Google’s March 2024 update targets spam and promotes quality content

The proliferation of AI-generated spam content in recent years has challenged the quality of web searches. Acknowledging this problem, Google released several updates in March 2024 to improve search result quality and thwart manipulative tactics. These changes represent a major advancement in improving user-focused, high-quality content and lowering the amount of spam that appears online.


Google refines ranking systems to combat low-quality content

Google’s March 2024 Core Update represents a comprehensive overhaul of its ranking systems, focusing on surfacing the most helpful information while diminishing unoriginal content in search results. Elizabeth Tucker, Director of Product for Search at Google, emphasizes the company’s commitment to refining its algorithms to better understand content quality and user experience. The update is expected to reduce low-quality and unoriginal content by 40%, building upon previous efforts initiated in 2022.

In 2022, we began tuning our ranking systems to reduce unhelpful, unoriginal content on Search and keep it at very low levels. We’re bringing what we learned from that work into the March 2024 core update.

This update involves refining some of our core ranking systems to help us better understand if webpages are unhelpful, have a poor user experience or feel like they were created for search engines instead of people. This could include sites created primarily to match very specific search queries.

We believe these updates will reduce the amount of low-quality content on Search and send more traffic to helpful and high-quality sites. Based on our evaluations, we expect that the combination of this update and our previous efforts will collectively reduce low-quality, unoriginal content in search results by 40%.

Google March 2024 update

New spam policies

Google has implemented new spam policies in addition to the core update to combat manipulative practices that lower search quality. These guidelines are intended to prevent abuse of expired domains, scaled content, and site reputation.

  • Abuse of scaled content: Google is making it more difficult to produce unoriginal or low-quality content at scale, using either human or automated labor. This includes webpages that are of little to no use and do not provide users with relevant content.
  • Site reputation abuse: Google is cracking down on sites that host low-quality third-party content to exploit the reputation of trusted websites. Such practices mislead users and undermine the credibility of search results. If such content is created primarily for search engine rankings without sufficient oversight, Google will classify it as spam.
  • Expired domain abuse: Google aims to prevent the misuse of expired domains to boost the search ranking of low-quality content. This practice deceives users into believing that new content is part of a reputable site, compromising search result integrity.

Google’s March 2024 updates mark a significant step towards a cleaner, more reliable search experience for users. While navigating the evolving search landscape might require adjustments for webmasters, the resulting focus on user-centric, high-quality content ultimately benefits both publishers and users.

About the Author

Asma is an editor at iThinkDifferent with a strong focus on social media, Apple news, streaming services, guides, mobile gaming, app reviews, and more. When not blogging, Asma loves to play with her cat, draw, and binge on Netflix shows.

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