Google is releasing a new update in August 2022 to it’s algorithm named Helpful. It is likely to affect many websites, both positively and negatively.
I recently read an informative article from Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Land breaking down the various components of Google’s Helpful update could mean to searching on Google. It got me thinking how much things have changed over the years.
There was a time when keywords were king. If you crafted your content just right using the right keywords and keyword phrases there was a better chance that those searching would find your website in the search results. The order of where those keywords appeared, the number of times they repeated, the number of words in your story amongst other indicators all played important roles in the crafting of copy for better search engine results.
That was then, this is now.
Today Google is so smart. They have progressed to the point where their intelligence can pick up quickly on what your writing is about. So smart that when someone keys in a search Google understands the intent of the search. So smart in fact that Google recently released a community guideline stating that they considered AI written content as spam.
This leads me to conclude the content I have been developing and guidance I have been providing to my customers for years is still spot on. Google rewards quality content. Content that your readers would considered…helpful (pun intended). Frequently Asked Questions and Answers, tips and advice for things you know about in your industry. Staying on subject with topics related to your offerings. That remains the focus that Google rewards. Not tricks and gimmicks that may fool Google at first that will eventually penalize websites down the road.
Is SEO becoming easier? Yes and no.
From a copy writing standpoint I believe it is. But technical SEO – things like meta tags, site maps, structured data markup, good navigation, internal linking, image file naming and image alt tags still play important roles in better search engine results.
So the next time you sit down to write an article or a new FAQ write like your prospect is hanging on every word. Google will understand that.
Featured image courtesy of Search Engine Land.