Google has become one of the top online marketing tools. When you’re creating content, it pays to remember that Google wasn’t born to be a marketing tool.
“Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” A new update to the search algorithm reminds us that content is for the reader, not the search engine bots.
The “helpful content update” launched in August. Essentially, the update is designed to promote original, people-first content in Google rankings. Google defines people-first content as:
- “People-first content creators focus first on creating satisfying content, while also utilizing SEO best practices to bring searchers additional value.”
People-first content doesn’t mean that you can’t use SEO. It just means that you write with the reader in mind. You want the reader to get value out of your content. When the reader leaves your site, the experience should be satisfying, not leave the reader wanting more.
If you are creating content toward a word count because you have heard that is what Google wants, you’re not creating people-first content. If you’re creating content to get clicks, you’re doing it wrong. Content isn’t about numbers, but it can seem to be. Content is about building a relationship with the reader. It’s about adding value to the reader. You can’t expect readers to let you into their day if you’re not giving them anything new and relevant.
Google’s update is a good reminder to use content marketing to reach potential customers with concise and compelling content. It’s a way to have a conversation with your audience, not to shout at them about your product. Your goal in creating content may be to sell your product, but if you don’t line up with Google’s mission to provide “useful information,” you’ll be out of search.