How to Make Sure You Don’t Get Hit by the Helpful Content Update in 2022
Google’s latest update is making its way to users everywhere. The search giant has been updating its algorithms regularly over the last few months, but this newest update is perhaps the most impactful yet.
It’s all about content quality and usefulness, so if you want your site to rank well in Google, it’s time to start thinking about what makes your website stand out from the crowd of other websites online today.
This post is a checklist of actions to help improve your website’s authority and quality of content to mitigate the impact of Google’s 2022 update. But first, here’s how the new update works:
What is the ‘Helpful Content’ update?
The latest Google update rolled out last month, and it’s all about ensuring your site is helpful for readers.
This update appears to be an extension of the June 2019 Core Update, which was aimed at sites with low levels of E-A-T (expertise, authority, and trustworthiness) and those that Google identified as having poor content quality or user experience.
How does the Helpful Content update work?
Google says, it specifically targets “content that seems to have been primarily created for ranking well in search engines rather than to help or inform people”.
The purpose of this algorithm update is to help searchers find high-quality content. Google wants to reward better and more useful content that was written for humans and to help users instead of only benefiting the website owner.
Searchers are getting frustrated when they land on web pages that rank highly in search results but fail to provide the required content.
Google’s new algorithm aims to downgrade those types of websites while promoting more helpful websites designed for humans, above content that is designed for search engines.
So, how can you make sure you don’t get hit by the ‘helpful content’ update?
Analyse your website against Google’s quality review guidelines and make improvements where necessary.
Google’s quality review guidelines are freely available on the Google Webmaster Blog, and they’re a great tool for SEOs and webmasters alike. The guidelines are a document that informs Search Quality Raters on how to assess the quality of websites, web pages, or search results.
The guidelines are an invaluable resource if you want to improve your website’s rankings. Google uses these quality review guidelines when assessing websites, so it’s important that you understand them and comply with them as best as possible.
Test your website against an algorithm like E-A-T and other key ranking factors
As part of your efforts to ensure that you don’t get hit by the helpful content update, analyse your website against an algorithm like E-A-T and other key ranking factors, including page speed, mobile-friendliness, schema markup, etc., and make improvements based on these results.
If you haven’t already done so, then now is a great time to utilise tools like Moz’s E-A-T tool or Screaming Frog SEO Spider to see how your website measures up against Google’s quality review guidelines.
You should also use tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights, or Google Search Console to make sure that all of your content is being crawled correctly. If you see issues or errors, fix them immediately.
Make sure that you regularly update all site pages with high-quality content.
For the sake of your website, you need to make sure that you are updating all pages with high-quality content regularly. If a page has not been updated in the last three years, it will no longer be considered a useful resource by Google and other search engines.
If you’re unsure how often you should update your site, consider setting up an editorial calendar and following it. This can help ensure that you keep track of the kinds of content and topics that are being discussed in the industry and how often they change over time.
Gather reviews and respond to them with high-quality comments as soon as possible.
In addition to announcing the search results ranking improvements, Google also said it’s launching an update to make it easier to find high-quality and original reviews.
To ensure you don’t get hit by the helpful content update in 2022, you must be on top of acquiring and responding to ALL reviews on your website and on your Google Business Profile as soon as possible.
Reviews are still one of the most important factors when it comes to ranking in Google’s local search results. As a business, it is SO important to be obtaining regular in-depth, high-quality reviews of our product/service to be found in the right ways.
Add in FAQ schema or expand your FAQ pages and add different search terms throughout your copy so that your pages have more chances to be featured in rich results.
FAQ schema is a structured data type used to organise and display a site’s frequently asked questions.
When Google encounters the schema on your website which matches the terms they are trying to surface, they might show you as one of their featured answers. This is great news if you have relevant content that would be helpful for users but may not rank well organically.
You should also consider adding in FAQ schema or expanding your FAQ pages and adding different search terms throughout your copy so that your pages have more chances to be featured in rich results.
It’s true that Google has made its intentions clear with this new algorithm update and that webmasters should act now if they want to protect their sites’ rankings.
However, it’s also important not to panic—following all these steps may seem like a lot of work at first glance, but they will ultimately leave you with a better website.
In addition, make sure you stay on top of your SEO strategy by regularly reviewing your data so that you can identify any other problems with your content before they become too big for Google’s algorithms to fix.
Need some help?
If your website has been hit by the new update and you need some help identifying what’s causing the problem, or what action you need to take, then Alba SEO Services are here to help.
Our SEO team can help you navigate the new changes and come up with a strategy for your future digital marketing efforts. So, get in touch with us today!
Caroline Phillips is the owner of Alba SEO Services which offers quality SEO services to SME's. Established since 2013, Alba SEO has a track record of success.
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