Google's Helpful Content Update | Longtail Dragon


By Tobes


Don't curtail your clients' keyword rankings by crafting crummy, crappy content.

Meme of Barack Obama saying: I don't always use alliteration but when I do, it's cool, classy, and casual.

In More Detail

At the beginning of September, Google rolled out a new algorithm update, called the "Helpful Content Update."

The purpose of the update was to reward content that solves users' problems, gives them useful or interesting information, and generally provides a positive experience.

By implication, we can assume that the Helpful Content Update punishes content that fails to provide that value or that experience. This might include:

Why It Matters

Those of us who have been in the SEO game a while sometimes wake up in a cold sweat remembering the chaos of updates like Hummingbird and Penguin.

Penguin from Batman looking evil

Any time Google launches an initiative to crack down on a new web trend, we scramble to make sure that our clients won't be negatively impacted, and how we can help clients recover if they get hit.

The last thing we need is clients blaming us, canceling, or cutting back their budget due to reduced site traffic.

That's why we thought this one was worth paying attention to, and why you might like to know about it, too.

How We Pivoted

Animated gif of Ross from Friends carrying a couch up the stairs repeatedly shouting to pivot

To put it simply, we didn't.

We had already been striving to create the kind of content that this update rewards.

Now, we didn't have some crystal ball. We didn't know this update was coming--not specifically. But our philosophy of SEO nevertheless has steered us away from the kind of content Google wants to punish, towards the kind of content Google wants to reward.

Think about it: what does Google want? Google wants to return relevant, authoritative, reliable search results which provide a good user experience. They want to serve up the kind of results their users are looking for, so users will continue to use their search engines, which will allow them to charge for ads. That's why we all started using Google in the first place, and it's why we haven't jumped ship to Brave, yet.

In short, Google's algorithm is trying to make decisions about what users want. Google is chasing the users.

So, when making SEO decisions, is it smarter to chase the algorithm (which is constantly changing), or is it smarter to chase the users?

We decided that it's smarter to chase the users. That way, we get to where Google is going before they do!

While we make it a priority to keep one eye on what the algorithm is doing, our writers are repeatedly told that we write first for humans, and only second for the algorithm.

We recommend the same approach for any agency creating pages or posts for their clients.

How You Can Pivot

If you've been using AI tools, non-native English speakers, or other cheap or automated methods of crafting website content, consider not doing that anymore.

The day may come when AI can craft native-sounding helpful content, but it's not there yet (despite what Jarvis's marketing emails claim). I encounter AI content in the wild, and it's crap.

Content is King, but crappy content is King John.

King Richard in Robin Hood Men in Tights to Prince John: From this day forth, all the toilets in this kingdom shall be known as Johns.

Other tips provided by Google include:

How Longtail Dragon Can Help

One of the strongest assets we have is our expert team of writers and editors. Longtail Dragon hires only native English speakers who have a proven track record of content marketing success. Our writers must certify for your client before they write for them. They're trained in SEO best practices and produce content that follows Googles guidelines and recommendations.

In summary, our content team is full of badasses!

If you have a client that could benefit from SEO or content marketing services, let us know! We'd love to set up a call and help you sell some white label SEO.

Categories: White Label SEO
Tags: google, helpful content update, content, content marketing

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