Google’s March 2024 Update: A Guide to Staying Visible in Search Results


Individuals exploring within a search bar
Big news for March! Following the Core Web Vitals  update, Google is rolling out a new core update and stricter spam policies. These changes directly impact your website’s visibility in search results.

Here’s why it matters: Google prioritizes delivering the most valuable information to users. The update refines ranking criteria to favor high-quality content, while the new spam policies target unhelpful content for a cleaner search experience.

To combat unhelpful content and ensure a cleaner search experience, Google introduced new spam policies taking effect on May 5th, 2024. This gives you ample time to review your website and make necessary adjustments. Remember, SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. Consistent optimization is key for long-term success.

This blog post will equip you with the knowledge to navigate Google’s latest update. We’ll break down the details and provide actionable tips to keep your website thriving in search results.

Breaking Down the Latest Core Update

The March 2024 update marks another chapter in Google’s quest for exceptional content. Building on the 2022 and 2023 Helpful Content updates, this update prioritizes content that truly benefits users. Unoriginal or recycled content? Prepare to see it fade in the search results.

Think of Google’s core updates like this: Imagine you run a renowned bookstore. Every year, you curate a “must-read” shelf featuring the most insightful and engaging books. The world of literature, however, is constantly changing. New authors publish groundbreaking works, while classic novels might gain new interpretations as culture and society evolve. When you update your shelf, you might swap out some books, promote others to a more prominent position, and introduce entirely new titles. This doesn’t diminish the value of previously featured books; it simply reflects the ever-expanding world of literature and the arrival of exceptional new works. Similarly, Google’s core updates refine their understanding of valuable content. They’re constantly seeking the most informative and helpful resources, leading to a refreshed search experience. The message is clear: focus on creating fresh, high-quality content that adds genuine value to user queries.

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Shielding Your Site from Spam Penalties: A Look at Google’s New Policies

Google’s recent core update comes hand-in-hand with new spam policies, impacting your website’s health in search results. To stay visible, understanding these policies and prioritizing valuable content is key.

Here’s a breakdown of these policies and how they impact your website:

Expired Domain Abuse: In the past, some bought expired domains with established reputations to host low-quality content. This policy cracks down on that practice, making it harder to leverage old domain authority for inauthentic content.

Imagine this: 

Educational resource website selling low-quality homework helpers:  A website that used to provide educational resources and lesson plans now sells cheap, pre-written essays and homework assignments. This can be misleading to students seeking genuine learning materials and can hurt the site’s credibility as a source of reliable information.

Scaled Content Abuse: “Scaled Content Abuse” tackles content created solely to manipulate search rankings. This content offers little value to real users.

Think of this:

Franken-Articles: A news aggregator used to condense information from various sources. However, now they simply stitch headlines and paragraphs together without proper context or fact-checking, creating confusing and misleading “articles” with no real value for readers.

Site Reputation Abuse: “Parasite SEO” tactics are targeted. This involves creating low-quality, third-party pages (disguised as reviews or collaborations) to leverage a trusted website’s reputation for ranking gains.

For example: 

Travel Blog + Luxury Car Rentals:  A popular travel blog known for budget-friendly backpacking adventures fills its website with pages promoting high-end luxury car rentals.  These pages target a completely different audience and the lack of connection to budget travel suggests the main purpose is keyword stuffing for unrelated searches.

Remember, Google prioritizes informative and trustworthy content. So, focus on creating valuable content that genuinely helps your target audience. By doing this, your website will not only avoid penalties but also build trust and loyalty with visitors, ultimately leading to search ranking success.

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Website Penalties from Google: Understanding Manual Actions


Since updating their search spam policies in March 2024, Google has empowered human reviewers to identify and penalize websites that violate these guidelines. This means website owners must prioritize compliance to maintain good search ranking and avoid disappearing from results entirely. Google utilizes a two-pronged approach. While some detection might be automated, the final call rests with human reviewers. These reviewers flag violations through “manual actions” alerts within Google Search Console, specifying the issues and affected pages.


Google targets websites employing “aggressive spam techniques” like gibberish or copied content, and “cloaking” – where a site displays different content to users and search engines. Additionally, misleading content, such as websites promising information they don’t deliver, can also trigger penalties.

It’s vital to distinguish between manual actions and algorithmic updates. Manual actions involve human reviewers, while algorithmic updates, like the March 2024 core update or spam update, are automated and don’t trigger notifications. A website can be impacted by both.

Spam issue description

Recovering from a Google Manual Action Penalty: A Step-by-Step Guide

Has your website been hit with a manual action penalty from Google? Don’t panic! Here’s what you need to do to get your site back on track:

  1. Diagnose the Problem:
    • Head to Google Search Console and locate the “manual actions” report.
    • Expand the report details to pinpoint the exact violation and impacted pages. Understanding the issue is crucial for fixing it effectively.
  1. Fix the Violations:
    • Address the specific violations identified in the report. Remember, a complete fix is necessary for full recovery. Partial fixes won’t restore your website’s visibility.
  1. Ensure Googlebot Access:
    • Google’s search engine crawler, Googlebot, needs to access your penalized pages for proper indexing. Make sure these pages aren’t hidden behind logins, paywalls, or blocked by robots.txt or noindex directives.
    • Use the URL Inspection tool in Search Console to verify Googlebot’s ability to access your pages.
  1. Request a Reconsideration Review:
    • Once you’ve addressed all the violations, submit a reconsideration request through Google Search Console.
    • In your request, clearly explain the fixed issues, the steps you took to resolve them, and the anticipated outcome.
  1. Patience is Key:
    • Google typically takes days or weeks to review reconsideration requests. Reviews involving link-related issues may take even longer.
    • Google will send you email updates throughout the process, keeping you informed of the status.

Proactive Monitoring:

    • Regularly check your Search Console for any manual actions. Early detection allows you to address issues quickly and minimize potential damage to your website’s traffic and search ranking.
    • A sudden drop in traffic or even complete delisting from search results could be signs of a manual action penalty. By taking prompt action, you can get your website back on the right track and regain search visibility.

To delve deeper into fixing manual action penalties, you can find more information here.

Conclusion:  Focus on Value, Stay Informed

The March 2024 update from Google presents a golden opportunity for website owners. By leveraging this update’s emphasis on high-quality, user-centric content, you can refine your strategy and secure long-term success in search rankings.

The key lies in understanding Google’s priorities: informative and trustworthy content.  Focus on creating valuable resources that genuinely assist your target audience in achieving their goals. This approach delivers a double win: improved search ranking and fostering trust and loyalty with your visitors.

In essence, staying informed about search engine updates and actively creating valuable content are the cornerstones of a sustainable website strategy.

are the cornerstones of a sustainable website strategy.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

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Written by:  Evelin-Valéria Székely 

About me: With years of experience in the dynamic field of marketing, I specialise in leveraging Google Ads to seamlessly fuse creativity with data-driven insights, ultimately propelling brands to new heights. As a devoted Google Ads specialist, ensuring precise tracking is a non-negotiable priority for me. Staying ahead in the ever-evolving landscape of successful advertising demands continuous learning and adaptation to cutting-edge innovations, like the game-changing feature detailed in this blog. My commitment to staying informed about emerging technologies and features underscores my dedication to delivering optimal results for our clients.

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