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Google’s March 2024 Core Update: A Step Towards Higher Quality Search Results

by | Mar 26, 2024 | SEO

In a recent announcement that has created a lot of buzz in the digital space and specifically for SEO, is the Google March 2024 Core Update, which is a comprehensive overhaul aimed at enhancing the quality of search results and combating spam more effectively. This update is not just another routine Google update, it’s a significant leap forward in Google’s ongoing efforts to ensure that users find genuinely helpful and high-quality content. Here’s what you need to know about the update and how it might affect your website, content and SEO strategies.

Google Wants to Focus on Quality: Reducing Low-Quality Content by 40%
At the heart of the March 2024 Core Update is Google’s commitment to improving the quality of information that appears in its search results. The update brings algorithmic enhancements to Google’s core ranking systems, targeting spammy and unoriginal content. Elizabeth Tucker, Director of Product for Search at Google, emphasized Google’s goal to “surface the most helpful information on the web” and significantly reduce the presence of low-quality content. Google’s dedication to this cause is not new, but the March update represents a significant advance, aiming to cut down unoriginal and “spammy” content in search results by an ambitious 40%.

Tackling Spam with New Policies
Google’s update goes beyond just tweaking algorithms; it introduces stricter spam policies to keep the search ecosystem clean and trustworthy. These policies are particularly aimed at addressing three main issues: scaled content abuse, site reputation abuse, and expired domain abuse. By broadening the scope of what is considered manipulative and spammy, Google intends to safeguard the integrity of its search results further.

Scaled Content Abuse
Google is cracking down on the mass production of low-quality or unoriginal content designed to manipulate search rankings. This update targets content created through AI or content that lacks genuine value, aiming to eliminate pages that offer no real answers to people’s queries.

Site Reputation Abuse
Some sites have tried to exploit their reputable status by hosting low-quality content from third parties. The update addresses this by deeming such practices spammy, especially when the content is created mainly for ranking…(rather than providing value to readers.)

Expired Domain Abuse
The practice of purchasing expired domains to repurpose them for ranking low-quality content is also on Google’s radar. This deceptive strategy can mislead users into associating the new, lesser content with the previous domain’s credibility.

What This Means for YOU as a Business Owner, SEO and Content Creators
The rollout of Google’s March 2024 Core Update is a clear signal from Google about the importance of quality and authenticity in writing website content. Copywriters and content creators should see this as an incentive to review their content strategies and ensure that their websites offer real value to its readers, prospects and customers. The focus should be on creating original, helpful, valuable content that addresses the needs and questions of your specific audience. Also, the tightening of spam policies means that any manipulative practices used to “cheat the system” will likely lead to penalties.

Compliance and Timeline
The update has already started rolling out, with websites given a two-month window to adjust to the new site reputation policy. Other changes are effective immediately, marking a crucial period for webmasters to ensure their sites align with Google’s updated standards.

Elevating Your Content’s Quality

In light of this Google update, reassessing and enhancing the quality of your website’s content has never been more crucial. Producing content that is specifically written for your unique audience can safeguard you against penalties. Is your content arranged in a way that makes sense (semantic HTML) and does it have the appropriate (and optimized) metadata so that search engines and people can find it online?

Here are a few next steps to get you moving in the right direction if you’re not sure where you stand:

Conduct a Content Audit

Once really effective method to improve your website SEO is to remove any content that is low quality and eliminating content that doesn’t add any REAL value. As we always say here at Win Consulting, quantity does not equate to quality. Conducting a content audit can determine if your content is underperforming, not ranking, thin, outdated, redundant, or simply irrelevant. A strategic overview of your content, ensuring it addresses every facet of your customer’s search journey, is essential.

Update Your “About” Page/Bio

For content that discusses critical topics pertinent to your business, an up-to-date “About” page or bio detailing your credentials is crucial. This is particularly vital for YMYL (Your Money Your Life) content, which Google defines as information potentially impacting an individual’s health, financial stability, safety, or societal well-being. Familiarize yourself with Google’s guidelines on this subject to enhance your content’s credibility and authority. Ensuring that your content is written by or reviewed by people who are qualified to talk about the subject is imperative for visibility and authority. So take some time to re-write your Bio and give that About page a little face lift. (And if you have been thinking about redesigning your website lately and it’s looking a little old and tired, it may be time to consider getting it some rejuvenation in the form of a facelift. Read this blog article: Old and Tired: 5 Ways to Tell Your Website Needs a Facelift)

Analyze Competitor Content

If you’re wondering the ideal length for your blog posts, remember that Google prioritizes content depth over length. It’s about thoroughly covering your topic and addressing user queries. Performing a competitive analysis from high-ranking competitors can uncover gaps in your own content, from keywords and headings to FAQs.

Offer Unique Perspectives

The principles of E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authority, and Trust) play a significant role in Google’s evaluation of your content quality. We suggest going beyond just stating you and your team’s qualifications on an about page. It’s important to  demonstrate real-world experience and your expertise on a topic is key to making Google’s quality rater guidelines.

Address Your Audience’s Questions

Using effective keywords in your content that will help you rank is one of the foundational aspects of SEO, yet avoiding the pitfall of “keyword stuffing” is imperative. Use the keyword in the appropriate places on your blog and aim for natural incorporation of keywords where they enhance your audience’s understanding of the topic and try to avoid disruptive repetition that can detract from the user experience.

Develop a Robust SEO Strategy

If you’ve got a team managing your SEO, it’s a good idea to touch base with them on their strategic game plan, techniques, and overall approach to your SEO. Make sure your site is playing by Google’s rules for top-notch content. Good news here: The era of instant gratification from dodgy and scammy SEO practices are over. Today, crafting content that truly resonates with people, not just algorithms, is where it’s at. Yes, a solid SEO strategy is a bit of a marathon — it requires patience and dedication, but trust us when we say, it can really pay off. Google loves to shine a spotlight on those who invest the time to produce genuinely useful and comprehensive content.

Seeking SEO Guidance?

Win Consulting provides comprehensive SEO audits and competitive analyses as well as monthly SEO package which are tailored to not only to increase website traffic but also the overall user experience, conversion rates, and sales.

Let’s Chat! CLICK HERE to schedule a 1-1 discovery call with Ashley Shank, Founder and CEO of Win Consulting.