22 Mar, 2024

Google March Core Update Strengthens Rules vs. Spam, Unhelpful Content

March Core Update

Google’s hatred of spam and low-quality web content is no secret. For years, it has implemented various measures to deter site owners from using such strategies to game the system. Just recently, it reaffirmed its commitment to providing better search results to users. With the release of the Google March core update, site owners and administrators, particularly those in the Blockchain, Web3, and Crypto space, are encouraged to improve their web content and avoid underhanded tactics lest they face harsher penalties.

Google Overhauls Helpful Content System 

The March core update is Google’s first core update of 2024, and it aims to remove 40% of unhelpful content from search results. Google Product Management Director Elizabeth Tucker revealed that the update, which started rolling out on March 8, 2024, is more complex than previous versions as it enhances how the search giant understands what constitutes low-quality content and poor user experience on web pages. 

As part of the update, significant changes have been made to Google’s helpful content system. Through a comprehensive overhaul of classifiers, the search giant has implemented innovative signals and methodologies to prioritize high-quality content in search results. This revamp marks a milestone, as Google has integrated the helpful content system directly into the core update, eliminating the need for separate announcements of such updates in the future. 

Anticipating the scale of this core update, Google has estimated a month-long rollout period. During this time, marketers and website owners should brace themselves for fluctuations in search rankings. These fluctuations are expected as multiple systems undergo extensive modification and reinforcement to accommodate the new algorithms. 

It’s crucial to note that experiencing a drop in rankings doesn’t necessarily signal an issue with your web pages. Google reassures that these fluctuations are part of the adjustment process and may not require specific actions for recovery.

Google Tightens Measures Vs. Spam 

In addition to revamping its helpful content system, Google has unveiled a series of stringent measures to combat spam, particularly with the introduction of the March 2024 spam update. This initiative is accompanied by policy adjustments designed to meet the overarching goals of the Google March core update. 

The latest endeavor to tackle spam involves scaling the content abuse search spam update, which extends its scope beyond merely addressing “spammy auto-generated content.” This update targets any strategy that involves mass content creation with the intent to manipulate search rankings. For instance, pages that promise answers to popular queries but fail to deliver substantive content are now under scrutiny. 

Google underscores that whether content production occurs through automation or human efforts, any attempt at ranking manipulation violates its guidelines. To address scaled content abuse, Google will deploy a combination of algorithmic and manual actions. 

Moreover, Google has expanded its definition of spam to encompass the practice of purchasing and repurposing expired domains to bolster the search ranking of low-quality content. The introduction of the new site reputation abuse policy addresses tactics like “Parasite SEO,” wherein third-party sites host subpar content to exploit the ranking authority of reputable domains. 

However, Google clarifies that not all third-party content is spam. Under the new, more stringent regulations, only content lacking close oversight from its owners and aimed at manipulating search rankings will face penalties. Enforcement of the site reputation abuse policy is set to commence on May 5th.

The Effects So Far 

While Google has yet to complete the core update’s rollout, many site owners and managers are already seeing its effects on their online visibility. Some of them even reported being removed from search result pages entirely.

1. Mass de-indexing of websites

Following Google’s recent announcement, a significant purge of low-quality spam websites has occurred, resulting in their complete removal from search result pages. Those spared from outright removal were either relegated to obscurity within the “filter=0” section or pushed to the bottom of search results. It’s noteworthy that the de-indexing of websites typically stems from manual penalties rather than core algorithm updates. 

A considerable portion of the de-indexed sites featured substandard AI-generated content. While Google doesn’t explicitly prohibit the use of AI, website owners must ensure their content remains current, of superior quality, and adheres to Google’s EEAT guidelines. Surviving previous core updates does not guarantee immunity; websites hosting poorly written content (whether by humans or AI) remain susceptible to de-indexing from search result pages.

2. Google’s prompt actions

Google exhibits swift and decisive actions against websites that violate its policies, imposing stringent penalties with expediency. Owners of de-indexed websites have reported the abrupt disappearance of their sites from search result pages, often without any prior notification from the search giant. 

To determine whether your site remains indexed in search result pages, input “site:yourwebsite.com” into Google’s search bar. Given that algorithmic updates are automated processes, websites affected by core updates, including the Google March core update, typically do not receive notifications via the Search Console’s manual action viewer. Consequently, website owners or administrators are responsible for conducting manual verifications.

Let the SEO Experts Help 

With Google dominating the search market, businesses in the Blockchain, Crypto, and Web3 sectors must play by its rules to stay visible and grow. Prioritizing high-quality content over manipulative tactics is crucial for maintaining credibility and trust with users, ultimately driving sustainable success. 

At Blokpoint, we understand the challenges businesses face in staying updated and navigating the latest Google updates, especially in the rapidly evolving sectors of Blockchain, Crypto, and Web3. Our team is dedicated to providing tailored solutions to keep you informed and equipped to adapt to Google’s ever-changing algorithms. If you need our expert assistance, we are always happy to help. Get in touch with us!


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