Google Search Gets a Spring Cleaning: March 2024 Update Targets Low-Quality Content

Google rolled out a significant update to its search algorithm in March 2024, aiming to improve search results by demoting low-quality content and elevating more helpful and informative websites. This update, dubbed the "March 2024 core update," comes alongside new spam policies to further enhance the user experience.


Focus on User-Friendly Content

The core update prioritizes content that is genuinely valuable to users. This means downranking websites that:

  • Prioritize clicks over usefulness: Content designed to attract clicks with sensational headlines or misleading information will see a decline in ranking.
  • Offer poor user experience: Websites with intrusive ads, slow loading times, or confusing layouts will be less visible in search results.
  • Are "thin" content: Websites created solely to match specific search queries, often lacking depth or originality, will be impacted.


Google's Take on Helpfulness

Google's approach to identifying helpful content has evolved. Previously, ranking relied on a single system. Now, a combination of innovative signals and techniques is used to assess helpfulness. This makes it harder to "game the system" and ensures a wider variety of informative content appears in search results.


A More Complex Update

This update is more intricate than usual core updates, involving changes to multiple core ranking systems. To explain these changes and how content creators can adapt, Google has added a new FAQ page to its Search Central Blog. The rollout of the update may take up to a month to fully implement.


What Creators Can Do

Website owners and creators can take steps to ensure their content remains discoverable under the new guidelines. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Focus on user experience: Prioritize clear, concise, and well-structured content that provides genuine value to readers.
  • Originality is key: Create unique and informative content that establishes your expertise on a topic.
  • User engagement matters: Encourage user interaction through comments, forums, or social media integration.


By following these guidelines, content creators can ensure their websites continue to thrive in the ever-evolving landscape of Google Search.