helpful content update
helpful content update

SEO • Digital Marketing • Search Engine Optimisation • Content Marketing

What Brands and Marketers can Learn from Google’s Helpful Content Update

With search engine algorithms constantly evolving, it’s essential for businesses to stay ahead of the game and understand the new trends in content ranking. Google’s helpful content update is designed to prioritise high-quality, helpful content over low-quality, unhelpful content in search rankings and aims to reward content that provides a satisfying experience to visitors, with significant implications for businesses striving to boost their online presence. From understanding user intent to creating comprehensive and informative content, with the right approach, brands can leverage Google’s update to enhance their content strategy, optimise their website, and effectively reach their target audience. This update provides a wealth of valuable insights for brands and marketers alike, so read on as we explore the key takeaways from Google’s content update and unlock new opportunities for success in the digital landscape.

What is Google’s Helpful Content Update?

Google’s update comes as a response to the increasing demand for useful and relevant information and aims to ensure that search engine results are tailored to meet the needs and expectations of users. The Google’s Helpful Content System ranks websites based on the quality and relevance of their content, and throughout the September 2023 update, Google has made alterations to the system’s guidelines and documentation. 

It encourages content creators to focus on meeting the expectations of their intended audience and delivering valuable content, and utilises Google’s machine learning algorithms to automatically detect unhelpful content and negatively impact its search rankings. This includes targeting “ad aggressive sites” that had excessive ads and poor mobile display, and the update also provides guidelines on how websites can improve their search rankings and offers advice for those who have experienced traffic loss as a result of the implementation of the system.

By understanding the purpose and implications of this helpful content update, brands and marketers can leverage it to their advantage and improve their online presence: so, what key changes have been made and how do they impact search engine rankings?

Key Changes in the Update

The latest helpful content update brings about several key changes that directly impact search engine rankings, and one of the most significant changes is the increased emphasis on user intent. Google now aims to understand the intention behind a user’s search query and provide results that align with that intent. Gone are the days when thin, shallow content could rank well in search results just because it contained enough keywords – the update instead prioritises websites that utilise these keywords effectively to provide in-depth information on a given topic. This means that brands and marketers now need to focus on creating content that not only addresses keywords, but also satisfies user intent by providing relevant and helpful information. This in turn aims to encourage brands and businesses to prioritise content transparency, understand their audience’s needs, and focus on providing valuable content that covers all relevant aspects of a subject, rather than relying solely on SEO strategies. 

Additionally, Google’s helpful content update prioritises websites that offer a satisfying user experience. This considers factors such as page load speed, mobile-friendliness, and ease of navigation, and brands and marketers must ensure that their websites are optimised for these factors to improve their search engine rankings. Optimising user experience and usability, such as reducing ads and incorporating jump links or a table of contents, can help improve a website’s performance and make it easier for users to engage with content once directed to a website. 

Aligning Content with Google's Update

To rank high in search engine results, businesses and brands should start aligning their content in line with the new helpful content update. To begin with, it is important to start by conducting thorough keyword research to identify the intent behind users’ search queries, as this will help businesses to create content that directly addresses the needs and expectations of their target audience. Once this research is complete, businesses can focus upon creating comprehensive and informative content to maintain or begin improving their rank. This means going beyond surface-level information and delving deep into the topic at hand to answer users’ questions comprehensively and avoid detracting from the core topic. Brands and marketers should also strive to provide value to their audience by offering unique insights, actionable tips, and relevant examples to not only meet user intent but also position themselves as thought leaders in their industry. 

Optimising the technical aspects of a website is also equally important. Ensuring fast page load speed, mobile-friendliness, and easy navigation will contribute to a satisfying user experience, and brands should regularly audit their websites for any technical issues that may hinder user experience and address them promptly. Additionally, regularly publishing new content signals to Google that a website is active and worth ranking, providing an opportunity to rank for new keywords and phrases. By adhering to these guidelines, websites can improve their search engine rankings and provide users with the relevant and helpful information they seek.

Helpful Content Update Checklist

If you are searching for actionable ways to improve your website ranking after the latest Google update, then here are some tips to help brands and marketers craft content that meets the criteria of the update:

  • Understand your audience: Conduct thorough audience research to gain insights into the needs, preferences, and interests of your target audience, as this will help you create content that resonates with them and provides solutions to their problems.
  • Conduct keyword research: Gain a deeper understanding of the intent behind your audience’s search queries by conducting keyword research using tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush to identify relevant keywords and phrases that align with your aims.
  • Provide comprehensive information: Go beyond basic information and provide in-depth insights on your topic, including covering various aspects, providing examples, and supporting your claims with credible sources to become a go-to resource for your audience.
  • Use multimedia elements: Incorporate visuals such as images, infographics, and videos to enhance the user experience and make your website more visually engaging. Visuals can also help break down complex information, improve engagement, and make your content more shareable.
  • Optimise for mobile: Optimise your website for mobile devices by using responsive design, optimising images, and ensuring fast load times.
  • Monitor and analyse: Regularly monitor your website’s performance and analyse user behaviour through tools like Google Analytics to explore valuable insights into what content is resonating with your audience and make data-driven decisions.

Optimising and Updating Content with Our Services

Google’s helpful content update brings about significant changes in the way search engine rankings are determined, and by understanding the purpose and implications of this update, brands and businesses can adapt their content strategy to align with Google’s latest requirements. 

In a world where search engine rankings are constantly evolving, our web design and optimization services are here to keep your brand ahead of the competition. If you are searching for a creative team to optimise your online presence in line with the new update guidelines, then our team at Bluechilli is here to enhance your online presence, improve search engine rankings, and effectively reach your target audience. Contact us today to discuss our web design and optimisation services and explore how we can enhance your content strategy and keep your brand ahead of the competition. 

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