If you’ve been following the digital marketing news lately, you’re likely aware of Google’s recent changes to its search algorithm. First, with Panda, Penguin, and now another update called Google Helpful Content Update. The search engine giant is constantly trying to keep its search results as relevant and valuable as possible. However, no matter how much they try, Google can never fully anticipate all the changes that will take place in digital marketing over time. That’s why every time an algorithm update happens. Whether a minor tweak or a major overhaul, these changes are bound to be lingering effects on search results. And that impacts not just marketers but also their customers, their brand, and ultimately the long-term health of their business goals.
Why Is Google Doing This?
The purpose of Google is to ensure people see content that is most relevant (helpful) to their search. For instance, if a person wants to buy prawns and search ‘prawn vendor near me,’ that person should not be seeing blog articles about the ‘nutritional value of prawns’ regardless of how well-optimized the article is. Product pages containing prawns for sale are the most helpful content for that searcher. Google helpful content update rewards websites that ‘help’ visitors with more visits. Google is doing this to reduce the load on its bots since there are millions of websites churning out content.
How Can SEO Tactics Be Affected by Google Updates?
A minor algorithm update can have unintended consequences for your business. For example, if a brand relies on a certain tactic to increase its rankings, the algorithm change may impact how much those tactics will help you rank for specific keywords. And even if you’re not using any SEO tactics, the update may still compromise organic traffic driving to your site. It’s important to note that these changes aren’t always negative and don’t always result in drops in rankings or traffic. But they can be challenging to navigate and often require patience, especially with Google Panda updates.
How to Adapt to Google Helpful Content Update
Knowing how to react to algorithm updates is an essential skill for a digital marketer. Unfortunately, it’s also one that can require a little bit of research. For example, Google’s Panda Hammer update confused marketers about what changes needed to happen to be ready for the upcoming change.
On their release about the update, the first suggestion made by Google is that SEO experts or content creators remove content deemed unhelpful from their websites to allow other content to rank better. Below are four more ways to adapt your website to Google’s helpful content update;
1. Answer direct questions
Apart from deleting content from your websites, it is time to answer all the questions potential visitors may have about your brand or industry. To flesh out your content and increase your chances of ranking, answer one question per page and with as much detail as possible, don’t go off-topic to accommodate more keywords – be specific with the help each page renders.
2. Improve your UX
Another thing you need to do is improve the overall user experience (UX) on your website. For example, Google can’t determine if users are reading your blog articles; they infer this from the amount of time spent on your pages. Therefore, you need to place some useful (or helpful) temptations on your pages to keep visitors engaged long enough for google to mark your content as ‘helpful.’ For instance, I added a domain availability checker widget in my article about how to create a website in 2023. With this, I hope my readers will stay longer due to their interaction with the free tool.
3. Create content for people, not Google
In our scramble to please Google, we need to remember that Google itself puts people first. To this end, all updates made by Google are meant to satisfy its users, not the content creators. Just as people won’t read content that makes no sense to them, Google will keep making updates to deliver helpful websites to their users. It is time to return to the basics of content creation for people, not search engines.
4. Create new content from your perspective
Google favours original content. This is why brands with significant research capabilities do well on search results. For example, content provided by a government body like FIRS about small business finances in Nigeria would do better than that of a finance blog. This is because the content provided by the finance blog is mainly made up of data provided by government bodies in the finance industry. Google prioritizes primary data; hence, you must write from your experience.
Would You Like to Top Search Results?
Several factors are involved in getting your website to rank high on search engine result pages (SERPs). If you want to hire an SEO expert in Nigeria to help you rank better on Google, you are at the right place. Let’s discuss which SEO strategies will work for your business today.