What does Google’s Helpful Content algorithm and its latest update mean? What effect did the 2024 update of Google’s central core, which was also the last and most important update of the Helpful Content algorithm, have on the site’s SEO? Why did Google add such an algorithm to its list of algorithms? What are the characteristics of useful content according to Google? How does Google evaluate websites for useful content? How to optimize the website and its contents for the Helpful Content algorithm?

If you are an SEO expert or you have a store website and SEO is important to you because the success of your online business depends on it, it is essential to know about the Helpful Content algorithm. It is not an exaggeration if it is said that this algorithm will have the most impact on SEO in 2024. This is the reason that without knowing this algorithm and how to optimize the website for it, the efforts of SEO experts for the internal SEO of any site will not achieve the desired result.

In the following and this useful article, I will give full answers to all the questions raised above about the Helpful Content algorithm and Google’s 2024 update, and I will tell you why the SEO fate of any website depends on this algorithm.

What is Google’s Helpful Content algorithm?

We start by answering this fundamental question, “What is Google’s content algorithm or useful content, and how does it work?”. Google search engine is a machine that processes a huge amount of information and queries every day. Semrush has announced that in 2024, Google will process approximately 6 million searches per minute. This means that in 2024, almost 3 trillion searches will be done on Google.

This statistic tells us important things about the importance of Google and the role it plays in the work and life of the people of the world the economy and online business. But most importantly, it shows that the people of the world more or less trust Google and ask their questions to it. Google knows this, and that’s why every year that goes by and the number of users who ask Google questions, it becomes more important for Google to show users accurate, complete, new, and correct answers. In other words, users (humans) and their satisfaction become more important for this machine as time passes.

As time goes by, users and their role in site SEO and success in SEO become more important.

The helpful content algorithm is Google’s latest attempt to show users websites that have useful content for users in the search results. This algorithm evaluates the usefulness of all pages of a website for the users of that website. The useful content algorithm is Google’s machine learning model that examines the content of each page of a website to see if it is made for humans or not.

contentwriters.com has defined the helpful content algorithm very well and simply:

Google’s helpful content update adjusted the search algorithm to improve how it evaluates how helpful a page is to real human beings. Using this improved signal, Google’s primary goal is to reward people-first content while devaluing programmatic material.

that feels inorganic.

Why is the Helpful Content 2024 update extremely effective on-site SEO?

After the introduction of the useful content algorithm in August 2022 and the update of Google’s core in March 2024, many reputable websites experienced a terrible decline. In August 2022, with the introduction of the Helpful Content algorithm, English websites were affected. But it didn’t take long that from December 2022, this algorithm affected all websites on the web and in all languages. In the 2024 kernel update, it was found that the helpfulness signal has become a part of the Google core update, and from now on, the evaluation result of this signal will also be determined in the Google kernel update.

To clarify the tremendous impact of the helpfulness signal on website SEO, neilpatel.com has conducted a study that shows the drop in ranking of very popular websites in the field of SEO and digital marketing after the introduction of the Helpful Content algorithm in August 2022:

  • Moz website is down 11%.
  • Search Engine Journal website is down 12%.
  • HubSpot’s blog dropped by 8% and
  • Backlinko experienced a nearly 9% drop in all of its keywords in August.

In this update, the most damaged websites were those who thought that the Helpful Content algorithm only checks the usefulness of each blog content of each site; Therefore, if it continues to produce new content with new topics, Google considers that website useful for users. But it turned out that this is not the case at all, and the issue of content usefulness and the useful signal evaluation system is more complicated than these words.

Google’s Helpful Content system checks all the content and materials available on a website. That is, this system evaluates the information presented on all pages of a website in terms of its usefulness or not for the users of that website. So, if the page about us or contact us or the page introducing the products and services of an online store does not have useful and practical content for the users of that website; Google does not see that website as useful for humans and users of a store website.

Also, the system has learned to penalize a website that has content with the following characteristics:

Content is written first for the machine (i.e. search engine bots) and only to rank in Google;

Content that was produced without regard to the needs, questions, interests, and wishes of users from that website and that content;

Content that is completely produced and written with artificial intelligence and

Content that has provided users with outdated, insufficient, and incorrect information about a specific topic.

In addition to all the things mentioned about how the website’s usefulness evaluation system works for humans, it should also be noted that Google evaluates the usefulness of each website by considering the following:

  • The field in which the website operates
  • Topics covered on the website
  • Expectations and expectations and the intention of users to visit that website
  • Topics that website users show interest and attention to
  • The website has a standard user experience

The principles and standards set by Google for certain websites (such as news websites) have been followed.

After the 2024 update of the central core of Google and the official arrival of the signal of usefulness, compliance with all the standards and principles of SEO of the site, regardless of what Google considers useful for users, will not achieve any results in the long run, and a website that Google is not sure of its usefulness will not be SEO.

What are the characteristics of helpful content according to Google?

All SEO experts and digital marketers have heard the saying that “content is forever king”. However, after introducing the signal of the usefulness of websites and content, it should be noted that not every content is king: useful content that meets Google’s standards and Google evaluates as useful for users of a website is king. According to what Google has announced about useful content, I will answer the question of what content is helpful.

According to Google, useful content has the following characteristics:

It is human-oriented, not search engine-oriented. It means that it is human, not machine and artificial.

It is useful for the user and teaches or tells him something new.

It is written and prepared based on the needs and interests of users and to answer and solve them.

It is first-hand and informative, and it is not copying and repeating the content of others, which has been said many times.

It solves one or more serious problems of users or gives true and real answers to one or more serious questions of users.

It is of high quality and attractive and has no spelling, typing, or writing errors.

It is written by an expert and reliable person in the subject for users.

The user is attracted to read it and when he finishes reading, he does not feel the need to search again.

How to have helpful content and a website?

The usefulness signal is sent to Google from a website and all its content. Google will monitor the websites that lost ranking in the 2024 update to see how to improve the content of the website and make it useful, practical, and valuable for users. So, if you lost rank in the 2024 update or you just want to SEO a website, you should include the following steps in your website SEO strategy to optimize it for the Helpful Content algorithm.

To have a useful website according to Google, you must:

  1. Your website and all the content you write in your blog should be targeted. So first answer the question “What is the purpose of this website?” Before preparing any content, answer the question “What is the purpose of preparing and publishing this content?”.
  2. All website content, especially blog articles, should be written for the website audience and according to their needs, goals, and interests. So, know your business and website audience.
  3. All website content must be updated and new. Creating new content without updating the old content is useless. Therefore, in the SEO strategy of the site and in organizing the content calendar, the annual update of information, photos, and content should be considered.
  4. The author of specialized content must be specific and credible and have sufficient knowledge or experience about the subject he writes about. The sources used to write or prepare blog content should also be known and authentic.
  5. The contents must be prepared and written by human hands, and it is necessary to convey to the user/reader the feeling that a human prepared or wrote this article or content for him. So, don’t just rely on artificial intelligence in content production.
  6. Before publishing any article or content on the website, it is necessary to give a positive answer to these two questions: “Will the user be satisfied and happy by reading or seeing this article?” After reading or seeing this content, does he get what he was looking for about the subject of the content?
  7. Produce content according to the latest standards and general guidelines of Google and specific updates (which are about some topics or store websites).

Frequently asked questions about the Helpful Content algorithm and the 2024 Helpful Content update

In this section, the translation of the most frequently asked questions about Google’s useful content system, answered by the developers.google.com website, is given.

  1. Is there just one useful content system that Google uses to rank? Our work to improve the display of useful content in search results began with what we call the “Useful Content System”. This system was launched and introduced in 2022. Our processes and systems have evolved since then. Not just one system is used to identify useful content, but our main ranking systems use different signals and systems.
  2. How can I check the usefulness of the contents? Our guide page on how to create useful, reliable, and user-centered content has questions you can use to evaluate your content.
  3. Do Google’s main ranking systems check the usefulness of content only at the level of each page of the website, or at the level of the website as well? Our core ranking systems are primarily designed to work at the page level and use different signals and systems separately to understand the usefulness of pages. We’ve also included signals to check across the website.
  4. Will removing useless content help the rest of my website rank better? Our systems work primarily at the page level to find and display the most useful content available. The most useful content may be on websites that have also published unhelpful content. It is said that having a relatively large number of unhelpful content may negatively affect the performance of useful content in search results to varying degrees. Removing unnecessary content may help other pages on your website perform better.
  5. If I remove the unhelpful content, do I have to wait for a core update for the potential ranking improvement to happen? Rating changes may occur at any time and for various reasons. We regularly update our central rating systems. Our systems process them in parallel with the changes in the contents of the web space. That’s why there’s no concrete timeline on how long it might take for a potential improvement in rankings to be reflected.

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