In the world of SEO, Google algorithm updates are a common occurrence. However, some changes have the potential to cause more volatility than others. In the past, game-changing updates such as Panda and Penguin rocked the search engine landscape and there have been several others since. Therefore, it’s part of an SEO agency’s responsibility to ensure they’re continually up to date with the latest information on Google’s algorithm to better inform clients and produce effective SEO strategies.
The latest algorithm change is named the “August Helpful Content Update” and began rolling out on the 25th August and may take up to 2 weeks to complete. This update has been designed to target spammy or unhelpful content created specifically for search engine rankings, rather than produced to be informative and useful for actual people. Therefore, the update is assessing content quality and aims to reduce the kind of content that ranks well but is not helpful for searchers. On the flip side, the Helpful Content update will reward high quality content and promote sites that provide content that’s beneficial for users.
Google’s algorithm is continually evolving so the search engine can provide a better user experience. The quality of its search results is a huge part of what makes Google the dominant search engine. A rise in what’s sometimes referred to as “search engine first content” has resulted in frustrated searchers being served low quality content. This is specifically what this update aims to address.
Monitoring rankings will reveal those affected by this update. Once fully rolled out, the algorithm will continue to run automatically and constantly update how it scores content quality. As a site-wide signal, this means that Google is reviewing content across a whole site to make a judgement (rather than a single piece). Penalties will likely be site-wide rather than individual pieces being downgraded – although we may see both occurrences. Google have provided guidance around producing human-first content which aligns strongly with previous guidance in their webmaster guidelines and EAT principles.
If you’d like to learn more about our SEO services or how we can help with your content strategy, ensuring it’s both human-first and supports your SEO goals, give us a call. Our expert SEO team will happily provide advice or discuss what an SEO campaign would look like for you.