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Search Engine Optimization

Why does Google prefer helpful content over SEO content?

Did you check your site’s traffic in the analytics this week? Are there any sudden changes in your graphs? If yes, your website might get hit with the new Google’s helpful content algorithm update. 

Yeah, google has launched its new algorithm update named “Helpful Content Update” to bring useful and valuable content to the top of the Google SERP (Search engine results page). 

So, in this blog post, I have explained what helpful content is, why google came with this update, and how to write helpful content which google prefers. And I’ll share the best example of helpful content in the same blog post.

Let’s dive in. 

First, let’s discuss why google wants to rank helpful content at the top, and what is the reason behind it. 

Why does Google roll out this update?

See, the main business of google is from renting the advertising space on its platform to advertisers, google can earn more, when more people click the ads, to get more ads clicks, it needs more users to use its platform, for more users to use Google platforms, it should serve high quality and useful content so that more people will continue using the google. This suits all the social media platforms as well, from Facebook and Instagram to TikTok. 

This is why Google loves helpful content and rolled out this update to rank only the helpful content, not the content that is written just for the sake of the search engine. 

If one content is just focussing on SEO factors, there might be a chance that content might fail to help the users with their search query. In this case, google won’t rank this content at the top anymore. Because over a period, if google continues ranking the content that’s not helping its users, there are chances that google can lose its user base and people will start searching for some other search engine.

Even though Google acts as the monopoly in the field of search engines and there is no other big competition for google, still google wants to maintain its supremacy over its competitors, because still there is a chance that people close the tab for that moment.  

Next, we will look at what helpful content is and what is not. 


What’s not the helpful content?

I would have covered “what’s helpful content” at first, but I believe that “what’s not” will highly relate to the people. Simply saying, all the content makes the users leave a particular site soon and check the same query in google again. It indicates to Google that this site doesn’t have the content that can help that particular user and this update might hit this particular site.

Like, I previously mentioned that content that is written just for the sake of SEO might not be helpful. Like this, Google will look for a lot of elements in a site to check whether its content is helpful or just written for the sake of SEO or just to rank high on google

what's not a helpful content

For example, 

    1. Writing content on the trending topics, here what happens is, since the topic is trending many sites will come with that topic, so the chances of getting unique content that stand-alone are less. Users can find almost the same information on all other sites as well. And it fails to satisfy users with their search queries.
    2. The content is primarily focused on SEO factors rather than user experience. For example, If you are having a specific number as your blog post length, say 4000 words. And if you write content, that can be covered with 400 words itself. Then go ahead. Don’t try keywords to increase the length of the blog post, just for the sake of keyword stuffing and other SEO Factors.
    3. Generating and rephrasing the content with automation tools. Google prefers original content, not copied or rephrased or AI-generated content. The way a good content writer writes is way better than how AI-generated content.
    4. If users are bouncing from one’s sites back to the search results page. It indicates to Google that your content didn’t help that specific user’s search query.
    5. The content just summarizes all other sites’ content without providing much value to the users. Here the originality is missed, right?

Having discussed what is not helpful Content, we will see what actually helpful content is.  


What is helpful content anyway?

In simple words whatever the content that provides a satisfying experience to the users on their search query in google. 

Your content should serve the primary purpose of what users search on google. Your content should be focusing on only answering your users’ search queries. 

What is helpful content?

For example, if a user searches for “steps to set up a virtual set” in the google search. 

Google will rank the site only if that’s helpful and has content to set up a virtual set. There may be so many articles and content available on the web related to the virtual set, which doesn’t mean that all are relevant to the user’s search query. In this case, Blog posts on what is a virtual set and its advantages of them will not serve the primary purpose, right?  

Only the content which tells how exactly to set a virtual set with steps has the high potential to rank on google.

Your content should provide in-depth knowledge of the user’s query, here we have to be more conscious. Many people confuse that article with in-depth information that should cover all the details regarding a particular topic. No, it’s not. It’s superficial content. In the same example, let’s take the two different contents, one with detailed instructions to set up a virtual setup and another one which covers all info about virtual setup. 

People may click and enter into both sides, but more people will leave the content that covers all info about the virtual setup because it provides all other unwanted information for the users. And finally, if your site or business already has a set audience, who will directly search your blog or your brand name to consume content, for example, traffic from other sources like email lists, social media, etc. In this case, google identifies that you have already satisfied many users with helpful content and built a sum of the intended audience for your content or business. 

Now, I believe you have understood what helpful and not-so-helpful content is in terms of Google’s perspective. So hereafter try to build content for your site by keeping your end-user in your mind and always try to add value to them with your content. Now let’s look at how to identify if this update hits one’s website. 


What if one’s site got hit by this?

If one site gets hit by this update, with the help of analytics and Google search console, one can find whether this helpful content hits the site or not. One can find the sudden drop in site traffic and ranking. Once the website hits this update, it would take months to recover the previous traffic and ranking positions

As I promised before, this very blog post is a great example of helpful content, here’s why.  

Live example for a helpful Content

If you want to get a clear understanding of the same, take this blog post as an example. This blog post is helpful content. This content passed all the factors I have mentioned above. 

For example

    1. I have written this content by keeping my user in mind, not the SEO, you may notice that I haven’t stuffed any keywords in this content and other SEO practices
    2. Since we are a startup, most of the website traffic comes from the email list and social media handles. Because we have been sharing more valuable and helpful content in our social media and email newsletters. 
    3. And this content serves its primary purpose, which is to explain to you, why google prefers helpful content and what helpful content is. 
    4. And this blog post is not generated with the help of AI, I wrote this content by myself and it doesn’t have rephrased sentences in it. 
    5. This content is not lengthy content that covers all the google algorithm updates, this content especially talks about this helpful content update and what helpful content is, and that’s it. 
    6. Though it might be a trendy topic when I am writing this content, this blog post won’t look similar to other blog posts on the same topic, because it was originally written by me. 
    7. And finally, I have written this content so well, that I strongly believe that most readers won’t go back to google to search for the same topic again. 

You can take these points as helpful content factors. 

It’s very simple. Stop writing for Search engines, and start writing for users. Users should get a satisfying experience out of your content. That’s it. 

Key Takeaways

Google has launched its new algorithm update named “Helpful content update” this week. 

This update focuses on bringing helpful and useful content to the top of the google ranking. 

What’s not a helpful content

    • – Building content around a trending topic, without delivering much value
    • – Content build focusing just on SEO factors
    • – Content build with a summary of all top sites’ content 
    • – Content that makes your users bounce back from your site. 
    • – Content generated or rephrased with AI tools. 

What helpful content is

    • – Your content should serve the primary purpose of what users searched for.
    • – Your content should deliver a satisfying experience for users. 

And if one’s site is hit by this update, it will take months to recover the ranking and traffic from Google. The solution is simple, if you have been writing content for SEO, change your perspective and write for your audience and readers instead. Try to add value to their life and their business. Make them feel satisfied with your content. 

If you’re struggling to create helpful content for your Blog or your site’s pages, or if you don’t have time to do so, contact us through, we are providing free consultation on how to create great content pieces for your business. 


Sasi Ram. 

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