Explore how Local Dominator navigates the Google March 2024 Core Update, offering insights and strategies for SEO success.
Google March 2024 Core Update

Helllooooooo digital strategists and SEO enthusiasts! Google has recently started rolling out its latest update marked as one of the most significant updates in recent history. Following the Helpful Content Update back in September, Google’s March 2024 Core Update is poised to reshape the SEO landscape.

Let’s do a deep dive into Google’s most recent Core Update… (This was a big one!)

The Google Helpful Content Update Is Now Part of the Core Update

The Google March 2024 Core Update is bringing a significant shift in how content is valued and ranked, with the Helpful Content Update now a key component. This integration signals Google’s ongoing commitment to ensuring that the most useful and relevant content reaches users. By weaving the Helpful Content Update into the core algorithm, Google has doubled down on its efforts to prioritize content that genuinely satisfies user search intent over pages optimized purely for search engine rankings. This change has a profound impact on content quality standards and search visibility, urging creators to focus more on the value their content delivers to their audience.

Google Helpful Content Update Is Now Part of the Core Update

For websites and SEO professionals, this integration means that the user experience and content relevance are more critical than ever. Sites that provide clear, comprehensive answers to users’ questions are likely to see an improvement in their rankings. In contrast, those relying on outdated SEO tactics that prioritize keywords over quality may find themselves losing ground. The message is clear: to excel in the current digital landscape, aligning with Google’s emphasis on helpfulness is non-negotiable.

Spam Spam Spam Egg and Spam Update

Google’s estimating that this new update is going to reduce “low-quality, unoriginal content in search results by 40%.” or in a nutshell, spam. This is a huge goal and Google’s not playing around. We’re looking at a multi prong approach through several of Googles core systems.

Running alongside the Core Update is a simultaneous Spam Update, meticulously designed to enhance Google’s existing spam policies.

The three primary targets include: Expired Domain Abuse, Site Reputation Abuse (AKA: Parasite SEO), and Scaled Content Abuse.

Expired Domains are Considered Spam

Expired domain abuse is when someone buys and repurposes expired domains to boost the search rankings for their content. According to Google, expired domains that are bought and repurposed with the intention of boosting the search ranking of low-quality content will now be considered spam.  

Expired domains have historically been attractive for their SEO value, often retaining some of their previous authority, backlinks, and traffic.Google’s updated stance means that the benefits are now outweighed by the risks of being penalized. This shift emphasizes the importance of authenticity and merit in building a website’s authority and significantly impacts how SEO professionals / website owners should approach domain management and acquisition.

For compliant domain acquisition and use, consider the following guidelines:

  • Due Diligence: Before acquiring an expired domain, conduct thorough research to understand its history. Avoid domains that have been involved in spammy practices or have a volatile backlink profile.
  • Focus on Relevance: Choose domains that are relevant to your content and niche. A strong thematic match between the domain’s history and your current content ensures a smoother transition and maintains user trust.
  • Build Authentically: Invest in creating original, high-quality content and developing genuine backlinks. Relying on the residual authority of an expired domain is no longer a sustainable strategy.
  • Monitor and Clean Up: Regularly monitor the backlink profile of any acquired domain for spammy or irrelevant links. Proactively disavow harmful links to maintain the domain’s health and compliance with Google’s guidelines.
Site Reputation Abuse (aka Parasite SEO)


Site Reputation Abuse (aka Parasite SEO) Is Spam Too

Site reputation abuse, often referred to as Parasite SEO, has been clearly marked as spam in the Google March 2024 Core Update. This practice involves leveraging the high authority and trust of established websites to host content that benefits a lower-quality site, aiming to piggyback on the host’s credibility to gain unfair search rankings. The effects of this on SEO are detrimental; it can lead to a misrepresentation of content quality and a skewed perception of less reputable sites.

Protecting your site from being implicated in such practices is crucial for maintaining its integrity and search ranking. Here are key measures to consider:

  • Regularly Monitor Backlinks: Use tools to track who is linking to your site. Disavow any links that come from suspicious or low-quality sources to avoid guilt by association.
  • Strengthen Site Security: Implement robust security measures to prevent unauthorized postings or content that could harm your site’s reputation.
  • Content Auditing: Regularly review your site’s content for anything that could be seen as manipulative or low-quality. Ensuring your content aligns with Google’s guidelines is essential for protecting your site’s reputation.

By understanding site reputation abuse and taking proactive steps to guard against it, you can help preserve the credibility and ranking of your website, aligning with the best practices for SEO in the wake of Google’s latest updates.

No More Guest Posts?

“We’ll now consider very low-value, third-party content produced primarily for ranking purposes and without close oversight of a website owner to be spam. We’re publishing this policy two months in advance of enforcement on May 5, to give site owners time to make any needed changes.”

So is Google going to entirely do away with guest posts by calling them spam? Maybe, and maybe not. Google wants to push low quality content as far away from the first page as possible. If you publish high quality content for a dentist on a guest posting site that has many other niches posted on there as well we’re still not sure if Google’s going to give it the same attention as if it were posted on a niche-specific site. One thing we can be sure of is that Google is continuing their trend of looking more at the quality of the articles than the amount of keywords we can stuff into them.

Google March 2024 Core Update Adds Content Quality as a Benchmark

Google’s pursuit of quality over quantity is evident, emphasizing the significance of valuable content. Content must deliver genuine value to users to align with the evolving standards set by the search giant.

Page-Level Precision in Helpful Content

A huge shift in how Google will rank content has happened as the helpful content system now operates at a page level, abandoning the previous site-wide application. This refined approach promises improvements in rankings on a page-specific basis, necessitating a more nuanced strategy for SEO practitioners.

Throwing Scaled Content Out the Window

Ever since automation has been used to create content, Google’s been against it. When ChatGPT rolled out and the concept of creating blog posts en mass spread like wildfire, Google knew they’d have a tough time. Especially now when it’s becoming tougher and tougher to differentiate between content produced purely through automations and content made by humans.

The content crackdown isn’t focused solely on fully-AI generated content though. It’s also against two other forms of mass content creation:

The first is article spinning – which produces multiple versions of the same article by taking existing content and uses software to rewrite it with slight variations. 

The second is content farms – platforms that produce large volumes of low-quality articles, written quickly and cheaply, aimed at covering a wide range of search queries without offering much depth or insight.

To more effectively combat all these techniques, Google’s bolstering their policy to specifically target abusive practices, particularly the mass production of content designed to artificially inflate search rankings. They’re taking corrective measures against a wide array of content that lacks substantive value that’s generated at scale. 

This includes pages that simulate expertise in addressing popular search queries but ultimately fail to provide meaningful and helpful information. The revised policy will be enforced from May 5th according to Google.

So Does That Mean No More ChatGPT? 

Not really.

Google’s really pushing high quality content. This latest update is emphasizing just how important it is to focus on E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness)

Google E-E-A-T

Can you still create a killer blog posts that rank well using AI? 


Yes, absolutely!


Is it going to be easy? 


Compared to the old fashion way of sitting down and manually writing a blog post… yeah!

What’s Different from the Old Policy Against “Automatically-Generated Content” and the Updated Policy Against “Scaled Abuse“?

The transition from a broad dismissal of “automatically-generated content” to a more specific focus on “scaled abuse” marks a giant shift. Previously, Google’s guidelines broadly warned against content created without human oversight in general, regardless of quality. The updated approach recognizes that not all AI-generated content is low-value or spammy. Instead, it targets content scaled up to manipulate rankings without offering real user value. This change acknowledges the evolution of content generation technologies while still reinforcing the importance of content quality.

Is This a Change in How Google Views AI Content in Terms of Spam?

Google’s stance on AI-generated content reflects a nuanced understanding of its potential and pitfalls. While AI can produce informative, engaging content, the Google March 2024 Core Update signals a more refined approach to distinguishing high-quality AI content from spam. The key lies in the content’s ability to serve users’ needs effectively, rather than merely existing for SEO manipulation. This doesn’t ban AI content but it puts a huge focus on its quality, relevance, and value to the reader.

What Should I Do Next?

Cry. It’s ok to cry. It’s healthy and you’ll feel better.

via GIPHY

Once you’re done crying, don’t do anything dramatic until the internet dust settles. Google’s expecting the rollout of the Google March 2024 Core Update to take about a month and knee-jerk reactions can often do more harm than good. Resist the urge to make sweeping changes to your site until the update has completed its course, and the dust has settled. 

In the meanwhile, conduct an audit of your content, focusing on individual pages rather than the entire site. Leverage this opportunity to identify and enhance the helpfulness of your content, aligning it with the refined standards of the updated algorithm. 

Here are a few actionable recommendations:

  • Audit Your Content: Review your existing content for quality, relevance, and alignment with E-E-A-T principles. Update or remove content that doesn’t meet these standards.

  • Focus on Quality and Depth: Invest time and resources into creating well-researched, in-depth content that covers topics comprehensively to stand out as an authoritative source in your niche. Quality should always trump quantity.

  • ​​Understand Your Audience: Deep dive into what your audience is searching for, their pain points, and their questions. Use this insight to guide the topics, tone, and structure of your content.

  • Build Trust: Showcase your expertise and credentials, especially if you’re in the YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) sector. Transparently cite sources and provide accurate, trustworthy information.

  • Stay Informed: Keep up with Google’s guidelines and updates. Being proactive about understanding and implementing these changes can give you an edge in SEO.

Stay vigilant for any anomalies in rankings and performance, adjusting your SEO strategy accordingly. Be proactive in addressing potential pitfalls, such as the relevance of aged domains and the quality of your content. The key lies in strategic adaptation, informed decisions, and a keen eye on emerging trends in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

And if there’s one thing you remember from this post let it be this: You’ll never regret creating people-first content.

Google March 2024 Core Update Game Changer

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Google March 2024 Core Update?

The Google March 2024 Core Update is a major change to how Google’s search engine ranks websites. It’s designed to improve how users find information, making sure the best and most relevant content shows up higher in search results. This update focuses on rewarding high-quality content that provides clear answers to user questions, offers in-depth information, and comes from trustworthy sources. For website owners, this means paying more attention to creating valuable content that truly helps their audience. It’s all about making the internet a better place for searching and learning.

How do I know if my site is affected by the Google March 2024 Core Update?

You’ll know your site is affected by the Google March 2024 Core Update if you see significant changes in your search engine rankings or web traffic after the update rolls out. These changes could be positive or negative, depending on how well your site aligns with the new update’s focus areas. To stay on top, regularly check your site’s performance using tools like Google Analytics and Search Console. They can help you track changes in your site’s traffic and rankings. If you notice a drop, it might be time to review your content and SEO strategies to make sure they meet the latest guidelines for quality and relevance.

Can the Google March 2024 Core Update impact my site’s mobile rankings?

Yes, the Google March 2024 Core Update can affect how your site ranks in mobile search results. Google values user experience, especially on mobile devices, as more people use their phones to search the internet. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, meaning it’s hard to use on a phone or loads slowly, it might not rank as well after the update. Making your site mobile-friendly isn’t just about avoiding penalties; it’s about providing a better experience for your audience, which can lead to more traffic and engagement.

What are the best tools for monitoring the impact of Google’s core updates?

Some of the best tools for monitoring how Google’s core updates affect your site include Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and SEMrush. Google Analytics helps track your website’s traffic, showing you how users interact with your site. Google Search Console offers insights into your site’s search performance and any issues that might affect your rankings. SEMrush is great for researching keywords, competitors, and market trends, helping you understand your site’s position in the broader internet landscape. Using these tools together gives you a comprehensive view of your site’s performance and how to improve it.

How often does Google release core updates, and how can I stay prepared?

Google releases core updates several times a year, though the exact number can vary. These updates are part of Google’s ongoing efforts to improve the search experience for users by delivering more relevant, high-quality content. To stay prepared, focus on creating great content that provides real value to your audience. Keep your site technically sound, mobile-friendly, and easy to navigate. Stay informed about SEO best practices and any announcements from Google about upcoming changes. By focusing on quality and user experience, you can help ensure your site remains resilient through future updates.

Eldar Cohen

Meet the author:

Eldar Cohen

Eldar is the founder of Local Dominator and CEO of LocalWiz Marketing. Eldar trains and mentors entrepreneurs, marketing teams, and agency owners to help them identify their unique selling proposition to achieve scalable growth on both personal and business fronts. 

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