Google Update 2024

Google Update 2024: What it is & What to Do if Your Site Has Been Impacted

It’s the first Google core update of the year. And it’s huge.

The beginning of March saw Google release a couple of updates that are starting to have a seismic impact on websites, akin to the search giant’s Panda and Penguin updates.

In this article, we are going to dissect the update to understand what it means for your website, how to know whether your website has been impacted, and steps you can take.

First, let’s talk about the update.

Google Update March 2024: Explained

1. Google Core Update: Ranking Policy

Remember how in 2022, Google started to cut down on the low quality content in search results? They’re taking those lessons and cranking up the dial in this latest Google update.

What they’re doing is—they’re fine-tuning Google’s algorithms for core ranking systems to ensure that when you search for information, you see the most helpful, high-quality content. You will see less of the pages that are eerily specific to what you typed but don’t really offer the info or quality you were hoping for. This also means fewer repeats or unoriginal pages in your search results.

The goal? To seriously reduce the clutter. The aim of this Google core update is to make sure that when you’re searching, you’re more likely to find pages that are actually useful and high-quality. They’re estimating this could cut down the low-quality, rehashed content in your search results by a whopping 40%.

2.Google Spam Update: Spam Content Policies

a. Mass Content Generation:

Google already had rules against using automation to flood the web with junk content just to trick its way up search rankings. What’s new is that they’re getting even stricter with this Google update. If someone’s churning out loads of low-effort pages—whether human, automation, or both—Google’s calling it out. They’re cracking down on those sneaky pages that look like they have the answers to popular searches but end up being empty promises.

B. Parasite SEO

Ever landed on a reputable site only to find some random, subpar content that seemed out of place? It’s due to attempts at piggybacking on the site’s credibility to boost low-quality content. Google update is tackling this head-on. If a site is hosting third-party spam, it’s going to be flagged accordingly. Google has given website owners a heads-up with a two-month notice to clean house before these changes kick in on May 5.

C. Expired Domain Abuse

Google update is also keeping out expired websites that have been taken over by new owners to serve ads or turned into spam repositories to boost search rankings.

Google to Sunset Helpful Content Update

In August 2022, Google launched its Helpful Content Updateto tackle content that seems to have been primarily created for ranking well in search engines rather than to help or inform people”.

And now with the Google core update of March 2024, the search giant will sunset the Helpful Content Update and integrate it into its core update.

In fact, this core update builds on the groundwork laid by the Helpful Content Update back in 2022, indicating a broader and more sophisticated approach to improving search quality and user experience on Google.

How to Check If Your Website Has Been Hit by the Google Update

Google’s latest update has a no-tolerance policy for guideline violations and dodgy SEO tactics. Websites caught in the crosshairs aren’t just penalized; they’re wiped from the search results and de-indexed. The crackdown has been swift, leaving many site owners in a frenzy.

Wondering if your site felt the sting? Type “site:website.com” into Google. If your site pops up in the results, you’re in the clear. If not, you might have been hit.

Also, check your traffic impressions for any major changes. If you see a significant dip, it might be the Google update at play.

But here’s a key point: If the March 2024 core update or spam update affected your site, don’t expect a “Manual action” notification.

So, what’s the deal with Manual actions? Let’s find out.

Manual Action vs. Algorithmic Update

Manual Action

This happens when a Google reviewer personally checks out your site and finds it violates their spam policies. If your site gets a manual action, expect a drop in ranking or to disappear from search results altogether. Google will let you know through the Manual Actions report and Search Console message center if your site’s been penalized. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to fix a manual action.

Algorithmic Update

On the other hand, algorithmic updates, such as the March 2024 core or spam updates, work differently. They’re automatic adjustments Google makes to its algorithm to improve search results. You won’t get a heads-up from Google if an algorithmic update affects your site, whether that impact is good or bad.

What to Do if My Website Has Been Hit By the Google Update of 2024

Caught in the wake of Google update 2024? Here’s how to handle it:

1. Don’t make hasty Decisions

First off, don’t panic. Give it some time. Avoid making any hasty site changes while the update is rolling out. Jumping the gun on fixes can do more harm than good.

2. Assess the Damage

Once the update is fully in place, take a deep dive into your site’s performance metrics. Notice any drops in traffic or rankings? That’s your cue to start investigating what went wrong.

3. Audit Your Content

Dive into your previously successful content. Why might it be underperforming now? Could it be outdated SEO strategies, low-quality content, or a less-than-ideal backlink profile? Also, how does your content stack up against your main competitors? Is it too similar, overloaded with ads, or suffering from poor UX? This thorough analysis can uncover crucial insights.

4. Make Strategic Improvements

Armed with your audit findings, enhance your content’s quality and relevance. Cleanse your site of any spammy backlinks and fine-tune your SEO practices. Remember, Google rewards sites that provide value to their users, so make your site’s experience as smooth and informative as possible.

FAQs About the Google Update

1. Can I no longer use AI-generated content?

The source of your content, AI or manual, isn’t the main focus for Google. What matters most is the quality and semantics of your content. High-quality, meaningful content that provides value to users is key, regardless of how it’s produced. However, relying solely on automation for content creation, especially if it’s low-quality or unoriginal, could hurt your site’s ranking. Keep in mind that Google prioritizes deep, topical knowledge when ranking websites.

2. My website has never been hit by Google’s previous updates. Can I be affected too?

Yes, any website can be affected by a new Google update, regardless of its history with previous updates. Google’s algorithms are constantly evolving, aiming to improve search quality and user experience. It’s essential to adhere to best practices for SEO and content creation to minimize the impact of updates.

3. What is scaled content abuse?

Scaled content abuse refers to the practice of mass-producing content, often with the help of automation, to manipulate search rankings rather than to provide genuine value to users. This includes creating vast amounts of content targeting specific keywords or questions with little regard for quality or usefulness.

4. Can I still post answers in authority sites like Quora, Reddit, etc.?

Absolutely, as long as your contributions are of high quality and genuinely help the reader. While Quora, Reddit, and similar platforms are authoritative, they’re often misused for irrelevant answers and spammy link promotion, exploiting these sites’ credibility. If your answers are relevant, informative, and free of spammy links, continue sharing your knowledge. It’s the quality and relevance of your participation that count.

5. Can a website recover its rankings after getting hit by the core update?

Absolutely! Websites can bounce back from a core update hit by enhancing relevance, authority, and the overall user experience. Focus on crafting content that genuinely aids users, fine-tune your technical SEO, and consider user feedback to make impactful improvements.

Looking for Ways to Bounce Back from the Google Update?

If your e-commerce site took a hit with the recent Google update, don’t stress—help is at hand. Our SEO audit service dives deep to assess the impact and crafts a targeted recovery plan. From on-page SEO adjustments, including keyword and meta tags optimization to enhancing page performance, we’ve got you covered. But it doesn’t stop there; we also refine your off-page SEO by analyzing your backlink profile and boosting your social presence, all aimed at improving your site’s overall reputation.

Moreover, our UX audit pinpoints where your website can become more user-friendly, ensuring smooth navigation and responsiveness for a superior user experience. Coupled with a thorough competitor analysis, we provide a comprehensive strategy to not only recover from the update but to thrive beyond it. Here‘s a more detailed list of our services. Ready to bounce back stronger from this Google update? Reach out to us at (888) 811-3073 or support@codaemon.com to kickstart your site’s recovery journey.