Back in the early 2010s, ranking at the top of Google for the desired keywords wasn’t as complicated and time-consuming as it is today. Nowadays, almost every other business is trying to rank at the top. And to do that, companies are creating an enormous volume of content they can’t even process and keep up with.
You’ll notice that almost every article that you see ranking at the top of search engines has been written more for search engines than humans. Some marketers even claim, “SEO is broken.”
And we believe it is a bit broken.
Google’s top priority is to deliver the most relevant information. However, if you look at the results from the first page of Google (for almost any keyword), you’ll see that almost every blog post is a non-plagiarized copy of another.
Amidst trying to rank at the top of Google, businesses are creating a world full of content. As a result, they’re creating content that doesn’t even deliver value to their audience.
Google knows about this.
Content marketers and SEO Specialists have been complaining about it on social media for a long-long time.
To address this problem, Google rolled out its announcement about its new algorithm update – “Helpful Content Update,” on August 18th, 2022.
This announcement shook the marketing community like nothing we’ve ever seen before.
What is Google’s Helpful Content Update?
As stated by Google, their priority is ensuring that people can see more helpful and original content written for people and not search engines. Their primary focus is rewarding people-first content rather than ranking useless, dull, and boring content at the top for the targeted keywords.
But while doing so, you shouldn’t invalidate the points mentioned in Google’s SEO guide. You should follow the best SEO practices to rank at the top of Google. But along with that, Google will also consider whether your content is genuinely helpful for the targeted audience and whether it delivers value or not.
To understand whether you’re creating people-first content or not, we’d advise you to answer the following questions, as mentioned on Google’s helpful content update announcement page:
We run a marketing agency based in Boise. And we genuinely want to help business owners understand what Google’s helpful content update is all about. That’s the reason we spent 10+ hours discussing internally, reaching out to experts, and going through gazillions of pieces to understand the significance of this update. After that, we created this blog post.
But what if we hadn’t done all of this and just had rewritten the top-ranking article in our own words and just optimized it such that it ranked at the top of search engines for a local keyword.
No, we didn’t do that. We want our article to rank at the top for a local keyword. But more importantly, we want business owners and marketers in Idaho to understand what Google’s Helpful Content update is about and how it’ll impact their rankings.
If your audience doesn’t find value or learn something new from your piece, then it’s not helpful. If your content doesn’t show your knowledge and fails to demonstrate your first-hand experience, it’s not helpful.
Your audience should find your content helpful.
That’s the point of this update.
Wondering whether the update has been rolled out or not?
Has Google’s Helpful Content Update Been Rolled Out?
Google announced its Helpful Content Update on August 17th, 2022. In their announcement, they stated:
So, what to do if you have a high volume of unhelpful content on your website? As stated by Google, just remove it. By getting rid of unhelpful content, there are higher chances your website will perform well in search.
Allow us to share more information that we fetched from their announcement page:
Google’s Danny Sullivan Reported that the Helpful
Content Update will Continue to be Refined
When Google announced its helpful content update, the world of marketing was shocked. SEOs and content marketers expected a massive impact. Nobody knew what was going to happen – but there’s one thing they knew – this update would have a serious impact on the way they operate and roll out content.
That wasn’t the case.
According to a retweet (in response to SIXTRIX) by Glenn Gabe, an SEO consultant at G-Square Interactive:
Marketers started doubting Google’s efforts, to which Danny Sullivan from Google responded:
To be honest, we believe – Google’s Helpful Content Update is the first step toward fixing SEO. When marketers say it’s broken, there’s some truth to it. Yes, we believe it’s broken as well. But it’s something that can’t be fixed.
We’ll probably see Google rolling out such updates in the near future. Companies have already realized how important it is to create value-adding content – and that’s what their goals will be from now on.
If you’re creating content that doesn’t deliver value to your audience and is a non-plagiarized replica of the top 10 Google search results, you need to start working on it. Your priority should be to create content that resonates with your audience and genuinely delivers value.
That being said, let’s understand how you can create helpful content for your audience.
How to Create Helpful Content for Your Audience
If you’re wondering how to create helpful content for your audience, look no further. Writing helpful content is no rocket science; all you need to do is show your expertise and share it with your audience. But first:
Understand Who Your Target Audience is
You’ll never be able to create helpful content for your audience if you don’t know who your target audience is in the first place. The first step is to understand your target market. But while doing so, it’s important to acknowledge that your target market is not the same. Some may have different interests, whereas some may still be at the awareness stage of their buying journey.
So a great step is to build customer personas. Create different customer personas along with their attributes. These are different customers with different interests or are of different age groups. And based on these differences, their pain points and problems will be different – for which you’ll have to create dedicated marketing campaigns for them.
For example, if you run a SaaS company, then you need to create different types of content for different people in the company. What you build for project managers probably won’t be relevant for C-level executives. So, it’s really important to build customer personas and list down the pain points that you create content from.
Reach Out to Industry Experts
I’m a freelance marketing writer and have been a part of redfox visual’s team for more than a year. I’ve been in the marketing industry for 7+ years. But the world of marketing is ever-changing. And I don’t want to be the guy or so-called expert who says – “I know it all.”
That’s because I don’t.
I wanted to genuinely deliver value to my audience. And I know that the Helpful Content Update is a big thing for SEO Specialists and Content Marketers. So as a writer, I reached out to dozens of SEO Specialists and Content Marketers from all across the globe, as well as experts from redfox visual’s SEO department, to understand how this update may or may not impact the world of marketing. Also, I wanted to know how they’re preparing for this update.
Then, and then only, I wrote this post.
But what if I had just rewritten a blog post from the top 10 results that appeared for the keyword “google helpful content update”?
No, I didn’t.
That’s because I wanted to genuinely deliver value and create content that our audience would find original and interesting.
And that’s the kind of content you should create.
No matter how many times you have to connect with industry experts, do it. If you have to connect with your customers, just do it.
That’s how successful companies create content.
And that’s how Google wants you to do it.
Plan Your Content Marketing Strategy
Rather than randomly asking your content marketing department to cover a few posts that may be related to your business, it’s advisable to build a content marketing strategy. Building a content marketing strategy will help you:
- Understand where you currently stand as the content audit will be a part of the process.
- Understand where your competitors stand in terms of their content marketing efforts. You’ll also learn what kind of content is working well for them.
- Identify keywords gaps and opportunities.
- Unburden your content marketing department as you’ll be planning everything in advance so you won’t have unreasonable deadlines.
- Consistently monitor your content marketing performance.
And that’s how you can create helpful content for your audience.
Brace Yourselves! Google’s Helpful Content Update is Here!
Google’s Helpful Content Update is already here. Have you been affected? Wondering why that dip in traffic? How to get back up. Or want to focus more on building helpful content?
Allow us to help.
At redfox visual, we’ve been helping businesses build results-driven content marketing strategies and achieve groundbreaking results for years. And we’d love to help you out.
Allow the #1 Boise digital marketing agency to help you hit your KPIs.
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