Google Core update & Spam update: new 2024 updates

In March 2024, Google launched two significant updates to its algorithm: the Core Update and the Spam UpdateThis is an important step in the continuous improvement of search result quality and the fight against spam. 

Here's the state of play and our advice fromSEO agency to cope with these major updates to Google's algo.

The Google Core and Spam updates of March 2024: A turning point for quality and security

On March 5, 2024, Google simultaneously announced two critical updates, the Core Update and the Spam Update, marking a dual initiative to improve the overall search experience. These updates aim to reduce low-quality, unoriginal content in SERPs and strengthen Google's anti-spam policies.

Key Core Update enhancements

The March 2024 Core Update focuses on improving the quality of search results by reducing the visibility of content created solely to generate clicks, without offering any real value to users. Google estimates that this update, coupled with previous actions, could reduce poor-quality content in search results by 40 %, addressing the growing concerns of the SEO community.

The update also modifies several systems in Google's algorithm and introduces new signals for assessing the usefulness of content. Indeed, the tweaking of Google's algorithms does not stop at simply reducing low-quality content; it also involves a profound re-evaluation of how the algorithms interpret the intent behind user queries. This more sophisticated approach aims to understand not only the content of web pages, but also the context in which that content is searched for, offering more precise and relevant answers to users.

SEO professionals should expect noticeable fluctuations in SERPs during the roll-out of this update, which could extend over a month.

Strengthening Google's Anti-Spam Policies

The Spam Update, meanwhile, specifically targets harmful practices such as abuse of expired domains, abuse of large-scale content (including AI-generated content), and abuse of site reputation. These policies are designed to penalize sites attempting to maliciously manipulate search rankings. This Google Spam Update follows on from the October 2023 Spam Update, and is based in part on the same principles.

Google is stepping up its fight against spam by targeting specific practices. These include the abusive use of expired domains and the mass production of content without human editorial supervision. These tactics, which could be lucrative for certain websites seeking to manipulate search results, are now under close scrutiny. Reused expired domains must provide real added value for users to be considered reliable by Google, and the content generated must be relevant, useful and original.

Evolution in Backlink Evaluation

One notable change introduced by these updates concerns the way Google evaluates the importance of backlinks in its ranking algorithm. While backlinks remain a ranking factor, their weight has been adjusted to reflect a depreciation as a predominant factor. This change is in line with Google's previous statements, indicating a move towards a more nuanced appreciation of content quality and relevance.

The revision of Google's algorithms for evaluating backlinks underlines the growing importance of quality over quantity. This evolution is a direct response to the way SEO tactics have evolved, pushing Google to refine its algorithms to better recognize and value signals of trust and authority emanating from natural, earned links. This encourages SEO professionals to focus more on creating high-quality content that naturally attracts backlinks from sites recognized in their field.

Particularly Affected Areas

Google's updates are not uniformly distributed across all sectors; they are particularly targeted at areas requiring a high level of reliability and expertise, such as health, education, finance, travel, entertainment and online commerce. Websites in these fields must therefore redouble their efforts to ensure the quality and originality of their content, while avoiding unfair practices that could harm their visibility.

Comparison with previous updates

The Core Updates and Spam Updates of 2024 are part of a long tradition of algorithmic revisions by Google, following in the footsteps of Google Panda, Evergreen, Colibri, Friendly, First Index, and Bert. These updates have left their mark on the web through their significant impact on SEO practices and content strategies. The 2024 update is no exception, and continues to refine the way content is evaluated, placing particular emphasis on the originality and added value of web content. By learning from previous updates, SEO professionals can better anticipate the changes required to align their sites with Google's quality and authenticity requirements.

Tips for SEO Professionals

  • Assessing and improving content quality Make sure your content is original, relevant, and offers significant added value to stand out positively. The use of AI in content production should be limited and should not represent the core of your content strategy. The best solution is to use a SEO web copywriter that will use AI only where necessary, and make your content relevant to web users first and foremost.
    The idea is to reinforce the authority and quality of content. To successfully navigate the post-update landscape, editors and website owners need to place content quality and originality at the heart of their strategy. In doing so, it's crucial to adopt a user-centric perspective, providing reliable, verified information that answers their needs and queries. Increasing web notoriety means publishing highly relevant content on high-authority domains, as well as securing quality inbound links, which reflect genuine recognition of the work done. Ultimately, these efforts contribute not only to improving search rankings, but also to building a lasting, respected web presence.
  • Adapting your backlinking strategy Backlinks: Although backlinks are still important, focus on acquiring high-quality links naturally or by buying quality backlinks, rather than relying on aggressive or manipulative backlinking strategies. Aim for quality rather than quantity. Limit the use of optimized anchors.
  • Monitoring and reacting to change Stay tuned to fluctuations in the SERPs and adapt your SEO strategies according to Google's official feedback and recommendations. Now's the time to check all your content and all your main web pages in Google Search Console to verify the impact of this latest update.
  • Training : Considering ongoing SEO training is essential to staying up to date with Google's latest trends and algorithms. In-depth training enables web professionals to develop a nuanced understanding of new updates and refine their strategies to ensure that their SEO content and practices meet the highest standards of quality and ethics.

Ideally, call on one of the best SEO agencies to help you comply with Core update & Spam update.

In summary, these updates from Google highlight the search engine's commitment to delivering high-quality results and combating spammy tactics, underlining the importance for SEO professionals to focus on creating useful content and ethical SEO practices. The period following these updates will be crucial for assessing their overall impact on your website and adjusting SEO strategies accordingly to optimize visibility and ranking in search results. The main update (Google Core update) for natural referencing, it's always a good time to contact a expert SEO consultant !

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