With Google’s new Helpful Content Update, the search giant can help marketers create meaningful customer experiences that start with search.

Google’s announcement of updates to its search engine algorithms has become less of a big news story in the last few years. Updates to popular searches are so frequent that the news feels blurry and of little interest.

But this latest change from Google is certainly bold, introducing a user-friendly name and important user-friendly signals that marketers and consumers alike can embrace.

Google is introducing a Helpful Content Update to its search engine. Evaluate how well your content satisfies your users. Google presents a great opportunity to help marketers create meaningful customer experiences that start with search.

How useful content updates work

Helpful Content Update (HCU) is an algorithmic ranking signal. Check how well a given site page complies with Google’s core search guidelines. For example, providing sufficient description, clear source attribution, and original research and analysis within the content. It is intended to devalue overly optimized content that impacts search engines.

At first glance, this signal is nothing new. Search guidelines date back to 2019. Many of HCU’s recommendations seem like they’ve been shared for a long time to prevent black hat SEO tactics that are well known to SEO and marketing professionals. Black hat SEO is a tactic of overoptimizing page elements to influence search engine query results.

But well-intentioned content tips to fend off deceptive tactics have leapfrogged sharks, with content creators from diverse backgrounds experimenting with different search engine optimization techniques that span black SEO tactics. They produce searchable content, but much of the content was not in a neutral Wikipedia-style tone. This type of content, even without keyword stuffing in the metadata and his H1 tag, hints at a response that may not be a good answer for the reader.

Additionally, some publishers were too fixated on following algorithm changes, even though the announced change would be one of hundreds of algorithm improvements. was just one of the search improvements in .

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Bring balance to your SEO tactics

HCU Signals are part of a larger effort by Google to balance what users see in the content they find on the search engine. Google added a proposal earlier this year that allows marketers to include the pros and cons of their products and services in structured data. When you add them, they appear in rich snippets query results. Goggles offers a rich results test to validate recognition in search engines.

In fact, the name Helpful Content Update is an interesting attempt to rebalance expectations. It is a label of the words of an amateur. Over the past few years, Google’s search engine algorithm changes have been well known for codewords such as Pigeon, Hummingbird, and Panda. But the shift to choosing phrases that speak to a typical user, while seemingly trivial on the surface, represents the final step in a series of algorithmic changes that reflect the technical aspects of queries.

The idea behind Google’s most well-known algorithm change was to address how the HTML elements of a website page are positioned relative to a query. Search algorithms now have a sophisticated way of distinguishing intent between web page elements. Additionally, SEO techniques have evolved to identify where keywords can be better placed and to consider links as signals of interest.

Related article: How to Use Keyword Density in Your Modern SEO Strategy

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