Is your e-commerce site feeling the impact of Google's latest helpful content update? Learn how to assess, adapt, and recover with these essential strategies, now expanded to eight key tips.
Google's Helpful Content Update
Google's September 2023 helpful content update, which rolled out from Sept. 14 to Sept. 28, profoundly impacted websites across the board. Reports flooded online platforms, highlighting traffic drops ranging from 10% to 70%, leaving many businesses in dire straits.
With these updates, Google's objective is to promote helpful, reliable, people-first content. As site owners grapple with the aftermath, understanding the nuances of helpful versus non-helpful content becomes paramount.
Here are eight crucial strategies to navigate this ever-evolving landscape:
Optimize Ad Placement
Reevaluate your ad strategy. Aggressive ad tactics, such as auto-playing video ads and full-screen interstitials, can disrupt user experience. Google's update emphasizes the need for a clean, ad-free layout that ensures content is easily accessible, especially on mobile devices.
Enhance user experience with jump links and a well-structured table of contents. Avoid interferences like ad takeovers on jump buttons, ensuring users reach their intended destinations promptly. Prioritize user needs over ad placements.
Eliminate Intrusive Pop-ups
Steer clear of interstitials and pop-ups that cover essential content. Violating interstitials can harm your site's ranking. Ensure pop-ups activate "between pages" and don't obstruct the user's initial interaction with your site.
Quality Over Quantity
Focus on providing relevant, concise content. Avoid unnecessary verbosity. Quality trumps quantity, whether you run a recipe site or a travel blog. Overloading pages with irrelevant information can detract from user experience and harm your rankings.
Support Health Claims
If your site delves into health-related topics, ensure claims are substantiated. Fact-based statements are essential, but claims related to health must be supported with credible sources. Google scrutinizes sites making health-related assertions so verify the accuracy of your content.
Authenticity Over Rankings
Create content for human readers, not just search engines—Google rewards original, unique, and genuinely valuable insights. Evaluate your content against Google's content quality questions. If your content doesn't add value, consider revising or removing it.
Niche Expertise Matters
Specialize and showcase your expertise. If your site covers multiple niches, ensure each section maintains high-quality content. Don't dilute your expertise across varied topics; focus on what you excel at. Elevate your individual expertise and build a reputation that Google recognizes.
Be Your Own Advocate
Proactively promote your expertise. Engage in podcasts, interviews, and other platforms to demonstrate your knowledge. Google values external validation, so cultivate a network of supporters who can vouch for your expertise. Champion your site and make it impossible to be overlooked.
Survive Google's Helpful Content Update
Surviving and thriving in the Google helpful content world demands adapting, learning, and putting users at the forefront of your strategy. By following these eight strategies, you can weather the storm and emerge stronger in the competitive digital landscape. Remember, the user experience you prioritize today will shape your site's future success—best of luck in your endeavors.