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Google Updates Helpful Content Guidance, Streamlines Search Console Reports

Google updates helpful content creation guidance, emphasizing page experience, and revamps Search Console reports for improved alignment with ranking systems.

  • Google added a page experience section to its helpful content creation guidance, emphasizing its importance for search success.
  • Search Console reports will be updated, with some tools retired and replaced by a new page experience report.
  • Focus on people-first content creation, prioritizing quality, expertise, and E-E-A-T principles to align with Google's ranking systems.

Google is updating its guidance on creating helpful content by adding a section dedicated to page experience.

The update aims to help site owners consider page experience more holistically during the content creation process.

What’s New?

Google’s help page on creating helpful content has been revamped with a new section on providing an excellent page experience.

This change helps to clarify the importance of page experience for those looking to succeed in Google Search.

Although no major new aspects have been introduced, the update streamlines existing guidance.

Google reminds publishers that Core Web Vitals remain crucial for page experience success, as they have in the past.

A revised help page titled “Understanding page experience in Google Search results” provides more in-depth information on the role of page experience, along with self-assessment questions and resources.

This page consolidates key aspects of page experience that Google has discussed in recent years.

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Upcoming Changes To Search Console Reports

In the coming months, the Page Experience report within Search Console will be transformed into a new page that links to general guidance about page experience and a dashboard view of the individual Core Web Vitals and HTTPS reports that will remain in Search Console.

Additionally, starting December 1, 2023, Google will retire Search Console’s “Mobile Usability” report, the Mobile-Friendly Test tool, and the Mobile-Friendly Test API.

Google assures that mobile usability remains critical to page experience guidance, and site owners should continue to prioritize it.

FAQ Highlights

Google addresses several frequently asked questions about the updated guidance, emphasizing the following points:

  • No single “page experience signal” is used for ranking in Google Search, as multiple signals related to overall page experience are considered.
  • Core Web Vitals remain essential for search success and great user experience.
  • Good page experience is not an eligibility requirement to appear in the “Top Stories” carousel on mobile.
  • Page experience is generally evaluated on a page-specific basis, although some site-wide assessments do exist.
  • The helpful content system primarily focuses on content-related signals, but page experience factors contribute somewhat.

Additional Considerations

Google’s automated ranking systems prioritize helpful, reliable content created for people rather than search engine rankings.

To ensure your content aligns with these principles, self-assess it and get it evaluated by trusted, unaffiliated individuals.

Focus on the quality and expertise demonstrated in your content, and aim to provide a great page experience.

Adopt a people-first approach when creating content by targeting an audience, demonstrating expertise, and ensuring the content is valuable and satisfying.

Avoid search engine-first content by refraining from producing content solely to attract search engine visits or manipulate rankings.

Familiarize yourself with the concepts of E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) and utilize the quality rater guidelines to improve your content further.

Finally, consider the “Who, How, and Why.”

Indicate who wrote the content and details on how it was produced. Above all, create content with the primary goal of helping people.

By following these guidelines, your content will better align with Google’s core ranking systems and have a greater chance of success.

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Source: Google

Featured Image: salarko/Shutterstock

Category News SEO
SEJ STAFF Matt G. Southern Senior News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt G. Southern, Senior News Writer, has been with Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a bachelor’s degree in communications, ...

Google Updates Helpful Content Guidance, Streamlines Search Console Reports

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