Google Search Will Start Displaying More Content Authored ‘by People, For People’

Google announced today the upcoming "helpful content upgrade," which should make your search results more useful and likely to have been produced by a human.
SIA Team
August 22, 2022

As the SEO tactics are frequently abused, resulting in the production of webpages built for the benefit of Google’s algorithms rather than for real people to read. Google acknowledges the issue, adding that certain pages in search results “may not even appear to have been made for, or even by, a person.”

Google has revealed its next, and maybe most draconian, measure, the “helpful content update,” which will begin rolling out for English search results next week, with support for additional languages coming soon. As the name implies, the changes are focused on categorizing sites and pages as “useful” or “unhelpful,” and this categorization is used as a new criterion for selecting where a page should appear in search results.

Given the complexities of Google Search’s algorithms, specifics on what is and isn’t regarded as useful were not stated. However, to provide a sense of what the company is looking for, Google has provided a few questions to serve as a guideline. Web designers should strive to be able to answer “yes” to these questions whenever possible; 

Do you have an existing or intended audience for your business or site that would find the content useful if they came directly to you? Does your content clearly demonstrate first-hand expertise and a depth of knowledge (for example, expertise that comes from having actually used a product or service, or visiting a place)? Does your site have a primary purpose or focus? After reading your content, will someone leave feeling they’ve learned enough about a topic to help achieve their goal? Will someone reading your content leave feeling like they’ve had a satisfying experience? And are you keeping in mind our guidance for core updates and for product reviews?

Notably, these indicators will have an impact on more than simply individual pages. If Google Search determines that a website includes more useless content than other sites, the entire content of that site will suffer. And this is just the beginning, with Google promising more beneficial, “people-first” search engine enhancements.

In addition, Google is continuing its recent efforts to improve the quality of product reviews displayed in search results. The next set of changes, which will be implemented in the following weeks, will assist uncover “high quality, original reviews.”