Google March Core Algorithm Update 2024

March 2024 Core Update + Spam Update

Updated on April 10, 2024

SEO professionals and online forums are witnessing frequent shifts in search rankings as the March 2024 Core Update nears completion. The SEO community anticipates that Google will likely declare the end of this rollout by the end of this week or early next week.

Google announced on March 20, 2024, that it had completed the rollout of the spam update that started on March 5. This update, which took nearly 15 days to implement, represents a significant step forward in Google’s fight against spam and its commitment to improving search quality. Although the update led to severe penalties for numerous sites labelled with pure spam, only a handful have managed to recover. Most still face challenges in regaining their positions in Google’s search results.

The March 2024 Core Update is still making its way through the system, and it is expected to continue evolving over the next few weeks. This update will further refine Google’s search algorithms and have a widespread impact on global search results.

Google confirmed in their latest statement, “The spam update rollout was completed on March 20, 2024.

We’ll keep you posted with more details as the core update unfolds, shaping the future of search and SEO strategies.

Initial Announcement – March 5, 2024

Google launched its first major algorithm update of the year on March 5, 2024, the March 2024 Core Update, along with several updates to its spam policies. These updates are designed to significantly improve the quality of search results, incorporating changes to multiple ranking systems, including integrating Google’s Helpful Content System into the core update.

What Google Said:

On March 5, Google announced this enormous update, including a revamp of their “Helpful content” system to better identify high-quality content for searchers. They also confirmed the successful completion of the spam update on March 20.

Stay in the Know:

This update is still evolving, so stay tuned for more news! We’ll keep you posted on how it shapes the search landscape and what it means for your SEO strategy.

The complexity of the March 2024 Core Update might extend its rollout period up to a month. This update is significant, introducing the Helpful Content System to drastically reduce the appearance of low-quality, unoriginal content in search results by 40%.

Google has indicated that this update might cause more ranking fluctuations than usual as different systems update and reinforce each other.

So, what can SEOs expect from the March 2024 Google Algorithm Core Update? We predict specific impacts on link-building strategies. Here’s why:

Downplaying Links

Historically, Google viewed links as a crucial factor for assessing webpage relevance. However, this view is shifting. At Pubcon Austin 2023, Google’s Gary Illyes revealed that links are no longer among the top three ranking signals. Recent edits to Google’s Spam Policies documentation support this change, showing a shift in how links are valued in determining relevance.

Content Focused on Link Manipulation Won’t Work

Google’s updated spam policies strongly discourage creating low-value content solely for link manipulation. Google is set to crackdown on practices like using Private Blog Networks (PBNs) to manipulate links.

New Signal Focused on Outgoing Links

For the first time, Google has publicly addressed how its algorithms scrutinize outgoing links. Sites attempting to manipulate search rankings through outgoing links will face penalties.

Expired Domain Abuse

Google has introduced a new signal to combat the misuse of expired domains. Google will take action when someone repurposes an expired domain to leverage its previous authority and mislead users. This aims to prevent misleading uses of old domains to boost new, low-quality content.

Together with updates to link spam policies, this core update seeks to redefine how Google ranks sites while enhancing the quality and relevance of search results.

Stay tuned as the core update completes its rollout and reveals its full implications for the SEO community.

Timeline of events following the March 2024 Core Update

Google initiated the core and spam updates on March 5, 2024. Subsequent days saw numerous manual actions against sites violating spam policies, with several removed from Google Search. Early signs of how these updates affected site rankings emerged by March 8th and 9th. While activity seemed to slow by March 10th and 11th, reports of temporary reversals in site statuses surfaced.

What Happened Till Date After the Update Started Rolling Out on March 5

The rollout led to the deindexing of hundreds of sites, primarily targeting those relying on AI-generated content. Tools like Mozcast, Semrush, and SERPmetrics recorded significant volatility in rankings. Barry Schwartz noted increased fluctuations, underscoring the update’s extensive reach. This update, the most consequential since the 2012 Penguin update, aims to improve search result quality by reducing low-quality content by an estimated 40%.

Google continues to advise focusing on high-quality content creation, emphasizing the need for content to demonstrate Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-E-A-T). Websites should act swiftly to review and remove questionable content to avoid penalties.

As we navigate this complex update period, the emphasis remains on aligning strategies with Google’s evolving standards and maintaining high-quality content to thrive in the changing search landscape.

Conclusion

While the spam update wrapped up in March, Google’s core update is still in its prime. The next few weeks could be a rollercoaster for search rankings as Google refines its algorithms to prioritize the most helpful content. Stay tuned for further updates on how this unfolds and how you can adapt your SEO strategy to thrive in the new search landscape!

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