Google’s Helpful Content Update – August 2022

by Jason Le | October 10, 2022

In response to user feedback, Google introduced a new update in August they dubbed the “Helpful Content Update.” The purpose of this update was to eliminate websites deliberately designed to trick the system, which undermines their ability and mission of providing the most relevant and useful results to its users.

Google ingeniously veiled the upgrade as a PR campaign to inspire digital creators to apply a new concept. Their true motivation was to reassure its customers that the company is always working to improve its search algorithm. The “Helpful Content Update” is not considered a major overhaul, but rather a refinement to the current search methodology.

Digital creators are being encouraged to put the needs of their audience first and present them with unique, helpful content in whichever format they see fit. As a result of Google’s efforts, the content creation process has become more streamlined, and digital creators should no longer feel the pressure of generating and implementing intricate writing strategies customized for the search engine.

How the Update Should Be Applied

Here at cj, we don’t develop content with search engines in mind, but we do believe that SEO strategies are most effective when applied to content that puts a high value on people first. Our objective is to serve as a trustworthy resource, so we aim to write straightforward, error-free, and helpful content for the great majority of online searchers.

What You Should Know About the Update

Google has made progress towards its mission of maintaining a reliable, user-friendly, and accessible platform for users searching online around the globe. The “Helpful Content Update” was designed to refine the quality of search engine results by introducing a new ranking signal. This signal detects unhelpful content generated solely for the purpose of attracting Google bots and deluding the search engine.

Google shared that they’ll continue to refine how the classifier detects unhelpful content over the coming months. With that data, they’ll launch further efforts to better reward people-first content.

Google’s algorithm seeks to reward and prioritize original, high-quality content oriented to satisfy the needs of its users. The “Helpful Content Update” highlights the significance of producing both informative and educational content. For digital creators who want to perform higher within search engine results, this update solidifies the importance of keeping the focus on the reader’s needs first.  Put simply, write for information-seeking humans by providing actionable expertise to use right away.

A Few Benefits of Putting People First

People tend to spread and share information that they believe will be useful to others. Google’s algorithm strongly relies on this pattern of behavior to determine which pieces of material should be rewarded and positioned as the best resource for its users, known as a backlink. If the algorithm determines that users have found the information beneficial, it will give the content a higher prominence within search engine results. However, if users are dissatisfied with the content, it may have a negative impact on a site’s search engine rankings.

Tips for Connecting with Your Target Audience

People-first content writers know what their audience wants before they write content, and THEN they improve it using search engine optimization strategies. Since SEO strategies can be implemented at any stage after the content is published, writers have the advantage of connecting with the reader instead of getting stuck in the SEO weeds.

Here are a few tips for communicating with your audience:

  • Know Them First: Any SEO strategy starts with knowing who your target audience is and covering topics that will truly make a connection and keep them engaged.
  • Be THE Reliable Source: Provide facts instead of opinions, helping the reader know you’re an expert on the topic.
  • Include Their Pain Points and Concerns: Discover the reader’s most pressing problems by listening and conversing with prospects online through online forums, reviews, etc.
  • Provide Information to Frequently Asked Questions: Remember, they arrived on your page for answers to their problems. Make sure they can scan content and find those actionable solutions quickly.

The Best Content Is Helpful Content

In personal injury law, it’s the goal of every firm to help people. It only makes sense that content shared on your website, your marketing content, and social media should do just that: HELP.

We hope this overview of Google’s “Helpful Content Update” gives you an understanding of the careful approach our team takes to help cj clients make meaningful connections that also rank.

Whether you’re a cj family member or you’re just passing by our blog post today, we welcome you to reach out to with any questions you have about Google’s update or SEO strategies in general.