, there are hundreds and thousands of pieces of content circulating online, all focused on and covering a variety of different niches and areas of expertise.

When crafting your content with the helpful content update in mind, not only should it appeal to both user search intent and search engines, but it should visually stand out as well.

Content that is clear to read and concise to follow, as well as enhanced for both desktop and mobile, is the type of content that is going to appeal to those who see it, and keep them engaged on your site for longer, reducing bounce rates too.

Stick To What You Know

When you are producing your content, one thing that the helpful content update takes into account is how useful it is to the searcher.

Meaning will they find everything that they need to know when they visit your site?

Or will they have to leave it to fill in the gaps elsewhere?

By sticking to your area of expertise, you will ensure that your content is deeply knowledgeable, accurate and original, all things that are taken as positives by the helpful content algorithm.

Answer Search Intent

It’s not enough to just consider user search intent when you write your content, you also have to make sure that it actually answers what they are looking for.

Clickbait articles or pieces of content that promise an answer but don’t deliver it are the type of content that can severely harm your website in the eyes of the helpful content update, so making sure you answer what you promise to answer is an important factor to consider when crafting your content.

Review Your Existing Content

This is an important tip, and something that a lot of website owners will overlook.

The algorithm does not just assess new content, but it looks at older content too.

Therefore it is incredibly important that all of the content on your site is optimised and written appropriately to appeal to the content update.

If you think that any of your older content is what could be considered ‘unhelpful’, it is important to review it and either make changes to improve it, or remove it altogether as it could be damaging your overall ranking position.

What to Do with Unhelpful Content?

If you have come across some content on your website that you think might be considered unhelpful by the content update, it is important to take action on it to ensure that it doesn’t impact your ranking score.

You can try and improve it by doing things like improving the depth and knowledge of the information, and speaking more to your target audience. If you feel like the content is beyond a simple edit, however, it may be wise to either remove the content altogether, or remove the page from the Google search.

Content that is not in alignment with what the content update is looking for is content that has the potential to harm your website and ranking score, and should not be ignored in any instance.

Summary: Why Google’s Helpful Content Update is Still Relevant in 2024

As SEO, content and technology continues to change and adapt, so do the search engine algorithms that are responsible for ranking your website on the search engine results pages.

Without a good ranking, your content simply will not be seen, especially when you consider how much content there is out there available to searchers in the current age.

Google’s Helpful Content Update is trying to work in the favour of high quality and valuable content, weeding out content that isn’t this, and also that which is heavily AI generated and appealing to search engines over people.

By following the guidelines of this update, you have a blueprint for ensuring your content is doing what Google is looking for it to do, something that can only mean success for not only your content, but also for your business.

Amelia Cutting

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