Back in August 2022, Google announced that it was making some significant changes to how it determined its search results. This update called the Google Helpful Content update, then proceeded to take effect over the following few months. Now, this update is firmly in place.
Since Google is a major source of traffic for many websites, it’s important that you consistently meet their recommendations. If you’re running a content marketing strategy or running a blog, you’ll want to ensure that you’re meeting their new standards so that you can continue to grow your site. Below, we’ll offer a few tips you can use to make sure your blog doesn’t run afoul of Google’s algorithm.
Focus on Providing Value
The most important thing to focus on with the new Google Helpful Content update is providing value to your audience. Google has adjusted its algorithm to promote those sites that leave their visitors feeling satisfied that they received the information they were looking for.
When creating your content, ask yourself “What is it my audience wants to know?” Then, make sure you’re covering as many aspects of that topic as you can. The more value you add to your content, the more likely it is to rank highly.
Add Something New to the Discussion
A big way that you can add value to your content is by offering something new that other websites don’t have. If you’re offering the same information as the other top search results, only in a different format, it’s unlikely that Google will rank your website higher in the search results. Look for ways to provide a unique perspective.
For example, if you’re writing about a new product, you can talk about your first-hand experience using it or perform some tests on it that other brands didn’t. In this way, you’ll add something new to the overall discussion and give your audience a reason to visit your post.
Stick to Related Topics
One thing that Google is going to look for more now is websites that stray too far from their central topic. Over the past few years, many websites have tried to rank for as many keywords as they can, regardless of whether the pages relate to the foundational topic of the website.
For example, if you have a website about health and beauty tips, you probably don’t need blog posts about home improvement or running a business. Do your best to stick to topics that relate to your core audience, rather than trying to expand into too many new areas.
Avoid Writing for Search Engines
Another important note about this new Google update is that they are going to crack down on content that seems like it’s been written solely for search engines. According to Exults Digital Marketing Agency, “Writing for search engines includes practices like adding your keywords too many times, striving to hit a specific word count, or spinning content to produce posts in bulk.”
As you’re creating you’re content, don’t worry too much about meeting specific rules that you think will help you with search engines. Instead, focus more on the audience, with a few tweaks at the end for search engines. You’ll produce better content and the traffic numbers you want will follow as a result.
Remove Low-Quality Content
If you already have an extensive number of blog posts, it may help to go through your previous posts and remove any low-quality ones. Since the Google update has been active for a few months, they may already be penalizing you for any low-quality content you have. If you’ve noticed a drop in your organic search traffic since August, this could be the cause.
A good way to start is by organizing your posts by word count and seeing if you have any posts under 500 words. While these posts are not necessarily low-quality, there’s a good chance you didn’t add enough value to them. Start there, then continue to remove any posts that Google may view as low-quality. You may also want to simply unpublish the post, rather than delete it, so that you can reupload it later or edit it if you wish.
Give It Time
Finally, remember that changes in your search position won’t happen overnight. It will take some time for your new high-quality content to take hold and for your previous low-quality content to stop penalizing your site. The important thing is that you continue your new habits and eventually you’ll start to see the results you want.
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