Google Launches Helpful Content Update

Google headquarters with the text People-First approach overlayed on it
August 18, 2022

Google Launches People-First Approach to Content

August 18, 2022 - Google is rolling out a "helpful content update" that shifts the focus of the content, creating a people-first approach. This launch could take up to two weeks to implement and will be an effort to ensure contributors develop original, helpful content for each individual or organization that often appears in search engine queries.

What is the people-first approach?

Website content that visitors find fulfilling and satisfying will have favor over content that does not meet reader expectations. Google notes that creators that incorporate the following people-focused content elements are going in the right direction:

  • A website with a primary focus or purpose
  • Visitors that read your content and leave with a satisfying experience
  • Visitors that feel they have learned enough about a topic after reading your content
  • Content that shows your first-hand knowledge depth on a topic
  • Content with Google's guidance on core updates and product reviews in mind

How will Google implement this change?

Google will use a classifier, a fully automated machine-learning model, and a site-wide signal to continuously search for unhelpful content. The classifier scans both newly-launched and existing websites for this content and flags it accordingly.

This update could apply the signal to sites for months; it will no longer apply once it determines that the unhelpful content has not returned in the long term. Because the classifier is weighted, the more unhelpful content a site produces, the worse off it will be in search results. Google will continue to refine the classifier in the coming months to find more ways to reward people-first content.

What this means for your website content

Websites with a lot of unhelpful content may find their search engine performance worsening compared to businesses that put readers first. For this reason, Google advises that removing content that doesn't help the visitor will improve your overall website ranking.

Google's advice is to avoid creating content solely to get search engine rankings and not to completely ignore their SEO best practices. In general, Google affirms that creating content with search engine result pages first in mind instead of readers correlates to unsatisfactory reader experiences.

As you move forward, create content with clear value to your readers and purpose. Aim to share your extensive experience with your audience for their benefit — as this is the only way you’ll perform well in future searches.

Source: Google Developers

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