More Complexity & Ranking Volatility


The Gist

  • Core update goals. March 2024 update aims to improve search results, reduce reliance on single signals, and cut low-quality content by 40%.
  • Spam update focus. New policies target scaled content, site reputation, and expired domain abuses to combat low-quality content in search.
  • SEO impact. Experts should monitor rankings for fluctuations. Recovery from performance drops may need content improvements and await the next update.

Google has released multiple new updates, including the March 2024 core update and multiple spam updates, coined the March 2024 spam update. 

The goal of these updates is to improve the quality of search results and show less content that feels like it was made to attract clicks. 

A tweet on the latest Google Search updates

March 2024 Core Update 

The March 2024 core update is the first core update of the year and more complex than usual core updates, involving changes to multiple systems. With this update, Google will no longer rely on one single signal or system to show more helpful search results. 

Google March 2024 Core Update Status

Google began to fine-tune its rankings systems in 2022 to reduce unhelpful, unoriginal content in search, and this algorithmic change will continue that work to provide the most helpful content on the web in search results. Google officials said they expect the update (along with previous efforts) to reduce low-quality unoriginal content in search results by 40%. 

The search giant said it’s refining its core ranking system to better understand if web pages are unhelpful, have a poor user experience or feel like they were created for search engines rather than people. It believes this update will send more traffic to helpful and high-quality sites. 

Rollout of the March 2024 core update may take up to a month. In the meantime, there are likely to be more fluctuations in rankings than with a regular core update. 

Right now, there is nothing creators need to do, according to Google, as long as they’ve been developing valuable content made for people. For those not ranking as well, Google provides a help page on creating helpful, reliable, people-first content, which includes questions creators can ask themselves, such as: 

  • Does the content offer original information, reporting, research or analysis?
  • Does the content offer a substantial, complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
  • If the content uses other sources, does it avoid copying or rewriting those sources?
  • Does the content present information in a way that makes you want to trust it, such as clear sourcing or background information on the author? 

Previous core updates included:

Related Article: What’s New in Search? Top SEO Strategies for 2024

March 2024 Spam Update

Google has also introduced new and improved spam policies to keep low-quality content out of search. The March 2024 spam update may take up to two weeks to rollout.

Google March 2024 spam update status


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