As far as search engine optimization (SEO) is concerned, Google’s algorithm is always in a state of flux. As content creators, it is crucial for us to stay current with the evolving landscape or face the risk of lagging behind our competition. Over the years, one constant element has been Google’s emphasis on prioritizing helpful content.
So what exactly makes content helpful in Google’s eyes? It’s not just about stuffing keywords and phrases into your writing – that won’t cut it anymore. The key is creating high-quality content that provides value to your readers, answering their questions and providing solutions to their problems.
Let’s delve into the meaning of helpful content as defined by Google, and learn some useful tips on how to generate valuable content for your website or blog. Get ready to take your website’s SEO game to the next level!
What is Helpful Content?
The majority of content creators aim to generate content that is useful and applicable to their specific target audience. However, what exactly constitutes “helpful content” can be a bit ambiguous.
Thankfully, Google’s helpful content update provides some insights into the factors that are considered when determining if a piece of content is helpful or not.
Helpful content refers to any information that is useful and valuable to the reader. It should be accurate, up-to-date, well-researched, expertly written, clear and concise, well-organized, and relevant to the search query.
Essentially, it should provide readers with the answers they’re looking for in an easily digestible format.
In recent times, Google has been constantly refining its algorithm to give more importance to content that puts the users first, providing them with genuine value, as opposed to relying on techniques like keyword stuffing or other optimization tactics.
This shift in focus is aimed at delivering the best possible experience to users who rely on Google to find relevant content online.
This means that focusing on writing high-quality and helpful contents can help you perform well in search results as Google continues prioritizing this type of content.
It’s not enough to write extensively about various subjects. Each post should leave readers feeling like they’ve gained something. Consistently applying this technique on your website can boost your content ranking, as Google appreciates sites that offer valuable information in diverse ways.
Google’s algorithm looks for signals in the content that suggest it will be useful to those doing searches. The update rewards content creators who prioritize creating satisfying and informative content over producing unhelpful or irrelevant material.
To be classified as having helpful content, there are several criteria that your website must meet:
1. Accurate And Up-To-Date Information
As a content creator, you’ll need to do your research and ensure that all the information you present is correct.
In addition to being accurate, it’s also important for the information you present to be current. Outdated information can lead to confusion or frustration among your readers, who may end up relying on incorrect details if they don’t realize that what they’re reading is no longer relevant.
To make sure your content stays up-to-date, consider setting aside some time each month or quarter for review and updates. This will not only keep your readers well-informed but also demonstrate your commitment to providing high-quality content.
If you focus on being both accurate and timely in your writing, you can produce useful content and improve your chances of appearing higher in search results. This can help you gain more readership in the end.
2. Well-Researched and Expertly Written
Writing well-researched and expertly written content is another important factor in creating helpful content according to Google’s algorithm. This means that your content should not only be accurate but also provide readers with valuable insights and information.
To achieve this, you should conduct thorough research on the topic at hand. This can include reading books, academic papers, or conducting interviews with experts in the field. Once you have a clear understanding of the topic, you can begin crafting your content using a professional tone and appropriate language.
It’s important to ensure that your writing is free from grammatical errors and typos as well. You may want to consider utilizing tools such as Grammarly or Hemingway Editor to proofread your work before publishing it.
Formatting plays an important role in making your content easy for readers to consume. Use headings and subheadings to organize your thoughts into smaller sections, utilize bullet points or numbered lists when appropriate, and break up long paragraphs into shorter ones.
|Headers and Subheaders||– Improves organization and readability|
|– Makes it easier to scan for important information|
|– Enhances SEO|
|Paragraphs||– Breaks up large blocks of text|
|– Increases readability|
|– Allows for easier comprehension of ideas|
|Bullet Points/Lists||– Condenses information|
|– Highlights key points|
|– Enhances readability|
|Bold and Italics||– Emphasizes important words or phrases|
|– Draws attention to key concepts|
|Images and Visual Aids||– Adds visual interest|
|– Breaks up text-heavy sections|
|– Provides visual examples and context|
|Captions and Alt Text||– Increases accessibility for visually impaired readers|
|– Improves SEO|
|Block Quotes||– Highlights important quotes|
|– Adds credibility and authority|
|– Breaks up text and adds variety|
|White Space||– Increases readability|
|– Reduces visual clutter|
|– Makes content feel less overwhelming|
|Internal and External||– Provides additional resources and information for readers|
|Links||– Improves user experience and engagement|
|– Boosts SEO|
|Call-to-Action||– Encourages reader interaction|
|– Guides readers to take a specific action (e.g., subscribe, purchase, comment)|
3. Clear And Concise
To create informative content that meets Google’s algorithmic criteria, it’s essential to prioritize being clear and concise. This means avoiding wordiness and unnecessary jargon that can confuse or overwhelm readers.
To create clear and concise content, consider breaking down complex ideas into easy-to-understand language. Use short sentences and paragraphs, bullet points, numbered lists, or tables when appropriate. Keep in mind that many people skim through online content rather than read every word, so use formatting techniques to make your text more scannable.
Additionally, be sure to prioritize the most important information at the beginning of your content. This way readers can quickly determine if the article is what they are looking for without having to read through irrelevant details first.
If you write clearly and concisely, your audience will be more likely to understand your message. This can lead to better engagement metrics, like bounce rate and time on page. Google uses these metrics to rank websites higher in search results.
Well-organized content is an important aspect of creating helpful content, according to Google. Users should be able to easily navigate through the information provided and find what they are looking for without getting lost or confused.
To ensure that your content is well-organized, consider using headings and subheadings to break up larger sections of text. This not only makes it easier for readers to scan through the content but also helps search engines better understand the structure of your page.
Including relevant images or videos throughout your content can also improve its organization by providing visual cues that break up long blocks of text.
Overall, a well-organized piece of content can have a significant impact on the user experience and ultimately lead to higher engagement rates.
So take some time to consider how you can best structure your information in a clear and concise manner that will be easy for both users and search engines to understand.
5. Relevant To The Search Query
One of the key factors that Google considers when determining if content is helpful or not is its relevance to the search query. In other words, does your content directly address what someone is searching for?
To ensure that your content is relevant to search queries, start by conducting thorough keyword research. Use tools like Google Keyword Planner or Ubersuggest to identify the specific keywords and phrases people are using when searching for information related to your topic.
Once you have a list of relevant keywords, incorporate them naturally into your content. But remember, don’t overdo it with keyword stuffing – focus on creating quality content that provides value and answers questions.
Ensure relevance to search queries by creating content that matches user intent. For example, if a user searches for “how to bake a cake,” they likely want step-by-step instructions rather than just an article about cakes in general.
By understanding and addressing user intent through your content, you increase the chances that it will rank well in search results and be considered helpful by Google’s algorithm.
Here is some more detail about researching your topic.
How To Create Content That Is Considered Helpful By Google
Creating high-quality and helpful content that meets Google’s standards is no easy feat. However, by following some tips and best practices, you can increase your chances of producing content that ranks well in search results.
1. Conduct Comprehensive Research
To create content that is considered helpful by Google, it’s important to conduct comprehensive research on the topic you plan to write about. This means going beyond a basic Google search and delving deeper into reputable sources related to your subject.
Some tips for conducting comprehensive research include:
- Utilizing academic journals, peer-reviewed articles, and other scholarly sources
- Interviewing experts in the field or relevant individuals with firsthand experience
- Checking out forums and social media groups related to your topic for insights and perspectives from real people
- Reviewing case studies or real-life examples related to your subject
By conducting thorough research, you can ensure that the information you present in your content is accurate, up-to-date, and well-researched – all factors that Google considers when evaluating whether content is helpful or not.
Including credible references and sources within your content can also increase its authority and credibility in the eyes of both readers and search engines.
2. Utilize SEO Best Practices
Implementing SEO best practices can be highly advantageous in generating high-quality content that is deemed useful by Google. By optimizing your content for search engines, you can increase the likelihood of your content ranking well in search results and reaching a wider audience.
Here are some tips on how to use SEO best practices when creating helpful content:
- Conduct Keyword Research: Before you begin writing, conduct keyword research to identify relevant terms and phrases that users may be searching for related to your topic. Include these keywords naturally throughout your content.
- Optimize Your Headings: Use headings (H1-H6) in a logical hierarchy and include your main keyword in at least one of them. This helps search engines understand the structure of your content and what it’s about.
- Write Descriptive Meta Descriptions: A meta description is the short blurb that appears under the title tag in search results. Make sure it accurately describes what readers can expect from clicking through to your page and includes relevant keywords.
- Use Alt Text for Images: Search engines cannot “see” images like humans do, so including descriptive alt text helps them understand what an image is about.
- Link within your site: Linking to other pages on your website helps users and search engines easily navigate and establishes authority in a specific topic.
Always remember, prioritize people-first content over search engine algorithms when incorporating SEO best practices into your writing process. Don’t sacrifice user experience or readability for optimization alone.
3. Use Appropriate Formatting And Grammar
Proper formatting and grammar are vital components when crafting high-quality content. Not only does it make your content more readable and understandable, but it also signals to Google that you are a credible source of information.
One essential aspect of formatting is the use of headings and subheadings. These help break up your content into smaller chunks, making it easier for readers to scan through and find what they need.
It’s also important to write in a clear and concise manner, avoiding overly complex language or industry jargon unless necessary. Use short sentences where possible and vary sentence structure to keep readers engaged.
Grammar is equally important when producing helpful content according to Google’s algorithm update. Poor grammar can make your writing seem unprofessional and difficult to read, potentially resulting in an unfavorable user experience on your site.
To ensure proper grammar usage, consider using online tools like Grammarly or Hemingway Editor that check for errors while providing suggestions for improvements. Make sure that all links within the content are working properly too.
4. Optimize Your Content For Mobile
Optimizing your content for mobile is crucial in today’s world where people use their smartphones more than ever to access the internet. According to Google, having a mobile-friendly website is one of the most important factors in determining search engine ranking.
To optimize your content for mobile, you need to ensure that it is easy to read and navigate on smaller screens. This means using larger fonts, shorter paragraphs, and breaking up text with subheadings and bullet points. To enhance the mobile users’ experience, limit the pop-ups and other intrusive ads and make it easy for them to access your content.
Another key aspect of optimizing your content for mobile is page speed. Slow loading pages can frustrate users and lead them to abandon your site altogether. To improve page speed, consider reducing image sizes or using compression tools like GZIP or Brotli.
Ensure your website operates seamlessly across all platforms by testing its performance on various devices and screen sizes. Google provides a Mobile-Friendly Test tool that allows you to check whether your website meets its standards for mobile optimization.
5. Optimize Your Content For Voice Search
With the rise of smart speakers and voice assistants, optimizing your content for voice search is becoming increasingly important. According to Google, about 20% of all searches are now done through voice search.
This means that if your content is not optimized for this format, you could be missing out on a significant amount of traffic.
To optimize your content for voice search, there are a few things you can do:
- Use natural language: People tend to use more conversational language when speaking than when typing, so it’s important to use natural-sounding phrases and questions in your content. This will make it easier for voice assistants to understand and provide better results.
- Answer commonly asked questions: Voice searches often involve asking questions, so including frequently asked questions (FAQs) in your content can be helpful. Make sure your answers are clear and concise.
- Use long-tail keywords: When people speak, they tend to use longer phrases than when typing on a keyboard. Using long-tail keywords that mimic natural speech patterns can help improve the chances of your content appearing in voice search results.
- Focus on local optimization: Voice search has become increasingly popular among drivers and people on the go looking for businesses or services in their vicinity. Therefore, including location-specific details in your content can give you an edge.
By optimizing your content for voice search, you’ll be able to reach a wider audience who prefer using this format over traditional text-based searches.
Wrapping Up: Creating Helpful Content According to Google
Creating helpful content is essential for ranking well in search results and providing value to your audience.
The latest Google update emphasizes the importance of creating people-centric content that is accurate, updated, well-researched, expertly written, clear, concise, well-organized, and relevant to the search query.
To create great content, research the topic thoroughly, apply SEO techniques, and use proper formatting and grammar. You should also optimize your content for mobile devices and voice searches as more people use them to access information online.
Remember that producing lots of unhelpful content may result in lower rankings of your other high-quality posts. Therefore, it’s necessary to remove any unhelpful or irrelevant material from your site that could interfere with the main subject.
When visitors read your post and leave with positive impressions, it can lead to higher engagement and improved rankings on search engine result pages.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the helpful content update according to Google?
A: The helpful content update is an algorithm update by Google which aims to better reward high-quality content that is useful to readers. It was first introduced in 2021 as a way to prioritize people-first content over content written solely for search engine rankings.
Q: How does the classifier for this update run?
A: The classifier for this update runs continuously and determines that unhelpful content identified by this update may find the signal. The update may include sites identified by this update or content written on different topics.
Q: What kind of content does Google consider as high-quality content?
A: Google considers high-quality content to be original, useful, and relevant to the search query. High-quality content is also content that promises what is being searched for and leaves a reader feeling like their goal was achieved.
Q: How does Google determine that the unhelpful content has not returned?
Google has a classifier to identify unhelpful content and this update rewards useful content for visitors. Google continually updates this classifier to ensure that it accurately identifies unhelpful content.
Q: What happens when Google determines that the content is not particularly helpful?
A: When Google determines that the content is not particularly helpful, it may leave readers feeling like their goal was not achieved. This could potentially lower the rankings of your other content, so it’s important to focus on producing lots of high-quality content.
Q: How can I make sure my content is useful and high-quality according to Google?
A: You can make sure your content is useful and high-quality by focusing on producing lots of content on different topics and addressing your audience’s needs and interests. Try to write original content and use keywords naturally. Most importantly, make sure your content is useful, and leave your readers feeling like their goal was achieved.
Q: Is it better to have lots of content or just focus on producing high-quality content?
A: While it’s important to focus on producing high-quality content, having lots of content on different topics can also help improve your visibility to search engines. However, you should not sacrifice quality for quantity and should always prioritize quality over quantity.
Q: Will this update affect my rankings?
A: If you have been producing high-quality, people-first content all along, this update may not affect your rankings. However, if you have been producing low-quality or irrelevant content, you may experience a decrease in rankings.
Q: How does Google reward content?
A: Google rewards content where visitors feel like they would find the content useful and achieve their goals. Google uses a combination of signals to determine whether your content is useful, such as bounce rate, time spent on page, and social signals.
Q: What should I do if I am affected by this update?
A: If you are affected by this update, you should assess your content and focus on producing high-quality, people-first content. Make sure your content is useful, relevant, and addresses your audience’s needs and interests. Keep in mind that this update runs continuously, so it’s crucial to monitor your rankings and adjust your content strategy accordingly.
Q: What resources has Google provided to help achieve visitors’ goals?
A: Google has provided a lot of resources to help content writers improve their content, including Google Search Console and Google’s official Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines. By following these guidelines, you can create high-quality content that visitors will find useful and achieve their goals.