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  • Writer's pictureDan Lauer

Breaking News - MAJOR Google Algorithm Updates Released - March 2024 CORE and SPAM System Updates

Like a bolt from the blue, we were well overdue, and Google announced that "big things" were coming several times over the last 3 months, after industry leaders voiced concerns over the quality of Google Search results were declining.

Finally, after about 90 days - we have our first "confirmed" Google Algorithm System updates of 2024. Google announced in a Blog Post that today, March 5, 2024, that they released the March 2024 Google Core Update and SPAM policy updates and could take up to a month to full rollout.


The aim of the both updates is to address search quality improvements, specifically targeting content that is 'not helpful to users' and 'content specifically made to attract clicks." Google is continuing it's aim to reward publishers and websites that are creating original, 'helpful', people first content.

Google's goal is to "reduce unhelpful content by 40%."

Google announced that this Core update rollout involves multiple 'systems' and according to Chris Nelson, from the Google Search Quality team, is "more complex than usual" as Google made "changes to multiple" core systems. Nelson even went onto to say that "there will be more fluctuations in rankings than with a regular core update, as different systems get fully updated and reinforce each other."

Checking the SERP volatility indexes, like from SEMRush, did show a little bit of an uptick, see screenshot below, but it's early and expect these indexes to spike in the coming days, while the rollout continues and completes.


Google also mentioned that this update has changed how it understands websites and which pages are "unhelpful, have a poor user experience, or feel like they were created for search engines in stead of people."

Also of note that the last "Helpful Content" system update was in September 2023 - and it looks like going forward this system is baked into the main core update - so just like with the "reviews system" updates, Google will not be announcing updates to the helpful content system.

Google also updated their FAQ on Helpful Content here.

Additionally, the SPAM update policies were updated. The Spam policies that were specifically updated were:

  • Expired Domain Abuse

  • Scaled Content Abuse (AI scaled content)

    • specifically AI generated content in large amounts that is 'unoriginal' and has 'no value to the users.' also using AI at scale to manipulate search rankings - is spam.

  • and Site Reputation Abuse

Google will start sending out SPAM policy manual actions from Google Search console for the first two this week, but the site reputation abuse will start on May 5th, 2024.

You can track the status of the rollout from Google's Search Status dashboard here.

You can track all confirmed updates here too from the Search Status page.

Google's advice is again to 'evaluate your content'

In the end, when you are creating content, ask yourself "how does this content help and benefit the user"? Provide a good relevant experience, have your Core Web Vitals scores in good shape, and have your content demonstrate E-E-A-T - experience/expertise/authoritativeness/trustworthiness.

Buckle up - Google #MarchMadness2024 has begun!

The SEO Content Goblins will actively monitor this breaking news story in the SEO community through the month and provide any updates or insights as we see them!

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