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Google Core Update 2024 - What It Means for Web Designers and Site Owners


Key Points of the Google Core Update and New Spam Policies in March 2024 On March 5, 2024, Google introduced a comprehensive update to its core search mechanisms along with new spam policies. These innovations aim to improve the quality of search results and more effectively combat unfair SEO practices. Here are the key points that web designers and creators should be aware of:

March 2024 Core Update:

  • Complexity: The update brings significant changes to several core systems and enhances the way content is evaluated for its usefulness.
  • Innovative Signals: Google now relies on a variety of signals and approaches to deliver helpful results, marking a departure from using individual signals or systems.
  • FAQ Page: A new help page has been introduced to explain the changes.
  • Rollout Duration: The rollout of the update may take up to a month and lead to fluctuations in search rankings.

New Spam Policies:

  • Targeted Against Abuse: The policies specifically address the abuse of expired domains, scaled content creation, and website reputation abuse.
  • Objective: Preventing manipulation of search results through practices that offer little to no user value.
  • Consequences: Violations may result in pages being demoted in search rankings or not appearing at all.

Key Points for Web Designers and Developers:

  • No Special Measures Required: As long as high-quality, user-centric content is created, no specific adjustments are necessary.
  • Review Practices: It is recommended to review the new spam policies and ensure that none of the prohibited practices are being applied.
The aim of these updates is to serve both users and honest creators of web content by promoting high-quality, relevant search results and preventing unfair practices. Web designers and creators should view these changes as an incentive to continue creating content that provides genuine user value.

Translation from English

What Web Creators Need to Know About Our March 2024 Core Update and New Spam Policies

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Today, we announced the March 2024 Core Update. It aims to improve search quality by showing less content that appears to be solely focused on clicks and more content that people find useful. Additionally, we have introduced new spam policies to better combat practices that can negatively impact Google’s search results. In this post, we’ll delve into the update and spam policies for creators in more detail.

Our March 2024 Core Update

The March 2024 Core Update is a more complex update than our usual core updates, involving changes to several core systems. It also marks an evolution in how we evaluate content usefulness. Just as we use multiple systems to identify reliable information, we’ve enhanced our core ranking systems to display more helpful results based on a variety of innovative signals and approaches. There’s no longer a single signal or system for this, and we’ve also added a new FAQ page to explain this change. As this is a complex update, the rollout may take up to a month. It’s likely to result in more ranking fluctuations than a regular core update, as various systems are fully updated and mutually reinforced. We’ll post on our Google Search Status Dashboard when the update is complete. There’s nothing new or special for creators to do for this update as long as they’ve created satisfactory content intended for people. For those who may not rank as well, we strongly recommend reading our help page on creating helpful, reliable, people-oriented content.

Our New Spam Policies

Our spam policies are designed to address practices that can negatively impact the quality of Google’s search results. Today, we’re announcing three new spam policies targeting bad practices we’ve seen growing in popularity: abuse of expired domains, abuse of scalable content, and abuse of site reputation. We encourage content creators to review all our spam policies and ensure they’re not engaging in such practices. Websites violating our spam policies may rank lower or not appear in the results. If affected by a manual spam action, website owners will receive a message through their registered Search Console account and can request a review of the action. In conjunction with our new spam policies, we’re also introducing the March 2024 Spam Update today.

Abuse of Expired Domains

Abuse of expired domains occurs when an expired domain name is purchased and primarily used to manipulate search rankings by hosting content that provides little to no value to users. For example, someone might buy a domain previously used by a medical site and use it to host low-quality content related to casinos, hoping to succeed in search due to the domain’s reputation among former owners. Abuse of expired domains isn’t something people do accidentally. It’s a practice employed by those hoping to rank well in search by using low-value content and leveraging the previous reputation of a domain name. These domains generally aren’t intended for visitors to find in any way other than through search engines. It’s okay to use an old domain name for a new, original site primarily intended for people.

Abuse of Scalable Content

Abuse of scalable content occurs when many pages are generated for the primary purpose of manipulating search rankings rather than assisting users. This abusive practice typically focuses on creating large amounts of unoriginal content that provides little to no value to users, regardless of how it’s created. This new policy builds on our previous spam policy regarding automatically generated content and ensures we can address abuse of scalable content as needed, regardless of whether content is produced through automation, human efforts, or a combination of human and automated processes. Is this a change in how Google views AI-generated content in terms of spam? What differs from the old policy against “automatically generated content” and the updated policy against “scaled abuse”?

Abuse of Site Reputation

Abuse of site reputation occurs when third-party pages are published with little or no involvement or monitoring by the first-party provider, with the goal of manipulating search rankings by exploiting the first-party site’s ranking signals. Such third-party pages include sponsored, advertising, partner, or other third-party pages that are typically independent of or produced without close monitoring or involvement of the host site and provide little to no value to users. Our new policy doesn’t consider all third-party content as violations, only those hosted without close monitoring and aimed at manipulating search rankings. For example, many publications host advertising content intended for their regular readers rather than primarily manipulating search rankings. Sometimes referred to as “Native Advertising” or “Advertorial,” this type of content typically wouldn’t confuse regular readers of the publication if they found it directly on the publisher’s site or encountered it through Google search results. It doesn’t need to be excluded from Google search. Our spam policy page lists some illustrative examples of what constitutes abuse of site reputation and what doesn’t. Such content must be excluded from Google search to avoid violating our spam policies. To give site owners time to prepare for this change , this new policy will take effect on May 5, 2024.

What ranking signals does a site have?

My site has a section for coupons that we partially produce in collaboration with a third party. Is this considered spam? Our goal with our new policies and our ongoing improvements to our spam-fighting systems is not only to ensure users receive great, helpful content. It’s also about ensuring those producing helpful content succeed in search over those engaging in spam. We’ll update the Search Status Dashboard to confirm when rollouts are complete. We’ll also announce and open a form for specific feedback people may have after the updates are finished. Published by Chris Nelson on behalf of the Google Search Quality Team