Google announced a series of updates on Thursday designed to better prioritize quality websites in search results so that users can find more reliable sources.
The changes are part of the company’s long-term work to promote high-quality content on Search, as some users complain that their results have deteriorated too much.
“We definitely want to accelerate that experience for people and make them feel like they’re getting what they’re looking for,” said Google’s search spokesperson, Danny Sullivan.
Google will roll out the “helpful content update” worldwide (for English searches) starting next week. The company will primarily focus on content that is likely created to rank highly in a search engine, which it calls “SEO-first” content.
For example, let’s say you search for a movie on Google. In the current version of Search, the results show articles that collect reviews from other sites without adding any perspective beyond what’s available in other posts. With this new update, the company wants to highlight more results with unique information.
“What we’re talking about here is how we’re trying to show people more useful content, more authentic content, in all kinds of ways you could describe it,” Sullivan says. “But it comes down to content that’s made by and for people, and that’s a lot of what people seem to be looking for.”
Google says its product testing indicates the search update will be especially useful for results related to online educational materials, shopping, arts and entertainment, and technical content.
The search giant will also be releasing an update on the results of its product reviews in the coming weeks. The new update will be an adaptation of what Google introduced last year to bring out more in-depth reviews based on first-hand experience in the results.
Rather than push users to a page that rounds up other review sites or to a person who suggests something without ever using it, Sullivan says the company is working on more experienced product reviews. “There’s more value in taking you to the expert opinion,” he says.