Google Core Algorithm Update March 2024 [Impact, Optimization & How to Recover]

This page is all about Google Core Algorithm Updates.

In this, we are covering:

  • Latest and past Google core updates details
  • Impact on our website rankings 
  • Global impact around SERP
  • Proven recovery & website optimization tips
  • And more…

This page would be SUPER HELPFUL for SEO experts, bloggers, and website owners who rely on Google organic search traffic.

google announced the core update again

Google Core Recent Updates Roundup: What’s Changed and When:

Google Core Algo UpdatesRelease DateExpiration DateUpdate DurationOfficial Announcement Link
March 2024 Core Update5 Mar, 20244 WeeksNot DisclosedGoogle
November 2023 Core Update2 Nov, 202328 Nov, 202325 DaysGoogle
October 2023 Core Update5 Oct, 202319 Oct, 202313 DaysGoogle
August 2023 Core Update22 Aug, 20237 Sep, 202316 DaysGoogle
March 2023 Core Update15 Mar, 202328 Mar, 202313 DaysGoogle
September 2022 Core Update12 Sep, 202226 Sep, 202214 DaysGoogle
May 2022 Core Update25 May, 202209 June, 202215 DaysGoogle

Google Core Algorithm Update March 2024 Details

google-core-algorithm-updates

On March 5, 2024, Google announced its two Big updates for 2024 – Google March 2024 Core update & Google Spam update.

In August 2022, Google released a helpful update for the first time, which has been consistently effective since then. Now, Google has announced that there will be no notification for the helpful update because it is getting integrated into Google’s core update system.

With this first core update of 2024, Google’s main goal is to reduce low-quality web pages by up to 40%, specifically targeting those that are unhelpful and unoriginal. 

Alongside this, there have been some changes in the Spam update, and Google launched it to take action against these low-quality pages and completely remove them from the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP).

The new changes in Spam policy are as follows:

  • Scaled Content Abuse: Eliminate sites that are producing low-quality content (AI & Human generated) at bulk
  • Site Reputation Abuse: Using site reputation to rank third party content 
  • Expired Domain Abuse: Using expired domain authority for manipulating rankings
  • Changes in Link Spam policy:
    • Modification: “Google uses links as an important factor in determining the relevancy of web pages.”
    • Addition: “Creating low-value content primarily for the purposes of manipulating linking and ranking signals.”
    • Addition: “Any links that are intended to manipulate rankings in Google Search results may be considered link spam. This includes any behavior that manipulates links to your site or outgoing links from your site.”

The core update will run throughout the whole month but the spam update will be finished in 2 weeks.

Recap: Google’s March 2024 Core Update

Here are the Crucial Takeaways from the Google March 2023 Core Update [So Far]

Start Date: Google initiated the March 2024 core update on March 5th. 

Expired Date: Not disclosed yet.

Coverage: Global (Content, Website, Blogs, and Images)

Why the Mar Core Update?: Google wants to reduce unhelpful, unoriginal, and low quality pages by 40%.

Impact on Websites: Low quality webpages cause entire websites to diminish from Google search for forever.

How to Recover: Improve web page quality as per helpful updates, product review updates, & EEAT guidelines. The deadline is May 5

Recovery Time: The impacted site/web pages may not recover ever.

March Core Update: Monitoring Daily Changes in SERP Rankings

Semrush Sensor Discoveries:

About 7-10 days ago, there was noticeable high volatility in Semrush’s sensor. In fact, we also estimated from the fluctuations in our site’s rankings that a Google update was on the way. 

This Core update is causing major fluctuations across all industries. On March 9th, the Semrush sensor reached 9.0.

In all categories, it’s evident from these high fluctuations that Google is now very strict in pursuing its goal and is prepared to remove AI-generated spammy content.

semrush sensor during mar 2024 core update

Words of SEO Experts on March Google Core Update 2024:

Many people on different forums, SEO groups, and Twitter have reported that their entire sites are disappearing. 

Google is penalizing sites very quickly and sending notifications for manual actions. Even sites that used to have millions of traffic are suddenly disappearing. Moreover, sites with AI-related content are also facing significant penalties.

google sending manual action penalty notification in march 2024 core update
someone reported 10 sites are gone and deindexed because of penalty
gael breton tweeted i am seeing ai spam sites getting fully deindexed left and right right now

Google Core Algorithm Update November 2023 Details

On November 2, 2023, Google released the last core update for 2023. SEO folks, who were worried about ups and downs in the past month, were starting to feel more normal about these updates. Google had never released updates like this for two months in a row before, so it seemed a bit strange to SEO experts.

Just like the October update that stayed active with the spam update for two weeks, this November update was active with the product review update. This update was pretty big and took 25 days to roll out completely.

From Google’s side, they only released a Q&A that answered some questions about the November update and the product review update.

Google said websites should keep making helpful content in this update. They also mentioned that this core “update involves an improvement to a different core system than last month.” Google assured that their guidance about core updates is the same for both.

Regarding the impact on our blog, we encountered the same two issues on our site during this update that we observed in the October core update:

  • Pages going out of the top 100 in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP).
  • The problem of appearing incorrect dates for content in the SERP.

Even after this update, SEO professionals should continue following the same guidelines for creating helpful content and the guidelines related to EEAT – that’s the signal given by Google.


Google Core Algorithm Update October 2023 Details

On October 5, 2023, Google, along with the announcement of its 3rd core update of the year, declared that there were issues with the rankings of Google Discover. This core update was launched just one day after the Oct spam update.

Throughout the entire rollout period, this core update from Google was being implemented alongside the spam update. To be honest, with the October 2023 update, Google initiated its goal of removing AI-generated content, eliminating spam pages, and boosting high-quality, helpful content.

During this update, Google did not release any new guidelines for recovery.

Recap: Google’s October 2023 Core Update

Here are the Crucial Takeaways from the Google October 2023 Core Update [Ended on October 19]

Start Date: Google initiated the October 2023 core update on Oct 5th. The announcement was first made on the Google Search Central Twitter handle. It took 14 days to fully roll out.

Expired Date: Oct 19th, 2023.

Coverage: Global (Content, Website, Blogs, and Images)

Why the Oct Core Update?: Google aims to enhance the search experience for users by providing more precise and valuable information. This update contributes to presenting improved and relevant search results.

Impact on Websites: Ranking Volatility has seen a spike after the first week of the launch. Pages disappear and reappear.

What to Do: If your website’s ranking goes down, it’s not a big problem. You can improve your content to make it better.

How to Recover: The best way to recover your content is to measure it and apply continuous improvement according to Google helpful content guidelines, EEAT search rater guidelines.

Recovery Time: Several months

Guidelines: Same as it was declared for the previous Core update.

Oct Core Update: Monitoring Daily Changes in SERP Rankings

Semrush Sensor Discoveries:

Semrush’s sensor graph surged to 7.9 points within 4-5  days of the launch. In this core update, the search volatility graph was observed to fluctuate between full high and full low, unlike August, where only high spikes were prominent.

semrush sensor during october 2023 core update

It means the October 2023 Core update was less impactful as compared to the August 2023 core update.

Impact On Our Website

Our site started experiencing a significant drop in page hits from the first week of the October 2023 Core update. 

Initially, we suspected a potential violation of spam guidelines, but the SEO experts’ community revealed that some pages across everyone’s blogs were going “out of 100,” meaning they were falling beyond the 100 positions in search results.

It was indeed a terrible and frightening situation. We realized that Google was gradually removing pages from search results that were either AI-generated, less helpful, or not providing any value. 

However, our concern heightened when our high-quality pages, which were receiving daily visits of 100-120 users, started disappearing from search results.

In simple terms, the impression graph for these pages in the Search Console looked like it was going down from a situation of getting good traffic.

pages goes out of 100 after google core update oct 2023 launch

After the October 2023 update, we noticed another problem related to the content updation date. 

Usually, each webpage has a “last update date” that Google grabs automatically when the page gets updated. However, we observed on some of our pages that Google was getting the wrong date after this update. 

This made our pages seem old, and their rankings suddenly dropped.

Mostly, this wrong date was coming from comments on Google or from embedded YouTube videos on our pages. For instance, a page we updated on March 5, 2024, showed a Google date of 2022 after the update. This happened because there was a comment on the post from 2022, and Google thought that was the latest update. This issue hasn’t been fixed as of 2024.

google wrong publish date bug - after core update october 2023

This bug of Google fetching the wrong publish date has been observed in the SEO community back in 2016 as well. It seems like this bug has resurfaced, causing a lot of concern among SEO professionals.

Future Prediction & What Next

With the advent of ChatGPT, the flow of low-quality content on the internet has increased, and Google is working tirelessly to address and remove spammy and less valuable AI-generated pages. 

In the midst of all this, there is a possibility that even good-quality web pages may be affected. The game of SEO has become tougher now. There are high chance that Google will take the entire year of 2023 to fix this mess.


Google Core Algorithm Update August 2023 Details

On August 22nd, 2023, Google, the search giant, announced yet another significant update to its core algorithm. This announcement marked the launch of the August 2023 Core Update, aimed at enhancing search result quality and relevance.

This is going to be the 2nd core update of the year 2023. The first one was released in March. 

We can track the live algorithm on Google official ranking updates page.

Recap: Google’s August 2023 Core Update

As search algorithms continue to evolve, it’s essential for website owners, businesses, and SEO professionals to keep track of major updates. The Google August 2023 Core Update is no exception.

Here are the Crucial Takeaways from the Google August 2023 Core Update [So Far]

Start Date: Google initiated the August 2023 core update on August 22nd. The announcement was first made on the Google search central Twitter handle. It would take upto 2 weeks to fully roll out.

Expired Date: Not disclosed yet.

Coverage: Global (Content, Website, Blogs, and Images)

Why the Aug Core Update?: Google wants to show better search results to users. This update helps in showing more accurate and useful information. It is as simple as that.

Impact on Websites: Core updates don’t aim at penalizing specific sites, but they can shift page visibility. Previously lower-ranked pages might rise, while once rewarded ones could fall in rankings.

What to Do: If your website’s ranking goes down, it’s not a big problem. You can improve your content to make it better.

How to Recover: To recover from a drop in ranking, Google advised us to focus on improving your content. Check what users are searching for and make your content more helpful. Fixing technical issues hardly matters.

Recovery Time: Several months

Guidelines: Same as it was declared for the previous March 2023 Core update.

Aug Core Update: Monitoring Daily Changes in SERP Rankings

It has been a week since Google August Core Update 2023 launched. We will expect a one more week run-up. Google never disclosed the exact changes in its core updates.

To discover what exactly is going on we have to depend on the observation made by SEO experts worldwide.

Semrush Sensor Discoveries:

High or Very High score in the Semrush sensor indicates a high fluctuation is ongoing in SERP rankings. Semrush Sensor helps us to check Google search volatility happening during a period of time.

Typically, fluctuations in rankings begin 1-2 weeks before the launch of core updates. This time the August 2023 core update followed a similar pattern.

“Significant changes in rankings across all categories have been consistently observed by the Semrush Sensor since the start of August, and this trend is continuing.” Similar to previous core updates, the August 2023 core update followed a similar pattern

The August core update 2023 has completed one week and Semrush Sensor has given an 8.5 [Very High] score to SERP volatility for the last 30 days:

serp volatility score for august core update 2023

Words of SEO Experts on August Google Core 2023:

SEO expert Barry Schwartz discussed the update on X and mentioned slight changes in search results, sharing more about the core update.

In relation to these changes, SEOs have started seeing differences in their website traffic. Some have noticed positive changes in their search rankings.

Impact On Our Website

It’s going positive so far.

Our website’s average rankings have seen a [20.11%] improvement since the launch of the August 2023 core update.

my website ranking is improved during the google core algorithm update august 2023

In the first week of August 2023 Google core update, we have seen a 15% growth in website traffic.

our site traffic has improved during the google core update

The third positive thing we have noticed is related to featured snippets. Now Google is showing star ratings in SERP for most of our website posts. Thumbs UP!

after august core update 2023 star ratings are now showing on our posts

Two Big Reasons Why Our Site Rewarded by Google in this Core Update:

#1. We have been tracking our keyword rankings DAILY. When you track your keyword positions, you will instantly know if there’s any drop in those keyword rankings. That’s how you can work on those posts if needed. We’re using Semrush for all kinds of SEO tasks, including keyword position tracking. You can use other tools as well to check your Google keyword rankings.

#2. We’ve been dedicated to staying updated with SEO trends and consistently enhancing our strategy. Over the past months, our primary focus has been on upholding EEAT standards, frequently updating our existing content, and continuously refining our content to align with Google’s product review and helpful content updates.

Important Reminder: If your website’s traffic has gone down after this core update, you can find helpful recovery tips in the later section of this article. [These SEO tips come from our 10+ years of SEO experience.]

Future Prediction & What Next

For us SEO professionals, it’s important to be patient and flexible until the core update fully rolls out. Quick solutions might help for a little while, but true success comes from always improving our content, following E-A-T rules, Helpful content rules, and making the user experience better.

Seems to me, Google is looking forward to constantly improving its product review, helpful content, and link spam algorithm updates. We can expect at least one more product review update this year.

The Future SEO next big thing is Google Generative AI. This trend will greatly impact the SEO industry.


Tips to Recover a Website Hit by Google Core Algorithm Updates

Getting hit in a core update generally indicates if a website ranks above yours, it likely has superior content quality and relevance. 

Websites with low rankings that match user queries well might experience a ranking rise, leading other sites to drop in rankings. Most of the time, This could be the PRIMARY reason for a drop in organic SEO traffic.

Core updates, typically lasting 14 days, bring significant ranking shifts. If traffic remains low two weeks after these updates, your site might be impacted.

However, don’t worry. If you follow the right checklist, there’s a high chance that you’ll start seeing positive results within a few months.

How to Optimize Websites for Google Broad Core Updates?

1.) Follow Google Advise:

In the official core updates page, Google clearly instructed website owners that pages that have been impacted during the core update need to be assessed for the Google helpful content quality questions.

google official core updates page

Simply, Compare your content with Google’s provided questions on their help page. This analysis reveals where your content may lack in addressing users’ queries. Utilize these insights to prioritize content improvements that align with searchers’ needs.

2.) Follow Core Updates Recovery Checklist

Over the past two years, we’ve significantly evolved our SEO approach. The Google EEAT update, also known as the Google Helpful update, brought about a complete transformation. Nonetheless, we’ve established a reliable formula.

There’s a reason our website always gets rewarded by Google core updates. It’s simple, We follow everything Google suggests in our content.

our seo traffic has been improving every year regardless any core update

Here’s a simple PROVEN checklist that works to improve rankings during Google core updates.

Evaluate Content Quality:

  • Review your website’s content for relevance and quality.
  • Ensure your content provides value and answers users’ questions comprehensively.

Regular Content Updates:

  • Keep your content up-to-date with the latest information.
  • Revise and refresh existing content to maintain its relevance.

Focus on Users:

  • Prioritize creating content for users, not just search engines.
  • Focus on delivering helpful, informative, and engaging content.

Assess E-A-T Factors:

  • Evaluate your content’s Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T).
  • Showcase your expertise, authority, and credibility within your niche.

Improve User Experience (UX):

  • Enhance the overall user experience of your website.
  • Optimize for fast loading times, mobile responsiveness, and easy navigation.

Keyword Relevance:

  • Do proper keyword research
  • Align your content with relevant keywords and search intent.
  • Avoid keyword stuffing and maintain a natural keyword integration.

Avoid Thin Content:

  • Remove or improve thin, low-quality content on your website.
  • Focus on creating in-depth, valuable content that satisfies user queries.

Quality Over Quantity:

  • Prioritize quality content creation over churning out numerous posts.
  • Concentrate on in-depth articles that offer thorough insights.

Content Originality:

  • Ensure your content is original and not duplicated from other sources.
  • Avoid duplicate content issues that can affect rankings.

Content Structure:

  • Organize your content with clear headings, subheadings, and bullet points.
  • Improve readability and user engagement.

Internal & External Links:

  • Include relevant internal links to other pages on your website.
  • Incorporate high-quality, authoritative external links to support your content.

Social Signals:

  • Promote your content on social media platforms.
  • Encourage shares, likes, and engagement to enhance your content’s visibility.

Backlinks Audit:

  • Conduct a comprehensive audit of your website’s backlinks.
  • Evaluate the quality and relevance of backlinks directed to your site.
  • Disavow or remove any backlinks that are of low quality or irrelevant to your content.

Technical SEO Audit:

  • Conduct a technical SEO audit to identify and fix any issues.
  • Ensure proper indexing, crawlability, and site structure.

Page Speed Optimization:

  • Optimize images, minimize code, and leverage browser caching.
  • Improve page loading speed for better user experience.

Monitor Performance:

  • Monitor your website’s performance using analytics tools.

Patience and Persistence:

  • Understand that recovery from core updates takes time.
  • Continuously work on improving content and user experience.

Read Next:

FAQ: Google Core Updates

What is Google Core Algorithm Update?

Google Core Updates 2023 is a significant adjustment to its search ranking algorithms. These updates aim to enhance the quality and relevance of search results, ensuring that users find the most valuable and trustworthy content.

How does the Core Update impact websites?

The impact can vary widely. Some websites may experience positive changes in their rankings, while others might see a decline. It’s important to note that ranking fluctuations are common during and after core updates.

How can website owners monitor their site’s performance after core updates?

Keep an eye on organic traffic patterns using tools like Google Analytics. Compare traffic before and after the update to spot any significant shifts.

What should I do if my website’s rankings drop after the update?

If your website experiences a drop in rankings, focus on improving content quality, relevance, and user experience. Analyze underperforming pages, compare content against Google’s guidelines, and address gaps to enhance your chances of recovery.

How long will it take for the core update to complete?

Generally 2 weeks.

Is recovery guaranteed after implementing improvements?

Unfortunately, recovery is not assured, given that Google’s algorithms take numerous factors into account. Even though improvements can be beneficial, the search environment is ever-changing, and it may take time for ranking shifts to settle.

Can my website’s rankings be negatively impacted even if I have quality content?

Yes, it’s possible.

How long does it take to recover from a core update’s impact?

Recovery timelines can vary. Generally, it takes several months to regain rankings lost due to a core update, provided content and user experience improvements are sustained.

Should I make immediate changes if I see ranking drops after the update?

Immediate changes might not be the best approach. Look at your content, user experience, and technical details as a whole. Rushed changes might not help and could mess up your overall SEO plan.

How frequently does Google release core updates?

Google releases several core updates each year to refine its search algorithms. These updates are part of its ongoing effort to deliver the most relevant and valuable results to users.

How can I stay informed about Google Search Algorithm updates and SEO best practices?

Staying informed about updates and best practices is essential. Follow Google’s official communication channels, and reputable SEO news sources, and engage in online SEO communities to stay up to date with industry trends.

About Author
Anil Agarwal is the Founder of Bloggerspassion. He is a full-time blogger and SEO expert who has been helping people build profitable blogs for over a decade Now. He has been featured in Over 100 Publications including Forbes, The HuffPost, HubSpot, Shopify, Semrush, Kinsta, Bluehost, Hostinger and G2.com etc. Know more about Anil Agarwal from here.

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