Web Content

Will Google’s Helpful Content System affect your website ranking?

In Bill Gates’s essay titled “Content is King,” published on the Microsoft website in January 1996, he wrote, “Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.”

His statement is still meaningful today. Content is what helps us to attract and build our audience. Web content is an essential tool for marketers. It allows us to communicate effectively with our audience, connect them with our brand, and achieve our marketing strategy.

Over the years, website content has grown and changed. Back in 1996, websites were more simplistic and had very few pages. Many had a single page with content similar to a yellow pages advertisement.

I began writing web content in the late 90s for a startup eCommerce platform. I was the Director of Customer Services, but before there were buyers and sellers, we needed content to attract them. Search engines were not very sophisticated. They were more like directories and had difficulties ranking and indexing relevant pages, which provided me the freedom to write directly to my audience. All my content was written for humans back then.

Today a website can be voluminous, hosting pages of products and services information, blogs filled with numerous related articles, and everything you could want to know about a given organization.

Our technologically sophisticated search engines rank and index pages seemingly instantaneously. We spend time researching keywords and phrases our audience uses to gather the information they seek. We research our competitors, analyze their page rankings, and see how we can change ours to outrank theirs. We work hard to incorporate keywords and phrases into our content to attract the search engines’ attention.

Many businesses rely on companies that strictly do search engine optimization or SEO. These companies research your competitors, find you traffic-driving keywords, and build backlinks to help elevate your website ranking. But today, that is not enough. At least, according to Google, it’s not.

Many websites were built for search engines to get their information in front of prospective buyers. But users are demanding more, they want to feel satisfied after visiting a website, and Google noticed. Since they are constantly working to better connect people to the information they seek, they developed the Helpful Content System.

What is Google’s Helpful Content System, and how does it impact creators?

According to Google’s developer documentation, “The helpful content system aims to better reward content where visitors feel they’ve had a satisfying experience, while content that doesn’t meet a visitor’s expectations won’t perform as well.” The system generates a signal used by their automated ranking system to better ensure people see original, helpful content written by people for people in their search results. It is one of many signals that Google evaluates to rank content. The intention is for creators to produce helpful, reliable content to benefit people rather than gain search engine ranking.

Google is looking for its creators to self-assess the quality of their content and ensure that it demonstrates aspects of experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. They want creators to focus on people first-content and avoid search engine first-content. Does this mean you should abandon your SEO practices? Absolutely not; integrating your SEO with your content might take a little more thought.

Satisfying Google’s people-first content is like going back to basics.

Know your audience; it’s important to understand and address their needs, challenges, and pain points in your content. Speak to your audience with an authoritative voice demonstrating your expertise in your field. And as always, help your audience understand what your brand represents and clearly state why they can count on you to deliver the best in class products and services.

In other words, build your website to benefit your users and optimize it for the individual user’s experience. Remember, Google, Bing, Yahoo, and the other search engines are also your users. They need to be able to help your audience find your content. The basics apply here too. Do your keyword research, create the content for the searchers, make your content as straightforward as possible, continue your link building with trusted authority sites, and index your content effectively.

If you need help, reach out to us at IGM Creative Group. We can help you rewrite your site pages, develop compelling blog posts, or craft a new site.

About IGM Creative Group

IGM Creative Group provides advertising solutions, marketing strategyweb development, and professional SEO services to Fortune 500, mid-market, and small businesses.

Contact us by phone at 973-709-1126 or send an email.

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