It was only in August that Google launched its original Helpful Content update.
Google emphasised at the time that content should be written for people and not machines, provide a depth of knowledge and understanding and be considered trustworthy. So, what does the December 2022 update have in store for marketers and businesses?
What happened in the Helpful Content December 2022 rollout?
The rollout took around two weeks to complete and expanded to other languages (the original update was in English only). The rollout began on the 5th of December.
According to Google Search Central, “the helpful content update which improves our classifier and works across content globally in all languages”
Google adds that their systems automatically identify content that seems to have little value. This system is automated and uses a machine learning model.
What will Google’s Helpful Content update aim to do?
The update aims to help searchers find high-quality content and wants to reward those who write content for humans (not search engines). The new update will aim to downgrade unhelpful content or “search engine first” content. On the flip side, websites that are deemed to write content that is helpful to the searcher will be rewarded in the rankings.
What should I do if my website is hit by the new changes?
When Google first released the helpful content update, we produced a blog that discusses the update and helpful tips to ensure your content is helpful.
For now, here are our top 4 tips to ensure you write great Google approved content:
- Write about your speciality – Ensure that the content you write is relevant and up to date. Make sure you write about topics you are knowledgeable about. Just because a given topic is trending, there is no need to write an article if it has little in common with your business.
- Evaluate your existing content – It would also be a good idea to do a content audit soon to ensure that your content is up to date (we all know how quickly things can get out of date in the marketing world!)
- Make sure your content adds value – The ‘adding value’ part is the most important part of the Google updates. Make sure that your content will be seen as helpful by a searcher.
- Avoid using automation – Yes it may make the job a lot quicker, however, Google will be able to tell if the article has been written by AI. You should always write the content yourself, so it has a natural rhythm and human sound to it.
Unfortunately, if your website takes a hit due to Google deeming your content “not helpful”, it can take a few months to recover. Just concentrate on making sure all previous and future content is helpful. Conversely, if your website was hit badly during the August update, you may see improvements in this one.
What do you think of the helpful content update? We hope that you don’t see too much disruption because of it, but it always helps to keep an eye on your traffic using Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
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