In mid-August, Google announced on its blog that it plans to introduce a new update. This time it is called the 'Helpful Content Update', which clearly indicates its content. According to Google, the main thrust of the changes is to provide users with unique and useful content written by people for everyone.

The first of the updated objectives focuses on the creation of 'user-first' content, i.e. content that is primarily intended for users rather than bots. Sites that provide reliable answers to the questions posed, convey concrete value, share knowledge and solve users' problems will therefore benefit. Otherwise, sites with content built solely for Google bots will be considered as guidelines. While this is by no means a new direction, it seems that the planned changes could have a significant impact on the position of pages in search engine rankings. But what does a human actually mean? Google's Search Centre blog shows some examples to help you choose the right direction for content creation:.

  • Make sure your website content is useful to users.
  • Focus on content with a clear emphasis on first-hand knowledge and experience (e.g. from actually using the service or product)
  • Define a clear purpose for your site.
  • The content of your site should be informative and leave users feeling exhausted by the topic they are looking for.
  • Reading your website content should satisfy the user. Remember Google's guidelines for major updates and product reviews.

Completely avoid creating content for Google's robots. The second key update is to avoid writing content just for bots. Such content, although intended to guarantee a high ranking for the website, does not provide the user with the knowledge they are looking for. It therefore goes against the 'people first' approach. So what should you watch out for?

But what does "focus on people first" really mean? 

The Google Search Centre blog shows some examples to help you choose the right direction for your content creation:. 

  •  Make sure your website content is useful to users. 
  •  Focus on content with a clear emphasis on first-hand knowledge and experience (e.g. from actually using the service or product) 

  •  Define a clear purpose for your site. 
  •  The content of your site should be informative and leave users feeling exhausted by the topic they are looking for. 
  •  Reading your site's content should satisfy the user. 
  •  Remember Google's guidelines for major updates and product reviews.

How the update works

Implementation of the update began on 25 August and is expected to take approximately two weeks. In its guidelines, Google also highlights the ratio of 'useful' content to content that may not comply with the new guidelines. According to Google, the final removal will improve your site's position in the long run. It's also important to still be able to put 'helpful' content at the top, even if your site contains content deemed to be incompatible with the updated guidelines. However, reviews are weighted, so the more 'unhelpful' content, the more likely your site will be negatively impacted by the update. Google said that the rollout has begun with English-language websites, but also announced the general rollout of the changes.

Source: https://developers.google.com/search/blog/2022/08/helpful-content-update?hl=en