Mr. Mrityunjay Ojha
6 Mins to Read
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How often does it happen that you Google a question and have to click through several links before finding what you have been looking for? Sometimes, you may never even find what you were looking for.
Google’s December 2022 Helpful Content Update aims to tackle this issue. Google’s aim is to weed out higher-value content and rank it on top. The search engine’s goal is to deliver a satisfying experience by matching users with high-quality content.
Let us go through what this new Google Update means and how it affects content creators.
What is the Google Helpful Content Update about?
The December 2022 Google Helpful Content Update is the fifth algorithm update of 2022 by Google. The last helpful content update by Google was announced on August 18, 2022, and it started rolling out on August 25, 2022. The update was aimed at targeting low-quality content marketing specifically done for search engines and not people.
The type of content Google is planning to go after lacks EAT- expertise, authoritativeness, or trustworthiness. Search engine-first content could do well in SERPs and receive a lot of search traffic. However, it leaves the user wanting more and compels them to keep clicking because it doesn’t provide a response to their query.
Google launched a site-wide ranking signal to put the new upgrade into practice. Websites with irrelevant content are categorized by it.
According to Google, the recuperation process won’t be quick if the new signal deems your website useless. Even after you delete useless information or upgrade your content writing for Google, ranking changes may take months to take effect.
The helpful content update (aka system) is now a global update that affects all languages, not just English. This will assist Google’s systems in detecting more types of low-quality content created specifically for Search Engine Optimization rather than people.
What does it mean for your website?
- To determine if you’re using helpful content, Google will use a site-wide ranking signal.
- Google considers AI-generated content to be spam and will detect it using its machine learning algorithm.
- Content created for ad monetization and clicks will no longer work.
- There will be no manual penalties, but you may begin to lose organic visibility.
- Where aggregation becomes a problem, detection becomes more visible across a larger volume.
How to tell whether your content is helpful or unhelpful?
Helpful content provides value and satisfies the user’s curiosity. It is original and is not curated from non-human sources. On the other hand, unhelpful content recapitulates data that already exists. Unhelpful content has no unique angle or point of view and leaves gaps for the user to fill.
If your website consists of unhelpful content that does not match the user’s search intent, you can either improve it or remove it entirely. Either of the two decreases the chances that Google will classify your content and rank it lower.
Answer the following questions to validate if you have helpful content:
- Do you have an existing or target audience that would benefit from your content if it were sent to you directly?
- Does your content show first-hand expertise and a depth of knowledge?
- Does your website have a primary purpose or focus?
- After users consume your content, do they have enough knowledge about the topic and leave with a satisfying experience?
- Do you follow Google’s core updates?
If the answers to the above questions were yes, you follow a people-first approach with your content.
If there were some nos, let’s evaluate further:
- Does your content primarily attract search engines and not humans?
- Do you produce content on different topics merely to get a better ranking?
- Do you use extensive automation to create content?
- Does your content lack new insight, and is curating what others say?
- Is your content mostly based on what’s trending and not what your current audience wants?
- Does your content encourage readers to research for more accurate information from different sources?
- Are you following a particular word count approach because you have heard Google has preferences?
- Does the content you produce lack expertise?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, You must address the content on your website that is written with search engines in mind.
What to do now?
We’re just getting started with the December 2022 helpful content algorithm upgrade. The first three to four days after Google announces an update are typically when we notice the biggest effects, but it will take around two weeks for everything to trickle out.
We advise comparing your rankings and organic traffic throughout the coming week to the same time frames from the previous month and year. How this most recent algorithm update has affected your rankings should be determined by if there have been any positive or negative adjustments to ranks and visibility. After that, we advise reading Google’s “More content by people, for people in Search” document to see how you may create more valuable and authentic articles.