Have you ever just gotten started on Twitter and several tweets later you think, “This should have been a blog post?”
Yeah. Me too. Presenting my Google helpful content update tweets, now in blog format.
Writers and Google Helpful Content Update
Google has a new “helpful content” update coming out. The goal, according to Google, is to help truly useful content outrank content that is geared more toward ranking highly than being useful. Ironically, Google has already been saying that this is the best way rank highly.
You all remember “Content is King,” don’t you?
Apparently, content was only king if someone else wasn’t targeting Google better than you. The real irony here is the idea that it will be any different once those who target Google figure out the new system.
That is if there is a new system. Google is a master at getting unpaid minions trumpeting the party line. In fact, often, just getting every SEO on Earth to stop/start doing something is just as good as actually fixing the SERPs.
As a writer, I take pride in my work always being useful even when I’m writing for a client that does payday online gambling kitten grooming. So, theoretically, my content and those who have published it should rank higher.
But remember. At the end of the day, Google search results are a popularity contest. How well the title of your article matches the exact search text and then the ties are broken by how many links point to your article. Everything else Google does is to minimize cheating.
Check out this review of Wallethub.
The whole quality of links, and links from related sites, push was about keeping people from cheating to get links. This helpful content update is about keeping people from cheating by generating piles of content to increase the chances of matching search text.
Will Google’s helpful content update work? Absolutely, sort of. It’s nice that Google is tackling the problem of cheap and autogenerated content that gets 100 on whatever SEO plugin you are using, but if you think Google can distinguish between pretty good and really good…
I have a bridge to sell you.
For us writers, there is no change to our Google strategy. Write good stuff, like you always do. Try to match your title to the search. Then, use every trick you know to get it linked as many times as possible. Repeat until you have Days of the Week Ferraris in your garage.
The Rest of the Update
Those tweets make a pretty good article about the Google helpful content update after all.
Let’s talk turkey.
Nothing has changed. Unless you were a seedy, semi-black hack, hidden lair having, content pusher, spitting out computer generated content spun into hundreds of articles, this update will unfortunately have no effect on you. Pretty much everything that isn’t spam filled trash is “helpful” and the notion that Google can tell which article is more helpful than another is wishful thinking.
Some sites will find that their old tactics no longer work. They’ll regroup and come up with new tactics. How long and how well that works is up to them and Google. It has nothing to do with you.
As a writer, the answer is always the same. Write more. If you can get it linked and target it toward searches that people make, all the better.