Quality Ranking: Google’s Helpful Content Now Included in Core Ranking System

If there’s one thing Google is known for, it is its commitment to refining search algorithms to serve users with the most relevant and helpful results. And with their March 2024 core update, it’s clear that this commitment to quality is only getting stronger.

The search engine giant has announced that its ranking criteria now includes the helpful content system – a machine learning model designed to present useful, reliable information primarily created for people and NOT search engines.

In addition, Google has introduced several new spam policies, which will be enforced through automated algorithms and manual actions.

The March 2024 core update may take up to a month to roll out due to multiple system updates being released.

What do these updates mean for website owners and digital marketers? Let’s find out by discussing:

 Google’s March 2024 Core Update – A Boost for High-Quality Content
 Google’s ‘Helpful Content’ Criteria
 March 2024 Spam Updates
 Should You Be Worried?
 How to Create Helpful, High-Quality Content

Google’s March 2024 Core Update – A Boost for High-Quality, Original Content

Last March 5, Google started to roll out its first algorithm update of the year – the March 2024 Core Update aimed at refining Google’s core ranking systems to ensure that webpages are helpful, provide an excellent user experience and are not created for search engines but for people.

Additionally, the Google Helpful Content update now classifies ‘helpful content’ as a website ranking factor.

Based on Google’s predictions, these updates will collectively reduce low-quality, unoriginal content in Google searches by as much as 40%.

In light of these changes, some sites may see fluctuations in organic search rankings depending on how they align with the new criteria. However, a clear trend suggests that this update will favor high-quality, original content.

This is great news for businesses already prioritizing creating valuable content for their audience, as it can significantly enhance their website’s search ranking and establish them as a trustworthy source of information in their industry.

This is not the first time that Google has emphasized the importance of quality content. But with this latest update, Google is taking it to the next level by cracking down on sites that try to manipulate rankings through poor content quality.

That said, what does Google consider ‘high-quality, helpful’ content?

Google’s ‘Helpful Content’ Criteria

The helpful content system is an automated Google algorithm update that evaluates web pages based on their helpfulness to users. When a user searches for information, this system ranks websites based on their ability to provide ‘reliable, people-first content,’ as Google puts it.

Google’s ranking systems use various signals to assess the helpfulness of specific pages on a page level. While Google stays mum about the specific signals that go into this determination, it offers general guidelines for creating helpful content.

Some of these guidelines include:

 Providing accurate and factual information
 Creating unique, original content
 Having a clear and easy-to-navigate website design
 Making sure the page is easily accessible for all users, including those with disabilities
 Ensuring that the content is well-written and free of spelling or grammatical errors
 Including relevant images and multimedia to enhance the user experience.

You can check out Google’s self-assessment for web content and other general guidelines to learn how to comply with the new Google helpful content update.

March 2024 Spam Updates

To complement the Google helpful content update, the search engine giant has announced new spam updates penalizing websites using manipulative tactics instead of SEO best practices. Here are three updates that website owners should be aware of:

Scaled Content Abuse

Google has long maintained a policy against using automation to churn out low-quality or unoriginal content in a bid to manipulate search rankings. Originally, this policy targeted instances of mass content generation where automation was obvious.

Nowadays, methods for creating scaled content have become more advanced, making it less apparent whether the content is solely automated.

To combat the abusive behavior of mass content production for search ranking manipulation, Google is reinforcing its policy. This policy applies to all forms of content creation, whether done by automation, humans or both.

With this approach, Google aims to eliminate the production of large-scale content that offers little to no value to users. This includes pages falsely claiming to provide answers to popular searches but lacking relevant content.

Site Reputation Abuse

In some cases, websites may feature subpar content from third parties to leverage the hosting site’s reputation. For example, a third party might publish articles promoting questionable dietary supplements on a reputable health and wellness blog to improve its visibility in search results.

This causes confusion among visitors, as their expectations for the website’s content may not align with what they find in search results.

With the new Google algorithm update, Google will now identify low-value, spammy content generated by third parties for ranking purposes without proper oversight from the website owner.

This policy is being announced two months prior to the May 5, 2024 rollout, allowing website owners enough time to make necessary adjustments.

Expired Domain Abuse

Finally, Google will zero in on websites that exploit expired domains to manipulate organic search rankings. These include websites that purchase domains with high authoritativeness or established backlinks and use them to publish subpar content solely for ranking purposes.

With the latest update, websites will now be penalized for spam content regardless of their level of authoritativeness.

Should You Be Worried?

If you’re already focused on creating quality, relevant content that meets user intent, there’s no need to worry. In fact, this update presents a great opportunity for you to stand out from the competition.

However, if you’ve been cutting corners on content creation or neglecting SEO best practices to boost website ranking, it’s time to reevaluate your strategy.

Thrive Demand Generation SEO Strategist Ken Romero advises website owners and marketers to remain vigilant but not panic in the wake of ranking changes caused by algorithm updates.

According to Romero, focusing on providing a good user experience and quality content on your website is crucial.

“Keep monitoring your site’s performance, and if needed, seek advice from SEO experts to navigate through any ranking changes. Building a strong foundation for your website will help it withstand fluctuations caused by algorithm updates in the long run,” Romero added.

These updates serve as a reminder that content quality is crucial in maintaining a strong online presence and gaining authoritativeness with both users and search engines. Ultimately, creating quality, relevant content will always pay off in the long run.

How To Create Helpful, High-Quality Content

The key to staying on top of the rankings is creating content that genuinely helps your target audience. Here are a few content optimization tips to 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *