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Google Announces Sweeping Ranking Algorithm Update

Aug 19, 2022

Last week, Google announced a new, site-wide “Helpful Content Update.” This update is part of a broader effort to improve search result quality, as Google works “to ensure that people see more original, helpful content written by people, for people, in search results.”

The algorithm update is set to start the week of August 22, 2022 and may take up to two weeks to completely roll out.

A potentially monumental update, it’s still not clear whether this is too little, too late, as a lot of users already perceive a decline in search quality thanks to SEO-focused content dominating the top results.

Google has claimed to reward people-first content for years, but their rollout of MUM technology means they could truly back that claim up with powerful natural-language processing.

Key Takeaways

  • The most prominent goal of this update is to reward content that provides visitors with a positive experience.
    • Content that doesn’t meet these expectations will not perform as well in search results.

  • Google recommends prioritizing a balance between writing people-first content while incorporating SEO best practices.

  • Included in the update notice is a list of benchmark questions to ensure your content has a people-first approach.

  • Google strongly advises against creating content for search engines first and supplies a checklist of questions to identify content that may be more search engine-focused rather than people-first.

  • Removing unhelpful content may help the visibility of your other content. Check out our guide to content pruning for more.

At Workshop Digital, we have always recommended creating valuable content for humans, not search engines. Our SEO strategies and recommendations will evolve to include this new guidance from Google and we’ll continue to focus on performance.

We’re working to stay on top of this development. Watch this space for future updates.