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What CMOs Need to Know About Google’s “Helpful Content” Update

In an effort to better provide people with original and valuable information, Google Search has launched the “Helpful Content” update to its search algorithm. This site-wide update signals a shift in content creation and ranking priorities from a search engine-first to a people-first approach. Keep reading to learn what to expect from Google’s “Helpful Content” update and how Overdrive can help you create people-first content across your site that ranks.

What is Google’s “Helpful Content” Algorithm Update?

Implementing a new machine learning algorithm, Google’s “Helpful Content” update is designed to distinguish whether most of a website’s content is useful or unhelpful to users. As explained by Google, this new site-wide signal automatically identifies content perceived to have “little value, low-added value or is otherwise not particularly helpful to those doing searches.” While other algorithm updates target individual website pages, the “Helpful Content” update is much more comprehensive.

Google pinpoints search engine first content to be “strongly correlated with content that searchers find unsatisfying.” To craft people-first content, Google advises that creators “focus first on creating satisfying content, while also utilizing SEO best practices to bring searchers additional value.” Review best practices and guidelines for writing people-first content in the concluding section of this blog.

Why is Google Launching the “Helpful Content” Update?

Prioritizing people-first content in its search results has the potential to benefit users as well as Google. Every day, the tech giant is tasked with crawling and indexing a high volume of web content, much of which is automated or unoriginal. By placing greater value on content written by people, for people, in search results, there will likely be a reduction in automated and unoriginal web content that Google has to manage. In effect, users and Google have much to gain from this site-wide algorithm update.

Who Will the “Helpful Content” Update Impact?

The “Helpful Content” update is set to apply to all searches, effectively impacting everyone. Several industries that may experience more significant impacts from this update according to Google are:

  • Online-Educational Resources
  • Entertainment
  • Shopping
  • Technology-Related Content

The tech giant did not specify why these sectors may feel greater effects compared to other industries.

How Can Overdrive Help You Navigate the “Helpful Content” Update?

Google’s “Helpful Content” update will prompt marketers to more thoughtfully create content that satisfies both people and search engines to rank well. Armed with a full range of critical SEO strategies, tactics, and technologies, Overdrive’s multifaceted SEO team is well-equipped to help you navigate this update.

We deliver people-first content that aligns with Google’s content creation guidelines using an integrated approach to search engine optimization. Contact Overdrive Interactive to speak with one of our marketing experts on how we can enhance your SEO strategies and ensure your website ranks.


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