Google Helpful Content Algorithm Update – What It Could Mean for Your Website

The people over at Google are constantly looking for ways to hone their platforms and reward websites that constantly deliver positive user experiences. The latest algorithm update – detailed for the first time on the 18th of August and set to begin rolling out in the following weeks – has a specific focus on content and the value it provides to users.

The Purpose of The Update

Many of the algorithm updates taking place over the last few years have looked to improve on the efficiency at which Google’s search engine identified high-quality content with August’s update looking to have a similar purpose. It’s pretty much public knowledge that the world wide web is laden with low-quality and spammy content that offers pretty much no value to visitors; Google has gotten pretty good at recognising these websites, however, it’s still not all that great at recognising the quality of the content itself. Thereby, you might find that some completely useless pieces of content rank incredibly well for high-density key terms due to being placed on a website recognised as having value.

Another key part of the update is that it will place more emphasis on the quality of content rather than that of SEO. This isn’t to say that SEO goes completely out of the window, but rather that content having only been written to cater to search engines will be less likely to place highly in regards to queries. Of course, SEO still plays – and will play – a key role in growing the reach and rankings of a website, but it should be less of a focus when writing informative content.

How Does Google Do This?

As is the case with most elements of Google, this new update will primarily use machine learning. As such, it may take a little while for the algorithm to become proficient in assigning value to content which may cause some instability in the early days.

What Could It Mean for My Website?

The impact of this update depends entirely on the quality of content present on your website. If you’re producing highly relevant, highly informative content that successfully fulfils a query, you can expect to see a rise in the rankings for that page, as well as your overall website. On the other hand – if the content you’re producing isn’t all that relevant or helpful, you might see a drop in your rankings relevant for that query and – if Google finds that many of your pages are similarly unhelpful – you may even see your website being marked down for being spammy or of low relevance.

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