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  • Writer's pictureSarah Turnbull

What's Google's Helpful Content Update?

Birds eye view of woman's hands on laptop

Did you know that AI-generated content on websites and blogs is spam, according to Google’s webmaster guidelines?

And content that’s not ‘people-first’ is more likely to get shunted lower down search rankings after early September?

Yep, it’s true… Google started rolling out their new Helpful Content Update on 22nd August and the rollout’s expected to last about 2 weeks.

For content writers, it's good news, especially those that actually know what they’re talking about and write well about their areas of expertise.

With a focus on delivering info that’s relevant and not just a jumble of words pulled off existing sites and reworked, Google wants searchers’ questions answered with original, quality content that’s been written by a person, not a machine.

After Google's helpful content update, it’s likely that businesses will be less inclined to use auto-generated content because they may be subjected to penalties. At the very least, the content might be removed, but in more severe cases, we could see websites being penalised and dropping down SEO rankings if they continue to use AI-generated content.

Search Advocate, John Mueller, says that writing with AI tools is considered spam and if the Webspam team find it, they’re authorised to take action on it.

Right now, though, analysis of AI-generated content still seems to need human involvement. So, while it’s not imminent that content is removed or shadow-banned, it's probably not that far in the future that we start to see it happening.

This change is particularly important when it comes to blogging.

Blogging massively increases a business’s profile and has a major impact on searchability and SEO. When it comes down to it, Google wants to remain the top search engine, so when it's users are directed to blogs and web content, Google wants them to get the answer to their specific questions. And Google wants it to be original content.

When Google directs a user to a site and they get their question answered, the users are happy as they’ve got what they wanted. BOOOM - they remain loyal to brand-Google!

That’s why Google wants human-generated content over machine-generated. The quality is better and it's less spammy, keyword-wise. It puts the reader first, which is what Google actually wants. 'Person-first' content keeps the user with Google instead of blasting them with keyword-rich, unreadable, boring rubbish that turns readers off. Instead, it's giving the user what they need and it’s more likely to be original content than stuff that’s been re-hashed.

A lot of companies currently use AI for generating blog content, but, it’s stuff trawled from other sites that gets reworked and reproduced. So, it’s not that valuable.

With the Helpful Content Update being rolled out now, unless businesses move away from AI for blog content, they may end up paying for something that's actually detrimental to their searchability, instead of helping them get more visibility. Something to bear in mind...

Want to run through how I can help with blog content? Contact me, I’ll be happy to have a chat!



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