Google is constantly looking for ways to improve its algorithms. Some of the changes are met with excitement from users and website owners alike. Other changes have been quite confusing and have left people annoyed and upset.
SwissCognitive Guest Blogger: Lillie Jenkins, “How Should Brands Use AI Copywriting in the Age of the Helpful Content Update?”
It is no wonder then that Google’s most recent Helpful Content Update is getting so much attention. Read on to learn more about it and its impact on brands using AI copywriting tools for producing web content.
What Is the Helpful Content Update?
Google’s Helpful Content Update is a change to the algorithm that was rolled out in August and September this year. It is meant to improve user experience by promoting truly helpful, valuable, and useful content while penalizing content that was generated automatically by labelling it as unhelpful.
In addition to penalizing AI-generated content, Google will also be penalizing content that was only written and published to rank well. In other words, any low-quality content could potentially be penalized. This update is meant to put a greater emphasis on truly valuable content and promote it above all else.
Google wants to promote original and useful content that was written by people for people, so creators using AI-generated content may now be scratching their heads. Moreover, it isn’t entirely clear how helpfulness is defined, so what if a piece of AI-generated content is actually useful? What will Google do then? It’s hard to say for sure, but there are some thoughts that experts have already shared on this matter.
Should Copywriters Be Afraid?
No matter what kind of changes have been introduced, the main goal for Google stays the same: rank helpful and valuable content higher than unhelpful content with low value. For copywriters, this means that they should focus on producing good content above all else, but how they do so is a different question.
The helpfulness and value of any particular piece of content depend on a variety of factors. It’s not just the information in the piece but also how well it is optimized for SEO, how much engagement it gets, and so on. This is precisely why it is so difficult even for algorithms as good as those from Google to accurately evaluate web pages and rank them accordingly.
What brands and copywriters working for them need to do now (if they haven’t been doing this already) is prioritize quality. Not traffic, not reposts, not backlinks – the actual quality of every piece of content you produce. Only this way can you be certain that your content won’t be penalized.
If your team doesn’t have enough resources to be able to produce a lot of high-quality content continuously, you can outsource your content creation to some extent.
Keep in mind that it’s not just AI-generated content that could be penalized. If you create an article full of fluff and grammatical mistakes that suffers from keyword stuffing, this content could very much get penalized by Google. It will be seen as unhelpful and manipulative (in your attempt to get higher rankings and generate more traffic to your website).
How Can You Use AI Copywriting Now?
While Google’s Helpful Content Update primarily targets AI-generated content, it doesn’t mean that you should stop using AI tools altogether. In fact, finding the balance between the human and the machine aspect of content creation is ideal for producing high-quality content continuously to great results.
Companies need to have content creation teams of their own with experienced and knowledgeable writers. But if you have a small brand, you can first outsource content creation by working with professional writers and editors from different writing agencies until you build your own team specifically for creating web content.
So, how does AI copywriting work in practice now that Google’s Helpful Content Update is complete? Here are some tips on what brands can do:
- Prioritize Quality – As explained earlier, quality should come above all else. The content you create needs to be truly useful and valuable to your target audience. Of course, your audience isn’t a monolith, so each user’s perception can be different. Yet, overall, your content should still be valuable in one of three key ways: informative, educational, and entertaining.
- Edit Meticulously – Besides content generation, AI tools have many other purposes. One of these is proofreading and editing. You can continue using various plagiarism checkers to proofread and edit your content before publishing it. Doing so will actually benefit you because these checks will help you improve the quality of your content.
- Let Humans Write – Your primary method of content creation should be human. Let your writers create content for you! If you want to continue using AI-powered content generation tools, you need to make sure that you have attentive and dedicated writers who can then edit and maybe even partially rewrite the generated content. No matter how good a tool is, it can still make mistakes. Besides, even the best tools don’t notice nuances such as colloquialisms or cultural details.
- Utilize SEO Correctly – There are tools that help copywriters optimize content for search engines quickly. They can still be very helpful to brands that want their content to rank well. However, content creators should still proofread the finished content carefully to make sure that texts don’t suffer from keyword stuffing. Too many keywords that don’t make any sense and might even be unrelated to the topic of the article are a huge red flag to Google and the fastest way to get your content penalized.
By following these tips, you can continue creating great content that will rank well in Google search results. Moreover, you can continue using AI tools for content creation without worrying that they could impact the performance of your content.
All in all, while the Helpful Content Update will definitely improve the experience of regular users, it could be somewhat of a challenge for brands and content creators that use AI tools. Nevertheless, by using the right methods for creating content, you can still benefit from using AI copywriting and different AI tools while ensuring that the update doesn’t start labelling your content as invaluable.
About the Author:
Lillie Jenkins is a creative copywriter and content writer. She has worked as a copywriter since graduating school, so her writing skills are well-honed. She works as a copywriter at the popular writing center BestWritersOnline. She writes publications in such fields as marketing, IT technologies, AI, and education. More than writing Lillie loves to travel and read professional literature.