Attention: Marketers, Content Managers, Creators

On August 28, 2022, Google began rolling out a “Helpful Content Update,” which is a new method they are using to evaluate content and the way web pages are ranked. Google is using this to improve results for searchers so they can find helpful, original content, as opposed to content which is posted for the sole purpose of ranking high in search results. The rollout will start out with English language web pages, and is expected to take two weeks to complete.

This new update is intended to support Google users with more original and helpful content written by human beings. Google recognizes that an increasing amount of content being posted is repurposed, as well as AI-generated, and is not necessarily the best content for its customers. This new algorithm is designed to detect these types of content and will classify them as such and lower their search rankings. This algorithm is entirely automated and uses what Google calls a machine-learning “signal” to evaluate and rank content. “Signals” in Google terminology are indicators that trip their algorithm and will rank repurposed and AI-generated content as not helpful.

What About Marketing to Developers?

To take advantage of the new update, put your developer audience first when creating or posting content. Information you share should be helpful and demonstrate first-hand knowledge of product usage or applicability. Your content should help your developer audience achieve their goals and provide a satisfying experience. Fresh, original content will rank pages higher than updates or repurposed material.

Survey data supports the evidence that developers appreciate use cases, tutorials, and technical support materials to ease their anxiety around new tools or products. Promoting “how-to” and problem-solving scenarios will engage developers, and provide you with a platform to explain the advantages your products bring to the table. Content marketing which focuses on these elements is consistent with the new Google update, and should continue to be a focus of your marketing efforts. Supplementing helpful content with a robust advertising program will help build brand awareness, leading to higher levels of engagement.

In many ways, if you have been following developer marketing best practices, there is nothing new here. Providing helpful content has always been a requirement when addressing the developer community.

Google warns against creating content strictly for SEO ranking. Some warning signs include producing content with an unfocused approach, using disparate topics to improve search results, a heavy reliance on AI to generate content, or continually summarizing without adding value.

Was This Helpful Content Update Helpful?

The Helpful Content Update is straightforward, and for those marketers providing original and useful content for developers, it should not be an issue. To help you create content which complies with the new update, Google advises that you review and follow their existing guidelines and guidance regarding high-quality content creation. They also advise following best practices for SEO.

If you have questions concerning Google’s new Helpful Content Update, please feel free to contact us. The DeveloperMedia team is dedicated to helping you with all of your developer marketing efforts.


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