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What to expect from Google’s “helpful content” update

Better pull the rakes and some trash bags out of the shed. It’s time to clean the backyard…

What to expect from Google’s “helpful content” update

What’s going on: Google published more info about their “helpful content” update. It rolls out within the next two weeks, and will introduce a new sitewide signal that identifies low-value content.

How it works: Any website that has too much unhelpful content will drop down in ratings… even if the content itself is relevant. Seems huge.

Write with people, for people: Google says that you should focus on people-first content by following their official guidelines and advice, and by creating satisfying, reader-friendly articles.

Does SEO still matter? Yes, if you do it right. Optimizing your content for search engines can still boost your rankings, but you should avoid taking search engine-first approaches like:

  • Producing tons of content and hoping some of it will rank.
  • Summarizing stuff others are saying without adding much value.
  • Using extensive automation—i.e., AI copywriting and content writing tools—to produce content.

…and much more. If you need a list of actionable do’s and don’ts, Kevin Indig posted a useful Twitter thread that can help.

Why we care: High-quality content has always been essential to a successful content marketing strategy. But with Google’s upcoming and recent changes, there’s more pressure on marketers than ever before to deliver.

At the very least, removing unhelpful content from your website and leaving only what’s relevant is a good place to start.

Also, Google’s not the only one with “helpful advice” today…