Ways To Thrive with Google's "Helpful Content Update"

Ways To Thrive with Google's "Helpful Content Update"

The digital world is cluttered with websites built for search engines, not people. This approach, often referred to as "search engine-first" content, aimed to exploit search algorithms to achieve high rankings and drive traffic. This is the reason recipe pages are way longer than they need to be. While this strategy could lead to high visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) like Google and Bing, the traffic it generates often comes at the cost of user satisfaction.

Google's "Helpful Content Update" release in September 2023 is their response to users who reported that they frequently encountered content that left them dissatisfied. Websites that failed to provide valuable, informative, and engaging experiences in an easy-to-access manner led to early bounce rates, low user engagement, and a lack of user satisfaction. This prompted users to click through multiple pages in search of the information they sought, ultimately leading to a frustrating online experience.

Google aimed to reward websites that delivered content that followed their standards for experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, often referred to as E-E-A-T. Google's Search Quality Rater GuidelinesThis update emphasizes the importance of high-quality content that addresses user inquiries, encourages user trust, and promotes a seamless user experience. Websites can no longer rely solely on search engine tactics alone; now they have to place users at the centre of their digital strategy. Here are three strategies for how you can take advantage of this update and watch your business thrive. 

3 Strategies to Thrive with Google's Helpful Content Update

Mobile-Friendly Design: Your website's design and layout play a vital role in ensuring a positive user experience. It should adapt seamlessly to various devices, whether your customers are on mobile or desktop. Mobile-friendliness is crucial for Google's positive assessment of your site. Think of it as ensuring your guests enjoy a great experience at your party, ensuring no one feels left out. If Google's crawlers detect an excess of unhelpful content on your site, it can adversely affect your entire website's performance, much like a single bad apple affecting the entire batch.

User Experience (UX): The manner in which users interact with your website serves as their roadmap for the digital journey. A superior UX design reduces bounce rates and ensures high-quality interactions. Google places emphasis on content that engages users and addresses their questions. Your site's design should align with these criteria. Google expects your content to be readily accessible and easily comprehensible. Repeated content, broken links, off-topic copywriting, or overly complex site architecture can all contribute to making your site frustrating to use and reducing user satisfaction. 

Brand Identity: Your brand embodies trustworthiness and authenticity. People favour websites they can trust, and Google shares this preference. Consider it as recognizing a familiar face within a crowd. With the "Helpful Content Update," trust and credibility are paramount. A strong brand identity conveys authenticity and reliability, much like a friendly storefront emblem conveys trust. Building a strong connection with your audience ensures users find your content not only helpful but also trustworthy, which contributes to higher rankings on search engines. 

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