Google’s March 2024 Core Updates Explained

Another day, another Google core update. The first core update for the year, released on 5 March, significantly impacts how search results are ranked and how spam is identified and filtered. Understanding these changes is crucial for anyone with a stake in SEO or online content. Let’s examine these updates and how they impact search results and rankings.

Impact on Search Results and Rankings

These updates represent a big shift in how Google evaluates and ranks websites, directly impacting the visibility and traffic that sites receive from search results. These adjustments reward high-quality, relevant content more than ever before. As the March 2024 updates roll out over the next month, you might notice some shifts in rankings—some pages might climb higher in search results, while others could drop. It’s a natural part of Google’s commitment to delivering the best search experience to users. 

“As with all core updates, we’ll be monitoring the effects closely to ensure our clients are well placed to receive the maximum benefit of any changes.”, says Gareth Morgans, Digital Director at Herdl. “Our SEO strategies are “future-facing”, and we’re always thinking one step ahead to give our clients an edge over their competitors.”

Here are the focus areas that Herdl will examine to ensure that our clients are compliant with the latest updates: 


  • Website Visibility and Traffic: The core updates can drastically affect search results ranking. Web admins must ensure their websites comply with the new guidelines to maintain or improve their visibility.
  • User Experience: Google’s updates often focus on improving the user experience, including page speed, mobile-friendliness, and content relevance. Web admins must prioritise these aspects to meet Google’s standards.

Content Creation:

  • Content Quality and Relevance: The updates place a heightened emphasis on the quality and relevance of content. Creators must produce content that genuinely addresses the needs and interests of their audience, aligning with Google’s push for value-driven content.
  • EEAT Principles (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness): Content creators must establish and demonstrate their expertise and authority in their subject matter, as Google’s updates increasingly reward content that exhibits these qualities.


  • Adapting SEO Strategies: SEO professionals must monitor the changes the updates bring and adjust their strategies accordingly. This includes optimising for new ranking factors and reevaluating keyword strategies.
  • Competitive Analysis and Monitoring: Understanding the core updates allows SEO professionals to analyse competitors’ performances post-update, identify shifts in the SEO landscape, and discover new opportunities for optimisation.
  • Long-term Planning: SEO is not just about immediate adjustments but also about anticipating future trends and updates. Professionals must use insights from the core updates to inform their long-term SEO planning and strategy development.

Understanding the Spam Updates

With the latest updates, Google has turned up the heat on spam. The enhanced spam detection algorithms are a game-changer for maintaining a clean, trustworthy web environment. You’re in a good position if your content is genuine, valuable, and spam-free. However, it’s a wake-up call for anyone who might have skated by with less-than-sterling content practices, especially those who have relied too heavily on generic, AI-generated content.

Key Takeaways from Google Content Updates

The content guidelines have been refined, emphasising the need for authenticity, expertise, experience, and user value. The key is to create content that resonates with your audience, answers their questions, and provides real solutions. Instead of just generating content en masse for the sake of SEO, Google’s updates encourage a more user-centric approach to content creation, which aligns perfectly with creating meaningful, engaging content.

How to Adapt Your Strategy Post-Updates

In an ongoing effort to improve search quality and user experience, Google frequently updates its algorithms, leaving businesses and marketers scrambling to keep their marketing strategies up to date. Adapting your strategy post-Google updates involves a blend of introspection about your content’s value and leveraging the right tools to fine-tune your SEO approach.

  • Focus on understanding your audience’s needs and how your content can meet them. Ask yourself, “What problem am I solving for my audience? What value am I adding?”  
  • Utilise tools and resources available for SEO analysis and content optimisation, such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console, SEMrush and Ahrefs, to ensure your website aligns with Google’s updated criteria.

FAQ: Common Questions About the Updates Answered

  • Will my site be penalised if it drops in rankings?
    • Not necessarily. Rankings can fluctuate for many reasons. Focus on improving content quality and user experience.
  • How can I tell if my content meets Google’s new standards?
    • Assess your content for experience, expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (E-E-A-T). Ensure it’s helpful, informative, and answers your audience’s questions. 
  • What should I do if spam updates hit my site?
    • Review your content to ensure compliance with Google’s guidelines. Remove or revise any content that could be considered spammy or low-quality.

Still unsure if the content meets the criteria? Contact our team for a content audit or book a call for help with your content and SEO strategy.

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