As part of Google’s broader effort to ensure that browsers are seeing more original and helpful content, they have introduced their Helpful Content Update. Google describe this update as an aim to help searchers find content “written by people for people”. 
Google’s update focuses on people first content creators who follow normal SEO best practice but are not solely driven by SEO. It rewards content that gives page visitors a satisfying and informative experience. On the other hand, content that doesn’t meet search expectations won’t perform as well in search engine results pages (SERPs). 

How Does Google Decide if my Content is Helpful? 

There are a number of considerations, including: 
Do you have an existing or intended audience that would find your content helpful? 
Here you need to decide whether your content caters directly for your target audience. Is your writing something your audience will already know a lot about or is it a more general introduction to the topic? 
Does your content represent or demonstrate first-hand expertise and a depth of knowledge? 
Is your content filled with genuine knowledge and explanations for the questions which are being asked? 
Content is often aimed towards a fairly niche audience, meaning that more in-depth explanations are required. 
Will people leave your site feeling like they have had their questions answered? 
Search engine users always seek fast resolutions to their queries; your content needs to clearly signpost users to answers. Checking whether your copy contains sufficient detail to ‘scratch your reader’s itch’ and using headings effectively is key. 

Avoid an Entirely SEO Focused Approach 

Although Google advise a people-first approach towards content, SEO best practice is still being encouraged. While SEO is a helpful tool, over optimisation of content or a contrived use of keywords can create an uncomfortable reading experience. 
Google have outlined a series of steps to help avoid this trap, such as producing subject-focused content rather than creating content on subjects which fall under multiple different categories. 

Our Thoughts 

Here at Artus, we’re welcoming Google’s latest update with open arms! A people-first approach to writing has been at the heart of our business from the very beginning. 
The update will allow for more natural and informative copy to take centre stage. This will lead to more authentic and organic growth for sites and posts across the web. 
We’re confident that the Helpful Content Update will improve every Google user’s online experience, and lead to a more informative and authentic online marketplace. 
If you would like to know more about Google’s latest update or to find out more about how to achieve a more personalised approach to your marketing, please get in touch
Tagged as: Google, SEO
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