Google penalises clickbait content with new update

Alex Sword


The Financial Services Forum

Google’s “people-first” update aims to penalise content which is primarily geared to attracting clicks through SEO.

Announcing the change on its blog this week, Google says it hopes to “better reward content where visitors “feel they’ve had a satisfying experience”.

The essence of the change is that Google’s algorithm will aim to detect sites which aren’t focused on providing the best experience for readers but on fulfilling SEO guidelines.

Sites that do well under the new update will be those that are written with a clearly defined audience in mind rather than on a wide range of trending topics, where the author appears to have specific expertise and is adding value to the topic.

Google also recommended that companies jettison their unhelpful content, as it could impact the overall SEO score of the whole site.

The update will roll out starting next week and will be conducted through machine learning.

As ever, Google didn’t specify what parameters will be used. Sites that fall foul of the new rules will have a “signal” applied to them which will factor into their future SEO ranking.


Google’s guidelines for a people-first approach:

Do you have an existing or intended audience for your business or site that would find the content useful if they came directly to you?

Does your content clearly demonstrate first-hand expertise and a depth of knowledge (for example, expertise that comes from having actually used a product or service, or visiting a place)?

Does your site have a primary purpose or focus?

After reading your content, will someone leave feeling they’ve learned enough about a topic to help achieve their goal?

Will someone reading your content leave feeling like they’ve had a satisfying experience?

Are you keeping in mind our guidance for core updates and for product reviews?

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