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10 November 2022
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Seo Exploration Blog Helpful Content Update

Helpful Content Update: what you need to know about this new Google update

What are the facts?

Google has completed the rollout of a big update to its algorithmic workings regarding SEO.

Its name is Helpful Content. Google aims to benefit sites that publish relevant content and penalise those that cheat by creating lots of content to generate traffic through the way search engines work.

The algorithm is sitewide: it means the algorithm will analyse the entire site. From there, if the site is poorly rated, it will impact the visibility of the site.

Initially deployed for English content, the update will be gradually adapted for all other languages.

What is Helpful Content Update?

On August 18, Google announced an add-on (HCU) that was followed 10 days later by a larger update: September Core Update 2022.
Helpful Content update (HCU) is a scoring system applied to the algorithm. This service will identify content that is of value to users. Sites with content that is deemed useless or misleading can expect to be penalised.

Google is starting to hunt for content and wants to identify spam pages in order to prioritise information that is useful to users. Created with the community in mind, this addition to the algorithm should eradicate pages created exclusively to drive traffic.

This update reinforces the restructuring begun by the American giant and supports the new policy centred on the user experience. The changes to be expected focus on a reform that is supposed to improve the core of the algorithm. The update will also take into account the netlinking and the internal and external mesh, i.e. the inbound and outbound links of your site, it is then necessary to be attentive to the relevance and the quality of these links.

What is the objective of Helpful Content Update?

The Helpful Content Update will progressively downgrade sites whose content is created by AIs in order to appear in the algorithm. Today, you can maximise your chances of appearing in the so-called “organic” results by taking several SEO actions, and experts know this and use it to their advantage. With this addition, Google promises its users a more relevant and secure environment.

“Give a better reward to contents for which visitors have a positive feeling” is the philosophy of Helpful Content.

How will Helpful Content Update work?

It’s not clear how Google will evaluate content, but at SEO Exploration we have some ideas. Google has indicated that this change will impact educational, arts, entertainment, e-commerce and technology content. Google has been progressively implementing metrics in Analytics. It is known from our expertise that the following elements will be central to future scoring on the platform:

The average time spent on a page

The pogosticking rate

It is number of returns to a page after clicking on a result

The bounce rate

It corresponds to percentage of visitors who will only visit one page and leave

The number of internet users who will perform a search close to the previous one to obtain the information

Web vitals feedback (critical signals)

– Load times as perceived by users
– The rate of responsiveness of the page to interactions
– Visual lags during loads (the less the better)

Google Search Central has published a list of questions that will help you self-assess

We have translated them for you.

Regarding content and quality:
– Does your site have a real reason to exist? Is it oriented towards a goal? To an audience?
– Are you targeting a niche content without having any expertise?
– Is your content mass-produced or outsourced with the aim of drowning out the market and thus performing in search results?
– Are you writing about topics because they are trendy?
– Does your content cause your readers to search again for better information?
– Does your content promise to answer a question that doesn’t have an answer (film that doesn’t exist)?
– Does your content have an excessive amount of advertising that distracts or interferes with the main topic?

Regarding expertise:
– Is the content written by an expert or enthusiast who clearly knows the subject well?
– Does the content contain factual errors that are easily verifiable?
– Do you trust your site or content to inform you?
– Do you summarise what others say without adding value?

Regarding presentation:
– In general, is your content designed to attract users from search engines?
– Would a user reading your content feel that they have had a positive experience?
– Has the content been well produced, or does it seem sloppy or hastily produced?
– When you write content, do you set certain goals such as a minimum word count to achieve because you’ve read or heard that Google has a preferred word count for highlighting content?Depending on your answers to these questions, your website will be positively or negatively impacted by the algorithm update. It is therefore important to position yourself positively in your SEO strategy in order to avoid any penalties, and even to increase your visibility naturally.

What are the consequences of the Helpful Content Update deployment?

The evaluation will be weighted, which means that sites with a lot of low value content will feel a stronger negative effect.
You may find it useful to group this content into site sub-domains, however Google has announced that: “content deemed to be useless or of low added value will penalise the entire site, especially if other online content is more relevant. It is therefore worth analysing your site to assess the level of traffic and deduce an effective and relevant SEO strategy.

What to do after Helpful Content Update

If you notice a significant drop in visits, you can check that it is linked to this update. Following this, we recommend that you carry out an audit using our services to improve your SEO strategy and your visibility. Our SEO experts will help you to meet Google’s SEO criteria, and guarantee you an effective positioning to increase traffic to your site!



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