This can be huge for a lot of website owners…
Google recently announced the launch of an upcoming search engine ranking indicator called “Useful content updates.“This new sign should start around 25 August 2022, and is a site-wide sign.
Google has published a detailed guide about this upcoming “Assistant Content Update”. Here I summarize Google’s post with some of my tips for preparing for this upcoming algorithmic update.
What is the Google Assistant Content update about?
This update is all about rewarding content that focuses on people first. according to the official page
Useful content updates are intended to better reward content where visitors feel they have a satisfying experience, while content that does not meet visitor expectations will not perform well either.
Google has long advised publishers to create high quality content with SEO in mind. However, recently, we have seen the rise of AI writing tools like Jasper that can generate automated content that looks real and is SEO friendly, but at the same time gives bad advice, as it is machine generated .
At the same time, some publishers are working with low-quality authors and generating only SEO-friendly content for no real value. In my opinion, this new sign is all targeted towards content that is written only for search engines and does not add real value to users like you or me.
How To Know If You Satisfy Google’s Assistive Content Update?
Google has published a set of questions, and if you answer “yes” to them, you are on the right track. Here are those questions:
- Do you have an existing or intended audience for your business or site who will find the content useful if they come directly to you?
- Does your content demonstrate direct expertise and depth of knowledge (for example, expertise that comes from actually using a product or service, or visiting a location)?
- Does your site have a primary purpose or focus?
- After reading your material, will someone leave feeling that they have learned enough about a topic to help them achieve their goal?
- Will someone reading your material feel like they have a satisfying experience?
- Do you heed our guidance for key updates and product reviews?
Let’s decode some of the questions listed above.
- Question number 2: It seems that it rewards people who create content based on experiences. Using real product images, travel photographs, and personal anecdotes should give a better signal to Google.
- Question number 3: This is IMO for niche websites, as multi-niche websites do not have the primary focus. An exception might be when you are targeting a group with your multi-niche websites, such as “students,” “ex-pats” and so on.
- Question No. 6: As publishers realize that writing reviews for affiliate conversions is a goldmine, they are churning out a lot of content. This question focuses on the recently published Google Guidelines on Product Reviews. If you haven’t gone through it, this is a great time to revisit it.
Warning signs for search engine content only:
Google is not against on-page SEO or creating SEO-friendly content. However, the problem is that publishers focus only on search engines and do not keep their end users satisfied.
In this section, Google shares a list of warning signs if you say yes to these questions:
- Is the content primarily meant to attract people to search engines and not humans?
- Are you creating a lot of content on different topics in the hope that some of them might do well in search results? (my comment: material cannibalism is something you might want to pay attention to)
- Are you using extensive automation to generate content on multiple topics?
- Are you mainly summarizing what others have to say without adding much value?
- Are you writing about things just because they are on trend and not because you would otherwise write about them for your current audience?
- Does your content make readers feel like they need to search again to find better information from other sources?
- Are you typing for a particular word count because you’ve heard or read that Google has a preferred word count? (no we do not).
- Did you decide to enter some niche subject area without any real expertise, but mainly because you thought you would get search traffic?
- Does your content promise to answer a question that doesn’t have an answer, such as providing suggestions in case the release date of a product, movie or TV show is not confirmed?
How to keep track of Google’s Assistant Content update rollout:
Google has published about this signal on 18 August 2022 and suggested that the roll out should happen in a week’s time, which is 25 August 2022. You can monitor Google’s Search Ranking Updates page to see when this and other future updates are rolled out.
This rollout should take about 2 weeks, and I suggest brace for volatility in late August and early September.
However, there are a few things you can do to ensure that your website is not affected by this update.
- Remove your old and unusable stuff. If you are deleting some old content, the video below will help you clean up the SEO residue.
- Update existing content by comparing it with other pages on the web. Make sure your page is better than other pages for the target query. This is not an SEO comparison but an overall quality comparison.
- Optimize your website home page to deliver a clear value proposition. To help your readers understand why they should believe you, use social proof whenever possible.
- Improve internal links, which is a proven positive SEO sign. It helps search engines to understand the context of your entire website.
If you’re creating content based on experience, keeping users in mind, and talking with the help of SEO best practices, then you have little to worry about. However, Google search engine update rollouts are never 100% accurate, and a good website can often fall victim to a rollout.
This upcoming update is fully automatic and it is not a manual action. If your website is affected due to Google’s assistive content update, you need to conduct a full audit of your content and take the right action. It may take 2-3 months to see your website recover.
IMO if your website content is qualified and you’re focused on your readers, you should be fine. If you find yourself on the other side of the fence, instead of worrying, try to look at why Google penalized your website and rework it to improve the quality of the content and provide better signals. Is.
I want to hear your comment on this upcoming update. And, if you are reading this post about 25 August 2022, I would love to hear it; If traffic has come to your website or traffic has decreased.