Kelly Stanze

Director of SEO

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PUBLISHED: Mar 6, 2024

Understanding the March 2024 Google Core Algorithm Update & Spam Update

Kelly Stanze

Director of SEO

When you work in organic search strategy, Google algorithm updates are just par for the course. While timing isn’t entirely clear, Google has announced a March 2024 Core Algorithm Update. In addition to this core update, they’ve also rolled out additional anti-spam updates.

What is included in the March 2024 Google Core Algorithm Update?

The folks at Google have been fairly forthcoming about the priorities in these updates. Elizabeth Tucker, Director of Product Management for Google, stated in a blog post on The Keyword that this algorithm update is going to heavily focus on content quality. The Google Search Central blog also clarified that spam reduction and reliability are priorities across both the Core Algorithm Update AND the March 2024 Spam Update.

The SEO industry Aleyda Solis took to LinkedIn to share some good insights into SEO tactics to avoid based on what we know, and her posts are always great discussion-drivers.

How to rank after Google’s March 2024 algorithm update

Here’s a little reminder that – while algorithm updates can be scary – emphasis on putting the user first should always win.

Does Google get it wrong sometimes? Sure. That said, it’s rare that these algorithm updates roll out with completely unmitigated harm to websites who are striving to do the right thing.

We’ve all seen it: algo updates happen, the analytics go a little Wild West short-term, and then the sites that are more in line with the values that Google prioritizes rise to the top.

What values might those be?

For Google, it’s whatever yields fruitful experiences for their users.

What are the basics of good SEO?

I am not saying Google is faultless when websites tank as a result of algorithm updates. I AM saying, however, that if you do things RIGHT, you have significantly less to worry about when these changes happen.

But if you look at the major directional truths in SEO, they are these:

  1. You need to answer the questions and fulfill the needs that drove people to search – and you need to achieve that in an insightful, contextual, and ethical way.
  2. You need to provide the technical architecture that allows search engines to understand your site and easily pull it out of the metaphorical filing cabinet to then offer as a solution to users.
  3. You need to make it fast. People whose questions drove them to search want answers now, not in 47 seconds.

Is there a lot of nuance in those three categories? Yes. But if you consider those items as a starting point to dive into the algorithmic adjustments, and as a North Star by which to drive your organization’s SEO philosophy, you’ll have a solid foundation.

The secret to SEO: control what you can and adapt when you have to

For nearly a decade, my mantra as an SEO strategist has been this: in the world of organic search, we are all just boats on the tides of Google’s ocean. Every sailor knows that the seas can turn on you; however, with strong fundamentals, solid maintenance, and adaptability, you’re equipping yourself to best survive whatever storms arise.

Ultimately, we as individuals in positions of stewardship for websites do not get a say in what Google emphasizes or deems “quality.” In many ways, their algorithm updates are often results of envelopes we’ve pushed too far. Google’s success as a search engine hinges on users’ success.

Google Algorithm Updates don’t need to be scary

I’d challenge everyone to approach these March 2024 Google updates with an attitude of curiosity. If you’re nervous, consider that a cue that you should look into your practices and determine whether or not it aligns with what is best for users. If you’re not nervous, maybe you should be – it never hurts to validate that you’re doing right by your users and the search gods. If your website tanks, consider what practices within your program could be working counter to Google’s priorities. If it doesn’t, consider how you can be more helpful and reliable.

And in everything, remember the fundamentals. Remember the users.

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