Google March 2024 Core Update and New Spam Policies 2024

Google's March 2024 Core Update

Today, we’re diving into a big update from Google that’s shaking up the internet – the Google March 2024 Core Update and New Spam Policies. Google, the giant search engine we all use almost every day, is always looking for ways to make searching online better for everyone. This time, they’ve introduced some new rules and changes aimed at making sure when you search for something, you get back really helpful, high-quality results.

Imagine searching for “how to make slime” and getting pages that actually show you how, with easy steps and clear pictures, instead of just a bunch of links that don’t really help. That’s what Google is working towards with this update. They want to stop websites that try to cheat their way to the top of the search results without offering you the useful information you’re looking for.

In this post, we’re going to explain what these changes are, why Google is making them, and what they mean for everyone who uses Google to find information, from students doing homework to someone trying to learn a new hobby.

So, let’s get started and unravel what’s new with Google March 2024 Core Update and New Spam Policies!

Core Aspects of the Update

One of the standout features of the Google March 2024 Core Update is its adjustments to how Google interprets link signals. Traditionally, links have been a cornerstone of Google’s ranking algorithms, with the quantity and quality of inbound links serving as a key indicator of a webpage’s authority and relevance. However, recent updates suggest a nuanced approach.

Google now places less emphasis on links as the primary ranking factor, shifting towards a more holistic evaluation of a page’s content quality and its relevance to search queries. This change reflects Google’s commitment to reducing the effectiveness of manipulative link-building practices and promoting a more content-centric SEO strategy.

New Spam Policies

Accompanying the core update are new spam policies targeted at curbing practices detrimental to search quality. These policies focus on three main areas:

Expired Domain Abuse

This policy addresses the manipulation of search rankings through the acquisition and repurposing of expired domains. Such practices often involve using the residual authority of a domain to promote low-quality content, thereby misleading search engines and users.

This practice involves someone buying a domain that used to belong to someone else (and hence has expired) and then using it in a way that tries to trick Google’s search rankings. The trick here is that the domain already has a history and some built-in trust with search engines due to its past content.

So, when someone swoops in and changes the content to something entirely different, especially if it’s of low quality, they’re trying to leverage this trust to get a shortcut to higher rankings.

Expired Domain Abuse

Here’s a straightforward example to help you understand better:

Imagine there was a website dedicated to providing reliable medical information, run by a well-respected non-profit organization. Over the years, this site built up a good reputation with both users and search engines. But then, the organization decided to shut down the site, and the domain eventually expired. Someone noticed this domain with a solid history was available and bought it.

However, instead of continuing to provide helpful medical information, they switched the content entirely to promote casino games. Their hope was that the search engine would see the domain’s reputable history and show this new, low-quality content higher in search results than it deserved.

This kind of move isn’t an accident. It’s a deliberate attempt to take advantage of the domain’s past credibility. Google is keen on catching and demoting such practices to ensure that the search results stay relevant and valuable to users. The idea is simple: if you’re going to use an old domain, the expectation is that you’ll fill it with original, high-quality content that benefits people, not trick them or the search engines.

By implementing policies against expired domain abuse, Google aims to keep the focus on creating content that genuinely serves users’ needs. This ensures that those searching for information find what they’re looking for, rather than being misled by content that’s just there to exploit the system.

Scaled Content Abuse

Google has introduced measures against the creation of vast amounts of low-value content designed primarily to game the search algorithms. This includes content generated through automation or mass human efforts with little to no originality or utility.

Google’s latest guidelines target the practice of generating vast quantities of low-value content, a tactic known as “Scaled Content Abuse.” This issue arises when creators produce a massive amount of content that doesn’t really help anyone but is meant to trick Google into thinking it’s useful, valuable, or original. The goal? To manipulate search rankings in their favor.

Scaled Content Abuse

An example should make this clearer:

Let’s imagine a website that decides it wants to rank for every possible question about smartphones. Instead of doing thorough research and writing in-depth articles that genuinely answer people’s questions, the site’s owners opt for a shortcut. They use software to automatically generate articles. These articles are mostly gibberish, filled with keywords, and don’t provide real answers. Alternatively, they might pay people to quickly churn out hundreds of low-quality, barely different articles on the same topic.

Here’s a specific scenario: A blog generates 500 articles on “The best smartphone for photography.” Each article slightly changes the wording or order of the content but doesn’t add any new information, insight, or value. The articles are shallow, offer no real analysis, and don’t help a reader make an informed decision.

This approach to content creation is what Google is cracking down on. The aim is to ensure that users find genuinely helpful content when they use the search engine, not pages filled with fluff that exist only to rank well. By introducing measures against scaled content abuse, Google is pushing for a better, more informative internet where quality trumps quantity.

Site Reputation Abuse

The update also targets the misuse of a site’s reputation by hosting low-quality third-party content without adequate oversight. This aims to prevent the dilution of a site’s authority and ensure that the content aligns with user expectations and the host site’s quality standards.

This practice involves leveraging the credibility and trust of a well-established site by hosting third-party content that doesn’t match the quality standards or expectations associated with the site. The main problem with this approach is it can mislead users and dilute the original site’s value, as visitors come expecting one thing but find something entirely different and of lesser quality.

Site Reputation Abuse

Here’s how this could play out:

Imagine a popular educational website known for its in-depth articles on history and science. This site has built a strong reputation over the years for its accurate information and engaging content. However, to generate extra revenue, the site’s owners decide to allow a third-party company to publish articles about financial products on their site. These articles are not only out of sync with the site’s usual topics but also provide vague, low-quality information designed more to promote certain financial products rather than educate or inform readers.

In doing this, the educational website is misusing its reputation. Visitors who trust the site for reliable educational content might be misled by these promotional financial articles, thinking they’re getting the same level of quality and objectivity they expect from the site. This misuse can erode trust and confuse visitors, impacting the site’s long-term value and authority.

Google’s updated policies aim to protect users from such scenarios. By enforcing stricter guidelines against site reputation abuse, Google hopes to ensure that the content across the web remains relevant, trustworthy, and in line with user expectations.

This move underscores the importance of maintaining content integrity and the responsibility of site owners to oversee the quality of all content published under their domain.

These policies underscore Google’s resolve to maintain the integrity of its search results and protect users from deceptive or manipulative content.

Search Quality Improvements

Central to the March 2024 Core Update is the objective of substantially enhancing search quality. Google aims to achieve this by:

  • Reducing Unhelpful Content: The update seeks to diminish the visibility of low-quality, unoriginal content in search results by 40%. This is in line with Google’s ongoing efforts to prioritize helpful, reliable content that satisfies user intent.
  • Incorporating the Helpful Content System: Google’s helpful content system, designed to reward webpages that offer genuine value to users, has been integrated into the core ranking algorithms. This move signifies a deeper commitment to content quality as a fundamental ranking criterion.
  • Refining Ranking Fluctuations: Given the update’s complexity, Google anticipates more significant ranking fluctuations as the changes are implemented. This may result in shifts in search visibility for many websites, underscoring the importance of adhering to Google’s guidelines for creating high-quality, user-centric content.

Implications for Web Creators and SEOs

For web creators and SEO professionals, the March 2024 Core Update serves as a pivotal moment to reassess and refine their strategies. The diminished emphasis on link signals and the crackdown on spam practices necessitate a renewed focus on producing original, valuable content that resonates with audiences. Additionally, the update’s potential to cause ranking shifts highlights the need for ongoing optimization and adaptability in SEO tactics.


In conclusion, Google’s March 2024 Core Update brings significant changes aimed at enhancing the quality of search results and user experience on the web. By introducing new spam policies against Expired Domain Abuse, Scaled Content Abuse, and Site Reputation Abuse, Google is taking a decisive stand against practices that undermine the integrity of its search ecosystem. These updates are designed not just to penalize bad actors but to encourage web creators and SEO professionals to prioritize creating high-quality, original, and useful content that genuinely serves users’ needs.

For web creators and SEOs, this update serves as a critical reminder of the importance of ethical practices and the value of content that truly benefits the audience. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, staying informed about these updates and adapting strategies accordingly will be key to achieving long-term success in search rankings.

Ultimately, Google’s efforts to refine its search algorithms and policies reflect its commitment to providing a better, safer, and more reliable search experience for users worldwide. By fostering an environment where quality content thrives, Google ensures that the internet remains a valuable resource for information, learning, and discovery.

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