The current context with Google
The No. 1 search engine has not changed its principle of giving priority to the conscientious writer for the production of editorial content aimed at creating or improving the natural referencing of a website, by playing on keywords, backlinks and meta, all of which improve its positioning. It was time for him to insist on this point given the degradation of Google search results deplored by Internet users for a number of years, indeed content is not relevant to web pages, everything is done to appear in the results among the best.
In keeping with the ‘People First’ principle and to counteract black hat practices, Google launched its Helpful Content Update on 18 August 2022, the most significant update on the subject of SEO content since Panda in 2011. SEOs are always on the lookout for major and minor updates from Google and they have just been served, moving up in the results is getting more and more complicated.
What exactly is the Helpful Content Update?
The Helpful Content Update is, as you might guess, a reworking of Google’s algorithms to encourage, or even force, the improvement of pages and websites in terms of content quality. This improvement should be achieved by the choice of website creators and SEOs to provide their pages with content that is really interesting and useful for Internet users instead of content that is only intended to force the favour of any crawler coming to index the pages.
The Useful Content Update is an update from Google aimed at improving the user experience by highlighting the most useful content for users. This means that pages with quality, complete and relevant content will rank higher in search results, while pages with useless content will be demoted.
The intervention of the human writer will therefore remain privileged. Web copywriting must remain geared towards user satisfaction.
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Problem of loss of quality of search results
The dissatisfaction of users that is at the origin of the release of the Helpful Content Update concerns the search results pages. It is commonly observed that commercial results are invading the first positions in the first SERP and clickbaiting content is no longer shy of the natural results that are of real interest to the queries. The latter are often relegated to second place or worse. The first pages of results also tend to be overrun with old pages that have been overtaken by new news. Those who have been able to make the comparison have discovered that high editorial quality is no longer a guarantee of better ranking than lower quality. Also, old Google SEO best practices no longer really rule.
The web for website owners means that it is more important than ever to ensure the quality, completeness and relevance of their content. Websites with quality content are more likely to rank well in search results, which leads to better traffic and conversions. Therefore, website owners should focus on creating high quality content and optimising their website for search engines.
The principle of the Google HCU
Production of quality content
What website owners must do from now on to comply with the recommendations of Google Update in its Helpful Content Update is to respect good SEO practices with priority given to the production of texts written in the spirit of satisfying the reader and, certainly at the same time, the principle of indexing relating to the mission of the search engine robots. At the same time, they will continue to avoid duplicate content, displaying consistent results and complying with the old Google guidelines, as these are still in force. This is currently one of the guarantees of a website’s visibility on Google.
Requirements for interesting SEO content
Remember that even before this Google Helpful Content Update, SEO content should always be of service to its audience, reflect mastery of the subject matter, demonstrate the site owner’s or blogger’s effort to satisfy explicit or implicit requests related to the user’s presence on the page, participate in the reader’s learning as he or she works towards a goal, and give the reader a sense of having had a rewarding experience.
In summary, Google’s Useful Content Update aims to improve the user experience by highlighting the most useful content for users. Website owners need to ensure that their content is high quality, complete and relevant, and users can benefit from this update by accessing better, more relevant content when they search on Google.
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