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Understanding Google’s March 2024 Core Update

Posted By Gaurav | 07-Mar-2024 | Google Updates
Since 2022, Google has been trying to improve its ranking systems by removing unhelpful, duplicate, and spammy content. Continuing the efforts, Google has started rolling yet another core update - The March 2024 Core Update.
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Google’s March Core Update, which is the first core update of the year 2024. Along with this, Google has announced multiple spam updates and the helpful content system has also been included in Google’s overall core ranking system. All these updates together will lead to a 40% reduction in unhelpful content. Let us further discuss what this Google Core update of March 2024 is all about and what are its major areas of focus:

What is Google’s March 2024 Core Update?

Google, on March 5, 2024, announced that it is releasing the March Core update, which is the first core update as well as the first algorithm update of the year. As per Google, this update will focus on refining its content ranking systems by better understanding if a webpage contains unhelpful content, provides a poor user experience, or feels like it was just created to manipulate search engines instead of helping the searchers. Therefore, websites that are created especially for target-specific search queries may be affected negatively.

The March update of Google is aimed at reducing unhelpful and irrelevant results on Search and sending more traffic to helpful and high-quality web pages. Google believes that this update combined with its previous efforts, including the helpful content update and other updates released last year, will reduce the amount of low-quality content by 40%. As multiple systems are being updated within this update, it may take as long as a month to roll out completely.

Understanding The Update in Detail

Google keeps updating its ranking systems and spam policies to deliver useful content to users. With its March 2024 core update, Google is focusing on improving the quality of Search. This update is more complex than the previous updates released by Google as it has multiple updates included within it. Here are the key changes announced by Google:

1. Improved Quality Ranking

The March 2024 update builds on the efforts Google has been making since 2022 to reduce unhelpful and duplicate content. The company is making algorithmic improvements to its core ranking system in order to ensure that the most helpful content is ranked on the web and webpages with low-quality content are reduced in Search. The refined ranking system will better understand which wepages contain low-quality content, offer poor user experience, or just focus on ranking higher on search engines rather than creating high-quality content.

2. New Spam Policies

Along with making enhancements to its core ranking system, Google is also updating its spam policies to remove poor-quality content from its search results. Even earlier in the October 2023 Spam Update, Google focused on reducing the visibility of spam content. Building on the efforts, Google is making some key changes to its spam policies as mentioned below:

Scaled Content Abuse: Google already has policies against content created using automated tools or low-quality content that is created to manipulate search engines. These policies previously focused on content created at scale, which obviously used automation. But now, as automation tools are more sophisticated, it is quite difficult to determine whether a piece of content is created through automation or not. 

Google is now strengthening its policies and techniques to reduce scaled content from search rankings. Whether such scaled content is created through automation, written by humans, or a combination of both, Google’s new policies will work against this abusive behavior and actions will be taken against scaled content that offers little to no value.

Site Reputation Abuse: Google is also focusing on site reputation abuse under its new spam policies. In this, reputed websites having high-quality content host third-party content from low-quality websites so that they can benefit from the hosting website’s reputation and traffic. This misleads the users as they have very different expectations from the content available on a reputed website. 

Such third-party content will now be considered spam by Google if it seems to mislead the users and is published without close oversight of the website owner. However, this policy will be enforced from May 5, 2024. Google has published it in advance so that website owners get sufficient time to make required changes to their sites. 

Expired Domain Abuse: Another key area that Google is focusing on is expired domain abuse. Expired domains that have expired and have been purchased to repurpose to boost search rankings for low-quality content will now be considered spam. Such repurposed domains can mislead users as they might believe the new content to be a part of the older website. 

Helpful Content Updates Now Come Under Google’s Core Updates

Users will not see any new helpful content updates as the helpful content system has been incorporated within the core ranking system by Google. The last helpful content update by Google was the september 2023 helpful content update content which affected several websites. Some impacted sites may see relief from this March 2024 core update. But nothing can be said at this point. 

What MadHawks’ SEO Experts Have To Say?

Google is constantly trying to improve its search results. Google released 9 major algorithm updates in 2023 as well and this March update also seems to be a big one. Website owners also need to ensure that they adhere to the policies of Google and update their website content accordingly. As Google has incorporated the helpful content system within its core ranking system, we’ll not be seeing any further helpful content updates. However, that doesn’t mean web pages having unhelpful content will not be impacted.

Sites having duplicate, unhelpful, or low-quality content will be affected by this update. Also, as Google is updating its policies related to Expired domain abuse, all site owners should go through their website content and remove any invaluable third-party content so that your web pages are not considered spam by Google. The March 2024 core update of Google may take up to a month to roll out completely. We’ll keep you updated with any further updates on this. Stay Tuned!

FAQs

1. What is the new Google update 2024?

Ans. Google has announced the release of its first core update of the year. Google’s March 2024 core update is aimed at reducing unhelpful and low-quality content on search results by 40%.

2. What is scaled content abuse?

Ans. Some websites create content at scale to get higher search rankings on Google. This scaled content can be AI-generated, human-written, or a combination, or both. But scaled content offers very little or no value to users. Hence, any such scaled content will be considered spam by Google under its new spam policies.

3. How many Google core updates per year?

Ans. The number of core updates by Google can vary each year. In 2021 and 2022, Google released 10 updates and in the year 2023, only 9 confirmed updates were released by Google, which included 4 core updates, helpful content updates, and spam updates. 

Gaurav Yadav
SEO expert

Gaurav Yadav is a skilled SEO expert with over 8 years of experience in digital marketing. He specializes in technical SEO, content strategy, and link building, and has a proven track record of driving organic traffic growth for a diverse range of clients. With his expertise in various verticals, he can execute industry-specific SEO strategies for SAAS, BFSI, healthcare, lifestyle, and education.