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Google March 2024 Core Update Rollout Complete: What’s Next?

Julia McCoy
Friday, 26th Apr 2024
Google March 2024 core update rollout is now complete

It’s official, folks. After 45 days of nail-biting anticipation, Google’s March 2024 core update rollout is now complete. This update was a doozy, targeting multiple core systems and shaking up search rankings across the board.

But what exactly changed? How did this update differ from previous core updates? And most importantly, what does it mean for your website’s visibility on the world’s biggest search engine?

Buckle up, because we’re about to break it all down for you.

Table Of Contents:

Google’s March 2024 Core Update Rollout Complete

It’s official, folks – Google’s March 2024 core update is now done rolling out. The search giant started pushing this massive update on March 5, 2024, and it took a whopping 45 days to finish up on April 19, 2024.

This was no ordinary core update, let me tell you. Google themselves said this update was more complex, involving changes to multiple core systems. Oh, and it also marked the end of the standalone helpful content update. Talk about a lot happening at once.

Impact on Search Rankings

Now, I know what you’re thinking – how did this beast of an update impact search rankings? Well, let’s just say it was pretty significant. Google’s original estimation was a 40% reduction in low-quality and unhelpful content, but they later revealed it was actually closer to a jaw-dropping 45%.

That’s right, nearly half of the junk content out there got swept away by this update. If you noticed some major ranking fluctuations over those 45 days, this is likely why.

What the Update Targeted

So, what exactly was Google targeting with this March 2024 core update? In their own words, they aimed to “reduce content created for search engines on Search.” Essentially, they wanted to weed out all that spammy, low-quality content that’s only purpose was to game the system and rank higher.

Google also mentioned they made updates to their spam policies alongside this core update. They’re really cracking down on any shady practices out there.

Timeline of the Rollout

Let’s break down the timeline of this massive rollout, shall we? It all started on March 5, 2024, and Google kept us on our toes for a full 45 days before announcing its completion on April 19, 2024.

But here’s the kicker – they didn’t actually tell us it was done until April 26th, a whole week later. I guess they wanted to keep us in suspense.

During this time, there were also several other updates happening, like the March 2024 spam update and a swarm of manual actions. It was like a perfect storm of Google updates all at once.

How the March 2024 Core Update Differs from Previous Updates

Now, you might be wondering how this March 2024 core update differs from previous ones. I mean, Google rolls out these things fairly often, right? Well, let me break it down for you.

Focus on Reducing Low-Quality Content

One of the biggest differences with this update was the heavy focus on reducing low-quality, unoriginal content. Google really wanted to clean up the search results and get rid of anything that didn’t provide value to users.

In fact, they originally estimated a 40% reduction in unhelpful content, but it ended up being even higher at 45%. That’s a huge chunk of content that got the boot.

Emphasis on Helpful Content

Another key aspect of this update was the emphasis on helpful content. Google has been pushing this concept for a while now with their helpful content system, but this update took it to the next level.

They refined how they understand what makes content actually helpful and valuable to users. Things like expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-E-A-T) played a big role.

Multiple Core Systems Updated

What really set the March 2024 core update apart was the fact that it involved changes to multiple core systems. This wasn’t just a tweak here and there – it was a significant overhaul.

Google said it was a more complex update than their usual core updates. They even decided to push out updates to those core systems over several weeks, rather than all at once.

So, while it may have seemed like one giant update, it was actually a combination of several updates working together to improve search quality.

What Website Owners Should Know About the March Core Update

Alright, let’s talk about what this means for all you website owners out there. I know core updates can be stressful, especially when they’re as big as this one. But don’t panic – there are things you can do to come out on top.

Importance of Creating High-Quality Content

First and foremost, focus on creating high-quality content. I can’t stress this enough. Google is all about providing the best possible experience for users, so if your content is helpful, informative, and valuable, you’re already ahead of the game.

Think about your expertise, your unique experiences, and how you can share that knowledge with your audience. Show them you know your stuff and that they can trust what you have to say.

Avoiding Unhelpful or Spammy Practices

On the flip side, you absolutely want to avoid anything that could be seen as unhelpful or spammy. That means no keyword stuffing, no copied content, and no trying to trick the system.

Focus on creating content for humans, not search engines. If you wouldn’t want to read it yourself, chances are Google won’t want to rank it either.

Monitoring Search Rankings

Of course, you’ll also want to keep a close eye on your search rankings during and after a core update like this. See how your pages are performing and if there are any major changes.

If you do see a drop, don’t immediately panic. It may not be anything you did wrong, but rather a shift in how Google is evaluating content. Take a step back, assess your content objectively, and see where you can make improvements.

Remember, rankings can fluctuate during an update rollout, so give it some time to settle before making any drastic changes.

The Role of the March 2024 Spam Update

Now, let’s not forget about the spam update that rolled out alongside this core update. While they’re separate things, they definitely work together to clean up search results.

How It Complements the Core Update

The March 2024 spam update was all about targeting spammy content and practices. This includes things like pure spam, cloaking, sneaky redirects, and other shady tactics.

By weeding out this type of content, it complements the core update’s goal of reducing low-quality and unhelpful content overall. They’re like a one-two punch against anything that doesn’t belong in search results.

Targeting Spammy Content and Practices

Google has a whole set of spam policies that outline what they consider to be spammy content and practices. The March 2024 spam update was specifically targeting anything that violates those policies.

Some common examples are automatically generated content, cloaking (showing different content to users vs search engines), sneaky redirects, and hidden text or links.

If you’re engaging in any of these practices, now is the time to stop. Google is only getting better at detecting and penalizing this type of content.

Manual Actions vs. Algorithmic Changes

It’s important to note that the spam update included both manual actions and algorithmic changes. Manual actions are when a human reviewer at Google determines a page or site doesn’t comply with their guidelines and issues a penalty.

Algorithmic changes, on the other hand, are automatic and can impact your rankings without a manual action. The March 2024 spam update included both types of spam fighting.

Google actually issued a swarm of manual actions right after the core update and spam update started rolling out. So if you got hit during this time, it could have been from either one.

Insights from Google’s Search Ranking Team

Throughout this whole March 2024 core update rollout, Google’s search ranking team has been sharing insights and advice. It’s always good to hear straight from the source, so let’s dive into some of the key takeaways.

Key Takeaways from Chris Nelson

Chris Nelson from Google’s search quality team had some valuable insights to share about this update. One of the main things he emphasized was that this update marks an evolution in how Google identifies helpful content.

He said they’ve refined their systems to better understand what makes content valuable and useful to searchers. It’s not just about keywords anymore – it’s about the overall quality and helpfulness of the content.

Nelson also reiterated that this was a complex update involving changes to multiple core systems. It wasn’t just a single change, but rather a combination of updates working together.

Insights from Elizabeth Tucker

Elizabeth Tucker, the Director of Product for Search at Google, also shared some key insights. She mentioned that this update, in combination with previous efforts, would collectively reduce low-quality and unhelpful content by 40%.

That’s a significant chunk of content that Google is aiming to remove from search results. Tucker emphasized that this is all in an effort to improve the search experience for users and provide them with the most relevant and useful information.

Advice for Website Owners

So, what advice does Google’s search ranking team have for website owners? First and foremost, focus on creating people-first content. Write for your audience, not for search engines.

Nelson said there’s nothing special creators need to do if they’re already making satisfying content meant for people. The update isn’t about trying to game the system, but rather about genuinely providing value.

If you do find your rankings have dropped after the update, take a hard look at your content. Is it truly helpful and informative? Is it something you’d want to read yourself? If not, it may be time to make some changes.

Tucker also mentioned they’ve updated their help center page with tips on how to debug search ranking drops. So if you’re unsure where to start, that’s a great resource to check out.

Moving Forward After the March 2024 Core Update

Alright, so the March 2024 core update is done rolling out. Now what? How do we move forward and ensure our sites are in tip-top shape for future updates? Here are a few key things to keep in mind.

Focusing on User-Centric Content

The biggest takeaway from this update, in my opinion, is the importance of user-centric content. Google has made it clear that they’re prioritizing content that genuinely helps and informs users.

As you create new content or update existing pages, always keep your audience in mind. What questions are they asking? What problems are they trying to solve? How can you provide them with the most value?

If you keep the user at the center of your content creation process, you’ll be in good shape no matter what updates come along.

Adapting to Evolving Search Landscapes

Another important thing to remember is that search is always evolving. What worked well a few years ago may not cut it today. Google is constantly updating their algorithms to better understand and serve user intent.

That means we as website owners need to be adaptable. Stay on top of industry news and trends, and be willing to adjust your strategies as needed. Don’t get too comfortable with any one tactic, because it may not work forever.

The March 2024 core update is a perfect example of how search can change quickly and significantly. Those who are able to adapt and prioritize user-centric content will come out on top.

Continuous Improvement of Website Quality

Finally, remember that improving your website quality is an ongoing process. It’s not something you do once and then forget about. It requires continuous effort and attention.

Regularly assess your content to make sure it’s still relevant and valuable. Update older pages with new information or insights. And always be on the lookout for opportunities to create new, helpful content for your audience.

By making continuous improvement a priority, you’ll be better prepared for any future core updates or algorithm changes. Plus, your users will appreciate the effort you put into providing them with the best possible experience.

So, while the March 2024 core update may have been a doozy, it’s also an opportunity. An opportunity to assess your content, make improvements, and come out even stronger on the other side. Embrace the change, focus on your users, and keep pushing forward. You’ve got this.

Key Takeaway: 

Google’s March 2024 core update shook things up by targeting low-quality content and emphasizing helpfulness. Nearly half of spammy content got axed, making room for valuable information. For website owners, this means doubling down on creating high-quality, user-centric content while avoiding spammy tactics. Keep an eye on rankings and adapt your SEO strategy to stay ahead.

FAQs About Google March 2024 Core Update Rollout

What is the Google Core update for March 2024?

The March 2024 core update by Google tweaks search algorithms to prioritize quality and relevant content, affecting site rankings.

Is the Google Core update over?

Yes, the rollout of Google’s March 2024 core update has finished, impacting sites worldwide.

What are the March 2024 core update and new spam policies?

This dual release refines search accuracy while cracking down on spammy content to boost user trust in results.

What is Google’s latest update 2024?

The latest from Google includes a major algorithm overhaul plus stringent measures against low-quality and deceptive practices online.

Conclusion

The March 2024 core update may have thrown some curveballs, but adapting is the name of the SEO game. By focusing on creating helpful, user-centric content and avoiding spammy tactics, you’ll be well-positioned to thrive in the post-update search landscape.

Remember, Google’s goal is to serve up the best possible results for searchers. If you keep that as your guiding light, you can’t go wrong.

So take a deep breath, analyze your rankings, and keep pushing forward. The Google March 2024 core update rollout is now complete, but your journey to the top of the search results is just beginning.

Written by Julia McCoy

See more from Julia McCoy
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