Google is launching its latest search engine update to clamp down on clickbait content and streamline generated results; making them far more helpful and relevant by prioritising original, authentic reviews over recycled & misleading information.
Following user complaints over the last year regarding cluttered search results from content that was primarily aggregated and ultimately unhelpful, Google is preparing to crack down on publishers that create ‘unsatisfying content’ purely for the sake of ranking on search with its new “helpful content” search algorithm update.
Last Thursday's (August 18) announcement declared changes that will rollout across two updates in the weeks ahead. It promised to prioritise “original, helpful content written by people, for people”, adding that it wanted web-users to have a more satisfying experience.
Web content that we will imminently see deprioritised include articles “mainly summarising what others have to say without adding much value”.
The latest "Okay, Google" update will also crack down on posts that “promise to answer a question that actually has no answer, such as suggesting there’s a release date for a product, movie, or TV show when one isn’t confirmed”.
This is a common clickbait SEO tactic where publishers will release a story online with the headline “X Film release date: Disney movie’s star-studded cast, trailer and plot revealed” despite having any new information and even in some cases no information or relevant updates at all.
The Silicon-Valley search company also warned content creators to assess whether they are “producing lots of content on different topics in hopes that some of it might perform well in search results” and “writing about things simply because they seem trending and not because you’d write about them otherwise for your existing audience”.
Websites with a primary focus and an existing or intended audience that would come to them directly to find useful information and articles that demonstrate first-hand knowledge and expertise should be able to relax.
Creators who purpose 'how-to' style searches and queries that relate to shopping, entertainment and technology look the most likely recipients to benefit the most from the change.