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Google core update march 2024

Google Core Update March 2024 - All You Need to Know

About twice a year, Google launches a new core update. In the last 24 months, it focused  mainly on bringing light to helpful and high-quality content whereas the unoriginal content was aimed to be reduced. In March 2024, Google released another core update that drastically affected lots of websites. In this article, we will talk about these new changes to understand how to minimize their impact on your SEO work.

March 2024 Update

This core update is said to be more complex than the “usual update” and is going to last for about a month. This means that you can expect some positive and/or negative changes in the next four weeks. It is expected to fluctuate, therefore there is no need to panic overnight. Now let’s explore a bit more into details what Google algorithm will now focus on.

Reducing low-quality & unoriginal results

Since 2022, Google algorithm has been heavily targeting what it calls “unoriginal content”, which is the content that does not bring any value to the reader. For example, this kind of content would just stuff keywords in it to try ranking higher on the SERPs. Another example of low-quality content would be when many articles talk about the same subject, but more recent articles about this same subject would take the first one as a reference and only paraphrase it. Google algorithm tries to bury those articles a little, as they do not add any extra information to the reader.

Keeping Spam Websites in the Dark

Spammy websites have become a bane for users nowadays. That is why Google’s new core update is focusing on keeping these types of websites out of the SERPs. Once marked as spam, the website would significantly be impacted in its ranking, or even completely vanish from the SERP. Let’s explore what exactly is considered as a spam website.

Google algorithm focus

1 — Scaled content abuse

Google doesn’t seem to be against the use of some tools to generate content. However, it is completely against the abuse of these tools. This means that if a website is only using AI to generate content on a large scale, it will be considered as spam. The main issue of content automation is the poor quality of it, as well as its relevance. In most cases, generated content only produces existing information and does not bring any more value or information to the reader.

2 — Site reputation abuse

There are some extremely reputable websites out there. For financial profits, they allow some guest posts, usually seen as “featured”. Unfortunately, the unfollowed content guidelines, low-quality and irrelevance are often negatively impacting the overall reputation of that website. Google calls it “site reputation abuse”, and this practice is equally seen as spam.

3 — Expired domain abuse

Some domains expire and are bought again by another webmaster. Although, some websites are bought to simply gain the authority that this same domain had while handled by the previous webmaster. In most cases, the quality content is very low and can mislead the users into believing that it was part of the same entity. Expired domain abuse is considered as spam by Google’s algorithm, and will be penalized.

Consequences of Google’s Core Update in March 2024

The main consequence of this update will affect all the websites that do not follow the guidelines we have mentioned above. Those websites will be affected negatively in their traffic and ranking.

It will be more difficult to guest post, especially because when the content is out-sourced, it is more difficult to evaluate its relevance and quality. We recommend working with entities that deliver top-notch quality content for better results in the long run.

But let’s talk about the websites that do not breach those guidelines. They might see an increase in traffic and ranking overnight, simply because they complied with Google’s guidelines.

How to Bypass Google’s Algorithm?

Keep in mind that technology is ever-evolving. If one finds a way to bypass Google’s guidelines, one may be caught and penalized for one’s actions. But more importantly, Google’s algorithm is constantly changing. This means that at some point, whoever is trying to bypass the system will eventually be caught. This may result in months or years of work that would just vanish in a blink of an eye.

How to Match Google’s Content Guidelines?

As we have seen above, Google’s algorithm has strengthened quite a bit. That is why we recommend applying these guidelines as soon as you can, not to be penalized. Let’s dive into all the things you can improve on your website in order to comply with the guidelines.

1 — Topical Authority

Topical authority must be the number one priority when it comes to following Google’s rules. That is what matters most to the algorithm so that you can rank higher than your competitors.

Think about the topical authority of the new encyclopedia in your niche. Your content must know “everything” about the subject and could be the source for other articles. It is not about the length of the content, but rather about the amount of useful and unique information you can find in it. If your website becomes the new expert in its niche, providing trustworthy, informational and interesting content, Google’s algorithm would boost its ranking.

2 — EEAT

From 2022 Google has focused its efforts on great E.A.T. (which stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness). Along with the evolution of the algorithm, we can see that Google now is even more specific, since it works in favor of good E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness).

EEAT Summary

(E)EAT - Experience

The experience comes from real-life experiences you can get. This obviously will differ depending on your niche, but what Google wishes to see is your first-hand experience, your own insights and opinions. Regarding a product review, your experience  could be adding your own media to accompany your article as well as sharing your honest opinion on the product.

E(E)AT - Expertise

Google wants to see the expertise of the author on the topic they are referring to –  this is called topical expertise. For example, if your business is in the medical industry, a relevant expertise would be sourced by medical professionals. If a license number cannot be displayed on your website, another way to express your expertise would be with your content. For instance, sharing your own videos on how to cook a perfect lasagna like a chef could be one form of expertise. Google wishes to see your personal touch and knowledge on the subject.

EE(A)T - Authoritativeness

Expertise is one thing, but when other entities can recognize it and trust you, it is what authoritativeness looks like. When relevant and powerful websites link to your website through a backlink, it grows your authority too. Think of those important websites as famous people – if a famous athlete would recommend you to use your gym equipment, people would trust you more, because they trust the athlete and his expertise. Finding the right entities in your niche can be slightly overwhelming if done on your own. Link.Builders can help you get the backlinks you need to become the new expert in your niche.

EEA(T) - Trustworthiness

Can we trust the legitimacy of your content? That is the number one question Google’s algorithm is going to focus on. Biased information isn’t going to make it to the top of the SERP – authentic, accurate and legitimate content is. This goes from the contact details of your firm, the good (and bad) reviews of your customers, and even the security of your website and payments transactions. Keep in mind that the more transparent your company is, the more trustworthy it will look like.

3 — Technical seo

Apart from the content perspective, UX (also called User Experience) is a crucial part of your website. The better the experience your customers had on your website, the more likely they are to come back and hopefully purchase your products. Let’s explore what aspects of technical SEO you can improve to make sure the UX is at its peak performance.

What is Technical SEO?

Technical SEO is sort of a sub-category of SEO, nonetheless as important as general SEO. It focuses on all the technical aspects of your website and its performance. The simpler and more optimized your website is for users and bots (also called crawlers), the more exposure you will get from Google’s algorithm. Here are some examples of what should appear on your technical SEO checklist:

  • Broken links
  • Loading speed
  • Sitemap, site architecture
  • Mobile optimization
  • No duplicated content
  • Use breadcrumbs navigation
  • Use pagination if many articles to avoid scrolling forever

Overall, if you have a good balance between E-E-A-T and technical SEO, Google’s algorithm is going to play in your favor and push your website higher on the SERP.

Frequently Asked Questions

Google’s algorithm has mainly gone from focusing on EAT to EEAT, as well as filtering out spam websites that did not bring any new relevant, legitimate and trustworthy information.

The last Google core update started at the beginning of March 2024, and is supposed to take about four weeks to complete.

Google’s updates his system about 500-600 times a year. But there are only 3 to 4 core updates per year.

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