Here’s Why You Need to Write Content for People and not SEO According to Google
Google recently unveiled the Helpful Content Update algorithm for ranking content in search results. This update is a laudable attempt by Google to improve how users can find helpful content and help Google to weed out the trash online.
According to Google, more unoriginal, poorly researched content is finding its way to top SERP pages because content creators write content to attract search engines instead of helping people. So, websites with lots of unhelpful content written to drive organic traffic might get hit by this new wave.
What is Helpful Content?
This feature sounds like a huge deal – because Google is talking about it. Helpful content is any content designed to accurately inform, educate, and answer the questions of users’ questions. It could be in the form of text, audio, or audio-visual, depending on how best the content answers the question.
Google is creating solutions for the user, not for search engines. Therefore, content creators must be user-centric if their content will offer any value and be considered helpful.
Search queries can be fact-driven or expertise-driven. It’s easier to deliver a fact-driven response within a blog post where users can easily find the answer in a meta description. For some ambiguous expertise-driven questions, Google may provide related video search results so users can better understand the answer.
Top reasons to write content for people and not SEO
Google’s recent announcement will require website managers to create and publish only valuable content. As a content creator, here’s how to stay in the Google’s good graces.
Google ranks people-first content.
Content creators may argue that users are at the center of their content creation, and everything they create is to satisfy the user. But the upsurge of SEO best practices and the desire for visibility made many website owners put search engines first instead of the user.
To confirm if you create people-first content, you need to answer yes to most or all these questions:
- Do you have an existing audience that derives value from the content you publish for your business or site?
- Does your content illustrate that you have authority and expertise in your niche?
- Is there a primary focus for your site?
- Will readers find your content satisfying after they read it?
The next content you create should be focused on helping the consumer. Search engines will pick it up in the long run. If you’re consistent with publishing quality content, your site will do well on search engines.
The Helpful Content Update frowns on creating content to attract search engines.
Google wants to provide a satisfying search experience for its users. Chasing the algorithm is pointless now. You must focus on answering people’s questions rather than stuffing your article with keywords. So maybe a blog post of yours lands on the first page of Google Search. The user skips the article after opening it because he doesn’t find what he’s looking for. That’s a red flag to Google that the information is bad.
You can create purposeful content by talking to experts in your niche, using the products before you write product reviews, and writing with clarity. When you study your customer’s needs and understand what they want, you’re on the right track to providing valuable solutions.
With the recent update, 100% of AI-generated content for your site is bad for business. AI cannot solely create human-centric content. This update will favor experts who spend time creating quality content before they embellish it with SEO tactics.
Google’s helpful content signal is site-wide
Google’s helpful content signal is an ML algorithm that confirms if your site contains a considerably high amount of unsatisfying content to tag it ‘unhelpful.’ The update will not only classify individual pages but impact the entire site.
Your primary target should be creating high-quality content that sells a solution to the user rather than just attracting visitors. Badly written content or writing aimless content based on famous people searches are all in the unhelpful category. Also, this type of content cannot perform well on SERPs once the update is launched.
Some creators might consider hiding unhelpful pages in a subfolder or subdomain, but Google’s signal can sweep through the site and detect such pages. The best way to avoid this signal sweep is to remove unhelpful content from your website or restructure them to become helpful.
Google’s helpful content update wants to ensure that only value-driven content ranks highly on SERPs. While SEO is important, it should not be the core of content generation. Even though this update only caters to Google Search, it may expand to Google Discover and other search engines.
Business owners must align their site management with the new helpful content algorithm. You need a website professional to build your website’s content to Google’s standards. Get in touch with our team of experts now.