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Website Recovery After Core Update 2024: Your Roadmap

Julia McCoy
Tuesday, 30th Apr 2024
Website Recovery After Core Update 2024

Google’s March 2024 Core Update hit, and your website took a nosedive. Traffic plummeted, rankings tanked, and you’re left wondering what the heck happened. Sound familiar?

You’re not alone. Core updates can be brutal, leaving even the most seasoned website owners scrambling to pick up the pieces. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work on your Website Recovery After Core Update 2024 and take a look at Google’s Mueller insights.

Table Of Contents:

Understanding Google’s March 2024 Core Update

Google’s at it again with another core update, and this time it’s the March 2024 Core Update. But what exactly is a core update, and how often do they happen?

Let me break it down for you.

What Is a Core Update

A core update is a significant change to Google’s search ranking algorithms. These updates aim to improve the overall quality and relevance of search results for users.

Google makes these changes to ensure that the best content rises to the top, and low-quality content gets pushed down. It’s all about delivering the most helpful and relevant results to searchers.

How Often Do Core Updates Occur

Google typically releases core updates several times a year, and the March 2024 Core Update is just one of them. The frequency of these updates can vary, but they generally happen every few months.

As an SEO expert, I always keep an eye out for these updates because they can have a big impact on search rankings and traffic. It’s crucial to stay on top of these changes and adapt your strategy accordingly.

Analyzing the Impact of the March 2024 Update

Now, let’s talk about the March 2024 Core Update specifically. This update had a significant impact on many websites, with some experiencing substantial drops in search rankings and traffic and some seeing their websites vanish and get de-indexed!

So, Google kicked off this big update on March 5, 2024, and it wrapped up around April 19, 2024, taking about 45 days. But get this: they didn’t even let us know it was all done until April 26th, a whole week later.

Google announced they were aiming to tidy up the SERPs by removing low-quality content. Initially, they predicted a 40% decrease in unhelpful content, but it actually turned out to be even higher at 45%. That’s quite significant.

I’ve seen firsthand how these updates can shake things up. It’s important to remember that these updates are not always penalties. They’re simply adjustments to Google’s algorithms to better serve users. If your site was negatively impacted, it doesn’t necessarily mean you did anything wrong. It just means that Google thinks other sites are providing better content for those specific queries.

Identifying If Your Website Was Affected by the Core Update

So, how do you know if your website was affected by the March 2024 Core Update? There are a few key things to look out for.

Checking Search Rankings and Traffic

The first thing you should do is check your search rankings and organic traffic. Use tools like Google Search Console and Google Analytics to see if there were any significant drops or fluctuations in the days and weeks following the update’s release.

If you notice a sudden drop in rankings and traffic, there’s a good chance your site was impacted by the update.

Analyzing Search Console Data

Google Search Console is a pretty useful tool. Use it to analyze your website’s performance, including impressions, clicks, CTR, and average position for key search queries.

Compare this data before and after the core update to identify any significant changes. If you see a big drop in impressions and clicks for certain queries, it could be a sign that your site was affected by the update. Here is how to do it:

google search console filter
  1. Open Google Search Console
  2. Go to Search results
  3. Now let’s pick a date range. Since we’re interested in seeing how things changed before and after the update, go ahead and choose the “Compare” filter. After that, it’s totally up to you which time period you want to look at. Here’s a tip: try out different date ranges to see how your visibility and rankings shift over time!

Let’s check out how one of Content at Scale‘s users is doing:

gsc search results

We’re looking at the results for “Comparing the last 28 days with the previous period,” which should give us a solid snapshot since the update lasted 45 days. Seems like the Google March core update is playing into their hands!

But let’s dig a bit deeper and see what’s really going on:

click difference and impression difference in gsc

Below the graph, you’ve got a table with all sorts of data. You can see the queries you’re ranking for, how your pages are holding up, which countries and devices are in the mix, and more. Depending on what you’re aiming for with your business, Google Search Console can dish out some seriously useful insights.

Here’s the kicker: because we’re using a compare filter, we can spot the differences during the date range we’ve chosen! Google Search Console gives us four main metrics: Clicks, Impressions, CTR, and Position. Just click on the bits I’ve circled in the screenshot, and you can sort the data from A to Z or the other way around to see which pages or queries are gaining or losing ground!

Alright, let’s kick off the analysis.

If you notice that the Click difference or other metrics you’re interested in are heading south, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and do some good old-fashioned manual searching on Google. Take a peek at what your competitors are up to that might be causing you to slip. Try to emulate their strategies or even outdo them if you can.

Pro tip: Or you could take the easy route like our savvy user and let Content at Scale RankWell suite handle all the heavy lifting. It’ll analyze the situation and whip up content that ranks like a champ, straightouttaAI!


Common Reasons Websites Are Negatively Impacted

There are several common reasons why websites may be negatively impacted by core updates. These include:

  • Low-quality or thin content
  • Poor user experience
  • Lack of E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness)
  • Engaging in spammy tactics like keyword stuffing or link manipulation

If your site was hit by the update, take a hard look at your content and overall website quality. Are you providing valuable, in-depth content that meets user needs? Is your site easy to navigate and use? Do you have authoritative backlinks and a strong online reputation?

Addressing these issues can help your site recover from the impact of the core update and improve your chances of ranking well in the future.

I know it can be frustrating and overwhelming to deal with the aftermath of a core update, but don’t lose hope. With the right strategy and a focus on quality, you can bounce back and come out stronger than ever.

 
Key Takeaway: 

Google’s March 2024 Core Update shook up search rankings, impacting about 45% of queries. It’s not a penalty but an adjustment to prioritize high-quality content. Check your site’s traffic and rankings for changes, analyze Search Console data, and improve content quality and user experience to bounce back.

Steps to Recover from the Core Update

If you’ve been hit by the March 2024 Core Update, and you want a recovery, you should know that improving your site doesn’t guarantee the restoration of lost rankings and visibility, and Google’s communications offer minimal transparency about the recovery process.

Check out what John Mueller had to say in response to a user’s question about recovery timelines:

And if you keep reading the thread, he also pointed out that sometimes, all you gotta do is sit tight and wait for the next update to come along:

This is pretty much all the info we’ve got from Google, but let me share what I’ve learned from years of helping sites bounce back from core updates.

Focus on Creating High-Quality, Relevant Content

The key to recovery? High-quality, relevant content. Google’s all about rewarding sites that provide real value to users. So take a hard look at your content. Is it in-depth? Does it answer user questions better than anything else out there? If not, it’s time for an overhaul.

I always start by identifying my site’s most important pages – the ones that used to drive the most traffic. Then I work on making that content the absolute best it can be. I add more detail, include helpful visuals, and make sure every sentence earns its keep.

Improve User Experience and Engagement

But great content isn’t enough. You also need to provide a top-notch user experience. That means fast load times, easy navigation, and a design that keeps people reading.

I like to put myself in my readers’ shoes. Would I enjoy spending time on this site? If the answer is no, I know I have work to do. Sometimes small tweaks like adding internal links or breaking up text with subheadings can make a big difference.

Finally, don’t neglect your backlink profile. Google takes backlinks as a vote of confidence. If authoritative sites are linking to you, it must mean you’re doing something right.

Focus on earning links naturally by creating content people want to share. Guest posting on respected sites in your niche can also help. Just steer clear of any spammy tactics – Google’s gotten really good at sniffing those out.

Avoiding Practices That Can Harm Your Website’s Reputation

Recovering from a core update is hard work. The last thing you want to do is make things worse by engaging in shady practices. Trust me, I’ve seen it happen.

Steer Clear of Spammy Tactics

Keyword stuffing, cloaking, buying links – these are all classic spammy tactics that can tank your site’s reputation. Google’s algorithms are sophisticated. They can spot this stuff from a mile away.

If you try to game the system, you might see a short-term boost, but sooner or later you’ll get caught. And then you’re in for a world of hurt. Manual penalties, ranking drops – it’s not worth the risk.

I get it – we all need to make money. But plastering your site with ads and affiliate links is a bad look. It’s a poor user experience and it can make your content seem less trustworthy.

I always aim for a balance. A few well-placed, relevant ads are fine. But if your site looks more like a billboard than a helpful resource, it’s time to cut back. Your content should always come first.

Monitor and Respond to Negative Reviews

In today’s digital age, online reputation is everything. A few bad reviews can do serious damage. That’s why it’s crucial to keep an eye on what people are saying about your brand.

Set up Google Alerts for your brand name. Check review sites regularly. If you spot a negative review, don’t ignore it. Respond professionally and try to make things right. Show that you care about your customers and their experience.

Recovering from a core update is never easy. But by focusing on quality, avoiding spammy tactics, and managing your reputation, you can get your site back on track. It takes time and effort, but it’s worth it. Keep pushing forward and don’t give up. You’ve got this.

 
Key Takeaway: 

 

Hit by the Core Update? Focus on creating killer content, boosting user experience, and earning quality backlinks. Avoid spammy shortcuts at all costs and keep your site’s reputation clean. It’s tough but doable—stay persistent.

 

Utilizing Google Tools and Resources for Recovery

If you’ve been hit by the March 2024 Core Update, don’t panic. Google provides a wealth of tools and resources to help you navigate the recovery process.

Leverage Google Search Console Insights

First things first, dive into your Google Search Console, you can start with what I taught you earlier in this article. GSC is your direct line of communication with Google, and it’s packed with valuable insights. The Search Console shows you which queries your site is appearing for, click-through rates, average position, and more. Use this data to identify pages that have lost visibility and may need improvement. I can’t stress enough how important it is to regularly monitor your Search Console data. It’s like having a heart-to-heart with Google about your site’s health.

Submit ranking feedback about the March 2024 core update

After the March 2024 core update, Google set up this form for folks to give their two cents on rankings. But here’s the deal: this feedback isn’t for sorting out specific issues with certain searches, listings, or sites. It’s more about suggesting general improvements that could help out Search overall down the line. Don’t expect a response from Google on this stuff, and it’s not for reporting spam either.

If you’ve got some spam to report, there’s a separate form for that. And if you’ve got burning questions, you can always hit up the Search Central help community where fellow experts hang out.

If you suspect a manual action has been taken against your site, submit a reconsideration request through the Search Console. Be transparent about the issues you’ve identified and the steps you’ve taken to fix them. Provide clear evidence of your efforts to align with Google’s guidelines. I’ve personally gone through this process for clients, and it can be nerve-wracking. But if you’ve truly made the necessary changes, a reconsideration request can work wonders.

Monitor Google’s Official Channels for Updates

Google is pretty good about announcing core updates and providing guidance on their impact. Keep a close eye on the Google Search Central Blog and the Google Search Liaison Twitter account. These official channels often share valuable insights, clarifications, and even advice for recovering from core updates. I’ve found the information shared by Google’s Danny Sullivan and John Mueller to be particularly helpful. It’s also worth monitoring SEO news sites and forums for analysis from industry experts. Just be sure to fact-check and rely on reputable sources.

Adapting Your SEO Strategy for Future Core Updates

Recovering from a core update is one thing, but how do you safeguard your site against future upheavals? It all comes down to adapting your SEO strategy to align with Google’s evolving expectations.

Prioritize User Intent and Experience

Google’s ultimate goal is to serve up the most relevant, useful content for each user’s query. That means understanding and prioritizing user intent should be at the heart of your SEO strategy. Put yourself in your target audience’s shoes. What questions are they asking? What problems are they trying to solve? Create content that directly addresses these needs in a comprehensive, accessible way. But don’t stop at intent. Ensure your site delivers a seamless, intuitive user experience. Fast load times, mobile-friendliness, clear navigation – these are all essential ranking factors.

Diversify Your Traffic Sources

While organic search is undeniably important, it’s risky to rely on it as your sole traffic source. Algorithm updates can be unpredictable, so it’s wise to diversify. Look into other channels like social media, email marketing, paid advertising, and guest posting. Building a strong brand presence across multiple platforms can provide a safety net during core update fluctuations. I’ve seen businesses weather algorithm storms thanks to their loyal social media following or engaged email list. Don’t put all your eggs in the Google basket.

Stay Up-to-Date with SEO Best Practices

SEO is an ever-evolving field, and what worked yesterday may not work today. To stay ahead of the curve, commit to continuous learning. Attend industry conferences, webinars, and workshops. Read SEO blogs and publications. Engage with the SEO community on social media and forums. Staying informed about the latest SEO best practices, algorithm updates, and search engine guidelines will help you adapt your strategy proactively. I dedicate time each week to education, experimentation, and networking. It’s been invaluable for keeping my finger on the pulse of SEO and delivering results for my clients. Remember, Google’s core updates aren’t designed to penalize sites, but rather to reward those that are meeting users’ needs most effectively. By prioritizing quality, relevance, and experience, you can build a site that not only weathers algorithm shifts but thrives in the face of them.

 
Key Takeaway: 

 

Don’t sweat the Core Update 2024. Use Google’s tools like Search Console to spot and fix site issues, and keep an eye on official Google channels for update insights. Prioritize user experience in your SEO strategy, diversify traffic sources, and stay sharp on SEO trends to safeguard against future updates.

 

FAQs in Relation to Website Recovery After Core Update 2024

How to recover from Google Core Update 2024?

Analyze your content quality and user experience. Improve them, then wait for Google to notice the changes.

How to recover a website from a Google core update?

Boost high-quality backlinks, enhance site speed, and ensure mobile-friendliness. Patience is key; recovery takes time.

What is the Google Helpful Content Update 2024?

This update rewards sites offering valuable insights directly related to search queries. Aim for depth over breadth.

How to recover from a Google spam update?

Clean up your site’s act by ditching shady links and spammy practices. Then ask Google for another look.

Conclusion

Website Recovery After Core Update 2024 is no walk in the park, but it’s not impossible either. By focusing on creating high-quality, relevant content, improving user experience, and building a strong backlink profile, you can bounce back from even the toughest core update.

Remember, Google’s ultimate goal is to provide the best possible results for its users. If you keep that in mind and prioritize delivering value to your audience, you’ll be well on your way to recovery.

So, don’t let a core update keep you down. Take action, stay the course, and watch your website rise from the ashes, stronger than ever before.

Written by Julia McCoy

See more from Julia McCoy
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