Google’s March 2024 Core & Spam Update

Google’s March 2024 Core & Spam Update

Google just announced two new updates: a Core Update and a Spam Update.

This Core Update targets “unhelpful” content and aims to significantly eliminate low-quality, unoriginal material.

Google continues to assert that whether content is created by humans or automated processes, it needs to be unique, original, and helpful.

The Spam Update includes updates Google’s SpamBrain AI spam-prevention system and also claims to improve their spam policies overall.

In our monitoring, we are seeing a sharp rise both in spammy content and practices. In some cases, outright cybersecurity violations occur.

Many of these are detected in our SERP data and we are seeing an increase in customers using our data to detect and mitigate these threats.

Core Update Objectives

Google’s update refines their ranking systems and deploying new spam policies. This dual approach is designed to purge search results of low-quality, unoriginal content by up to 40%.

This move against scaled content abuse, site reputation abuse, and expired domain abuse is designed to promote authentic and verifiable experiences. This is not achievable in all markets, obviously, due to the nature of the products and services being sold.

Wherever possible, take the time to ensure that your content is unique and contains features that aren’t found on other sites.

These updates are generally targeted at individual pages rather than entire sites but if your site is composed entirely of this type of content, an audit and review is definitely a good idea.

Fighting Content and Site Abuse

The spam update cracks down on scaled content abuse.

Similarly, site reputation abuse, where high-reputation sites host low-quality third-party content, is under scrutiny.

Parasite SEO and similar strategies have been remarkably effective in generating traffic, much to the chagrin of white-hat SEOs.

We have seen borderline criminal usage of Parasite SEO tactics to target the ecommerce search function of customer’s sites when site search pages are not properly de-indexed, essentially giving spammers unfettered access to new page creation on unwary websites.

Google’s updated policies extend to eliminate expired domain abuse, where domains are repurposed to mislead users by associating new, low-quality content with the domain’s prior reputation.

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Implementation Details

The rollout of the Spam Update will last for around two weeks and the Core Update is expected to take up to a month.

Take some time this month to ensure that your data, monitoring, and alerts are properly configured to make sure you spot any major swings and get ready to make improvements if you see any major declines.