Sahail Ashraf posted on 17 October 2022
The new Google update looks pretty scary. However, it won’t affect everyone and their rankings. Here are the details.
Online content has gone through a number of changes over the last few years. But one of the biggest impacts on the quality of content is the regular Google update. This is where the search engine giant makes changes to the algorithm it uses to judge whether content is worthy for the top rankings.
An update came out recently that seems to have been all about ‘clearing house’. For years Google has complained about ‘thin content’. This is content that is seemingly made for search engines, containing plenty of keywords but not so much quality. The new update is all about helpful content, and seeks to make content creators across all aspects of online activity think about what they are creating.
The new update, according to Google, has been developed:
“…to tackle content that seems to have been primarily created for ranking well in search engines rather than to help or inform people. This ranking update will help make sure that unoriginal, low quality content doesn’t rank highly in Search, and our testing has found it will especially improve results related to online education, as well as arts and entertainment, shopping and tech-related content.”
Essentially, content that has been created purely to rank for certain keywords may not be the kind of content that ranks at all.
To understand what this all means, all you have to do is enter a search term and then you will immediately see the problem. The first few pages of a Google search now tend to contain ten variations on the same idea, or more accurately, the first post in the list. It really is that bad.
Google obviously feels this is a bad state of affairs. The new update should mean that it changes. If all goes according to plan, you can expect to see a richer, more informative experience online.
Google goes on to explain just what it means to be ‘useful’ to an audience:
“For example, if you search for information about a new movie, you might have previously seen articles that aggregated reviews from other sites without adding perspectives beyond what’s available elsewhere. This isn’t very helpful if you’re expecting to read something new. With this update, you’ll see more results with unique, authentic information, so you’re more likely to read something you haven’t seen before.”
If someone creates content that is based entirely around keyword research rather than quality, the penalty will most likely be a swift drop in the rankings. This should also stop those AI platforms that are now writing whole blog posts around keywords without any human intervention. That kind of stuff is happening, it’s real.
The good news is that there is one way to make sure you don’t lose your rankings through Google. And it’s deceptively simple.
If you write for your audience and not the algorithm you will be fine. You can use keywords but they have to fall in with the flow of the post, and the audience and their needs. If you can get this right, your content should be fine.
In fact, it’s not a given that your content will be penalised. Instead, this update seems to be aimed at those sites that aggregate content and nothing else. That used to push them up the ranks. Now it will probably push them down.