How did the “Helpful Content Update” created by Google change SEO?

Google’s Helpful Content Update


Google (Alphabet) rolls out new algorithm updates as regular as clock work (hundreds every year). Yet the Google Helpful content update was a particularly large update, which caused a lot of business to change where they are ranked on

During this update, rolled out by Google, a lot of businesses will have experienced “ranking flux” which simply means, that they will have altered, in terms of where they rank on

This means a business have been say in the number 3 spot on Google on the Monday morning, by the Friday afternoon, they might not have even been on page one of Google!

So, what are the key take-aways from this update (Google Helpful Content Update)?

Well, there’s a very important one, and that’s this- don’t just overly focus on just trying and improve a business’s SEO, instead focus on offering your customers super useful information:



Super useful information


So, for a very long time, let’s say over the last 10 years, many businesses, that is digital marketing agencies, were always focusing and looking for “quick win” solutions, to try and get their clients websites to rank higher on

And you might be thinking, well, that’s what they are paid to do? Right?

Well, no, not really, because if you lose sight of offering the customer first class information and advice via your businesses content marketing such as through blog posts, well, you guessed it, its tthe Google Helpful Content update, which meant that many businesses moved down, if the work wasn’t helpful.

The websites which will have moved up, would have been the websites which focused on the customer instead, offering first class advice via blog posts, main pages and embedded Youtube videos. If businesses offered helpful advice, which followed Google’s EEAT guidelines, then these businesses should have moved up Google’s ranks.


So, tell me more about the Google helpful content update

The helpful content update, started rolling out the week commencing the 22nd of August. Yet the exact date your website was impacted by this update, would depend on which country your business is based. That’s because Google rolls out its algorithm updates in different countries at different times.


What we know about the Google Helpful Content update


A site wide update

So, this simply means that this update will impact all pages on your website, not just a few.


What is people first content marketing?


So, have you ever searched for something on Google, clicked on a businesses website in the organic SERP’s, and then thought well, that blog post, that I have just read for last 7 minutes! Well, it didn’t answer my question at all?

You wanted to learn how to make a chicken korma and instead the article was just promoting a meal kit service!

Well, a lot of people can feel like this, and this is simply “unhelpful content marketing”- as the blog post didn’t answer the query, leading to the reader being disappointed that their orginal question wasn’t answered.

This is why Google wants to only display “helpful content marketing!

So, Google wants to display the best possible answer to a question, and it is very good at this.

So, rewards businesses, which publish top quality content marketing, so that the reader feels, that their question has been answered.


Google’s EEAT- and why this is such as important SEO consideration


Google’s EEAT Expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness (EAT)- they have recently added “experience” to this also. Means that any content writer or seo business, needs to decide not only is the work useful to their customers, but also, does the work demonstrate:

– Experience
– Expertise
– Authoritativeness
– Trustworthiness

So, in a nutshell, the work needs to now be written by an expert, or the marketing company needs to work with experts to make sure the work is top quality.


Take your time


We would most definitely say, that one of the most common mistakes that so many Welsh businesses make, is to publish a lot of content marketing, (blog posts) one after the other in a short time frame. Then an seo business, may also make a lot of on-site SEO changes, but to do these too quickly as well, without thinking about quality too much.


Instead its far better to:


– Make small changes, over long timeframe so the results can be better monitored on Google Search Console
– Don’t make a mass of SEO changes, focus on writing “people first” content marketing
– Don’t write say 10 pieces of content marketing each year, which are just average at best, focus on say writing 4 pieces which are much higher quality and follows Google’s EEAT advice.

Our best advice would be, to take your time, implement SEO over a longer time span, they can properly evaluate if those changes are working or not for your business. Its easier then to spot say that a blog post, is getting on organic visitors, has made your website drop in the SERP’s so that piece can be improved and deleted. That’s before you start writing a new piece of content marketing.

Put the customer front and centre of all of your SEO efforts


So we would say that so many digital marketing agencies just focus on implementing SEO work a bit like they are just working through a shopping list of tasks- SEO should be completed like this.

What we would say is far much better, to instead step back, and think how can we offer the best advice to our customers?

How can we make it super easy for them to find the products and services they want?

How can we offer the best advice so they can make an informed decision of whether that product or service is the right one for them?

When you start to put the customer front and centre of what you do, and offering the best level of customer service you can, then as a direct byproduct of offering this high level of customer service your businesses organic SEO should improve.


Google’s Core Web Vitals


So it was definitely worth also considering Google’s Core Web Vitals as well, in terms of how can you make your website fast, how can you make it easy to use.

Use “spilt testing” also, to gradually improve the design.

Is not just about offering good quality advice, it’s also about the user experience, how can you make it very easy for your customers to find the product or service they want.


Removing unhelpful content marketing


This is something which is talked about a lot within many SEO companies, that is whether it’s best to go forward and add new content marketing, say each and every week which is high quality.

Or should a lot of time be spent back over and revisiting old blog posts, and putting some work into them bringing the information up-to-date on improving them.

If you were to ask our marketing agency for an opinion on this, then we would say is a mixture of the two, you do have to go back and see if you can improve some of the existing content marketing that you have already written.

Yet you also have to have your finger on the pulse, and write about things happening in your business sector, by offering the best quality advice that you can.

So it is a mixture of writing about new topics that relate to your business, as well as also going back and seeing if you can improve all blog posts.


The SEO tools will only take you so far


There are some SEO businesses which are absolutely obsessed with monitoring their SEO tools daily, and you might think well, surely that’s their job?

Well sometimes you can over analyse say where a keyword is moved each day, we think is far better is to start writing content marketing, which follows Google’s EEAT, but also offers to offer the best quality answer to the questions that shoppers are asking.

So for example you can focus on trying to improve the businesses SEO for a keyword, but sometimes if you just focus instead on offering the best quality advice you can, to questions


Do you require our help


We are a Welsh seo company, yet we work with businesses all over the U.K, if your company needs help to improve its organic search engine optimisation, then why not call us?