Google's March 2024 Core Update: Quality Content & Spam Penalties

March 14, 2024

7 Minute Read
Google March 2024 Core Update - Be Found Online

Back again! This time, we’re bringing you the latest on Google’s March 2024 Core update and its new spam policies. This is big news for site owners and managers, and we want to make sure you’re in the loop about what’s happening, what it means for you, and how we can help keep your site on the right track.


Understanding Google's March 2024 Core Update

Google announced the March 2024 Core Update on March 5, 2024, and this latest update includes significant changes aimed at boosting thegoogle buries unhelpful content quality of search results by reducing low-quality, unoriginal content in search results by 40%! You read that right, 4-0-%!


The focus of this ambitious 40% goal? Weeding out repetitive, unhelpful content and spotlighting the good stuff. 


Since 2022, Google has been on a mission to slash unoriginal content from the search results. 


Unlike previous core updates, the March Algorithm Update integrates Google's Helpful Content system into the core ranking algorithm. 


The latest update makes Google’s algorithms smarter at identifying content that’s not doing anyone any favors – whether it’s hard to use, not very informative, or seems designed more for search engines than for real-life people, while at the same time marking a concerted effort to prioritize content that is genuinely useful to users.


New Spam Policies: What You Need to Know

Google is cracking down on low-quality content and shady SEO tricks harder than ever. Here’s the lowdown on the new no-gos:

  • Mass-Produced Content: Google’s saying a big “nah, I’m good” to content that’s churned out by automation or other sketchy methods to game search rankings. If it’s not genuinely helpful, Google’s not interested as it will be considered scaled content abuse.
  • Misusing Reputable Sites: Hosting subpar content on otherwise reputable sites to piggyback on their credibility? Google’s onto that Parasite SEO tactic, and site reputation abuse is not going to fly anymore.
  • Expired Domain Abuse and Exploits: Snapping up old domains to host new, low-quality content for an SEO boost is also out of the question.

These updates could shake things up for many websites. It’s a reminder that quality and helpfulness should be your content priorities.


Key Features of the March 2024 Update

  • Global Impact: Affects all content, regardless of region or language.
  • Content Focus: Targets all types of content, aiming to reward quality and originality.
  • Rollout Timeline: Expected to fully roll out over a month, with updates to various core systems.
  • Spam Policy Updates: Accompanied by new spam updates focusing on combating spammy practices more effectively.

For more information check out Google’s Search Central Blog, What web creators should know about our March 2024 core update and new spam policies, or sign up for our newsletter below.


What Manual Actions Mean for Your Site

It is being reported sites have already felt the sting of manual actions from Google, indicating a push to scrub the web of low-quality takes out the trash on low-quality content 


This crackdown is reminiscent of the impactful Panda and Penguin updates. It’s resulted in entire websites disappearing from Google’s search results, particularly those that leaned heavily on AI-generated content.

Over 1,446 websites have been removed, leading to a significant hit in traffic. This sends a clear message: Google is serious about maintaining the quality of its search results. Here is an example of the Pure Spam manual action:

example of Pure Spam manual detection


Why Manual Actions Matters to You

With Google’s swift enforcement of these new rules, website owners must stay vigilant. Inconsistencies in how Google communicates these actions – through Search Console notifications or emails – highlight the need for proactive monitoring of your site’s compliance with Google’s guidelines.


What You Can Do: We advise checking your site's manual action viewer for any penalties ASAP! If present, you could experience a significant traffic decline or discover that your site has been removed from Google Search results. Contact BFO if you have any questions.

Update 3/11/2024: In response to all the manual actions being handed out and backlash from site owners, Google has published a FAQ on the Pure Spam Manual Actions.


Action Steps in Light of the March 2024 Core Update

As we navigate through the nuances of the Google March 2024 Core Update, businesses and website owners must stay vigilant and proactive. Here are actionable steps and some considerations to ensure your online presence remains strong and your website continues to perform well in search rankings:

  • Audit Your Content: Review your website's content with a critical eye, focusing on the value it provides to your audience. Prioritize updating or removing low-quality, unoriginal, or unhelpful content. Aim for materialembrace seo experts that genuinely serves the needs and interests of your users.
  • Monitor Performance: Keep a close eye on your website's performance metrics, especially in the weeks following the update rollout. Look for any significant fluctuations in traffic or rankings, as these could indicate areas of your site that need attention or adjustment.
  • Embrace Quality: Reinforce your commitment to creating high-quality, user-centric content. This update is a reminder of the importance of prioritizing the user experience and the value of your content over tactics designed solely to improve search engine rankings.
  • Stay Updated on SEO Best Practices: The digital landscape is ever-evolving, with new trends and guidelines emerging regularly. Ensure you stay informed about the latest SEO strategies and best practices to adapt your approach effectively.
  • Consult with SEO Experts: Navigating Google's algorithm updates can be complex and requires a nuanced understanding of SEO. Consider partnering with SEO specialists who can offer tailored advice and strategies to bolster your site's performance in this new update landscape.

How Be Found Online Can Help

Feeling overwhelmed? We’ve got your back with updates like this and more! At Be Found Online, we specialize in navigating the ever-changing landscape of SEO. Here’s why partnering with us can make all the difference:

  • Expert Guidance: We stay ahead of Google’s updates, so we can advise you on keeping your content in line with best practices.
  • Quality Content Creation: Our team can help produce content that’s not just Google-friendly but genuinely valuable to your audience.
  • Compliance Checkups: We’ll help monitor your site to ensure it stays compliant with Google’s latest guidelines, helping you avoid penalties.
  • Recovery Strategies: If you’ve been hit by a manual action, we can assist in developing a recovery plan to get your site back in good standing.

The March 2024 Google update and new spam policies are reminders of the importance of improving the quality of your content and ethical SEO practices. 

At Be Found Online, we’re here to help you navigate these changes, ensuring your site not only survives but thrives in 2024. Reach out to us for tailored SEO support and safeguard your site’s future.


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Jon Pappas - Director of Organic Search

Jon Pappas

Jonathon is the Director of Organic Search at BFO. He’s a reliable and consistent member of our team and is very detail-oriented and client-focused.