How did the Google’s Helpful Content update change SEO?

How did the Google’s Helpful Content update change SEO?

November 27, 2023

For so long, many SEO’s overly focused on creating content marketing, such as blog posts which concentrated solely on trying to improve the business’s search engine optimisation.

Therefore, what was absent, was taking a people-first approach, to offering valuable, helpful, and also useful content marketing.

This is exactly what Google’s Helpful Content Update addressed, it didn’t no longer want pages or blog posts on the first page, which were unhelpful to humans.

Pages that used SEO tactics that overly focused, on for example keyword stuffing, with the type of pages that were penalised.

Instead of pages that offered useful, valuable, and expert advice, these were the pages that got onto the first page of Google.


Back on August 18th, 2022, Google released the helpful content update, which analysed pages, to look for low-quality SEO pages, and look to either remove them completely from the index or substantially lower where that page ranked on Google.


People first content

Some business owners might find the idea, of giving away free advice rather confusing and a waste of time.
For example, an architects practice, giving away a substantial amount of free advice, why would they want to this, if they charge per hour for their architects to work on a project?

Well, the answer is simple, it can be a massive strategic advantage for a business to be ranked at the top of Google if the SEO work is done right.

So much so, it can mean the difference between a business thriving, or merely surviving.
With that said, for a business to get there, let’s say in the top position on Google, it will need to give away a lot of helpful, insightful, and useful advice.

Sure, this might take upwards of over 1000 hours to complete in highly competitive business sectors, but if that means that the business is ranked organically at the top of Google will quite often lack dramatically improve sales.


Little value or low quality

Writing content marketing, for some businesses, was seen somewhat as a chore.

Something that had to be done on a Friday afternoon example.

And some businesses therefore rather hurriedly would write say 700 words or less of complete and utter waffle.

When you combine this, with perhaps 100 other blog posts, which have been written in the same way, little care, little in the way of expert knowledge offered, and written in a way that makes the reader want to take a nap because it’s so boring.

This work is likely to be the work that is penalized by Google’s helpful content update.
Instead, Google wants the written work to demonstrate EEAT, that is experience, expertise authoritativeness, and also trustworthiness.

So, in essence, you need an expert writing the content marketing, and for it to cut the mustard, by that, we mean to get on the first page of Google, well it needs to be very well written.

So here are some takeaway tips that we think are important to know since the Google Helpful Content Update:


Focus on people first

So, as we earlier alluded to, within this article, you should no longer take the mindset that you are writing to try and just purely improve your business’s search engine optimisation. Instead, take your time, and put yourself in your customer’s shoes, what kind of questions do they commonly have?

Then start to write really useful, insightful, work which is been written or at least written in collaboration with an expert on the subject.

Ultimately what you want, is for the reader to walk away, thinking well that was excellent, that answered my question, now I feel that I can make an informed choice when buying a product or a service.


Improve, improve, and improve some more

Have you ever heard of the expression continuous improvement, well this relates to search engine optimisation as well.

You might have written a blog post seven years ago, and it was good at the time at the time of writing, but it might need a few tweaks, and updating, and perhaps the statistics need changing so they are more relevant today. For example, there’s no point in quoting statistics from 2017, you want to bring that article up to date as much as you possibly can, including statistics from 2023.


So when you’re writing a new blog post, we would recommend that you think about the following


Write for people, not the search engines

So, write a really useful article, don’t just try and write to hit a word count to try and improve your search engine optimisation.
It’s instead far better, to write a really useful piece of content marketing, even if this means greatly reducing the amount of blog posts that you write, it’s still important to focus on quality rather than quantity.


Artificial intelligence and content marketing

So we do live in a world, where we are trying to automate and make everything faster, yes we would say don’t use AI-generated content marketing on your website.

The reason for this is, that it’s far better to ask one or perhaps many of the experts within your company, to come up with written work that’s written in collaboration with the marketing company to create very high-quality work.


Offer an original perspective on something.

Your business, for example, could make highly specialized parts for manufacturing businesses, yet why not work with your experts within your company, to explain the benefits of owning a particular machine?

Perhaps it’s 33% faster at manufacturing a certain component, perhaps it’s more energy-efficient, or perhaps it simply lasts longer and comes with a more comprehensive guarantee.

What’s better therefore is to work with somebody, within the business, they can explain the benefits of that product because they are an expert on the subject.




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