Google Algorithm Update – March 2024

Google Algorithm Update – March 2024

Google released their first algorithm of 2024 in March. Their last official update was seen in November 2023, focused around “review” content. The March 2024 algorithm update was focused on spam content. This update began rolling out March 5th and was officially completed on March 20th. This happened alongside Google releasing their new spam policies.


Update sign

Google has automated systems to identify spam content that are constantly in action, and Google occasionally makes updates to these systems which is what they refer to as spam updates. This is all in effort to better identify spam content. Some of the new spam policies by Google cover:

  • Scaled content abuse
  • Expired domain abuse
  • Site reputation abuse

Note: the first two points are immediately in effect, while the last point is being actioned in May.

Algorithm updates and the impact on websites’ organic performance are automated, and Google does not notify you if your website has been negatively or positively affected by an update. Throughout the roll out of this update, many websites saw a spike in manual actions, being notified through their Google Search Console properties. Google issues a manual action against a website when a human reviewer at Google reviews a website/webpage and deems the content being against the Google spam policies. The increase in manual actions are not directly due to the algorithm update as the impact of the update is automated. However, the updates to the spam policies may be the reason for this increase as the changes due to websites now violate these policies.

Throughout the rollout of this update, many websites were impacted and in some cases, impacted heavily. Some of the impacts were:

  • Websites being completely deindexed by Google

Websites found violating the spam policies or having questionable SEO tactics were penalised and removed from Google’s index. It should be noted that this may not be solely down to the changes in spam policies.

  • Websites that were previously not impacted were not safe

There have been multiple spam updates over the years. Websites that were previously not impacted by these updates did not necessarily mean they were safe. With the updates to the policies, previously safe websites may now be violating the guidelines and penalised.

  • Websites that are outdated or error-filled are vulnerable 

Websites that are either outdated or have multiple errors also go against Google’s E-E-A-T guidelines, making them vulnerable to being negatively impacted from the algorithm update.

Key Takeaways:

  • Quality of content has always and continues to be key to performing well organically
  • Websites should be maintained to avoid old content being seen as spammy or incorrect
  • Regularly auditing your website and having a focus on UX will help mitigate negative impact from algorithm updates

If your website has been impacted by the March algorithm update, website owners should audit their content to find and update any content that offends the spam policies. If you need help to react to these Google updates, or your any SEO planning in general, please reach out to the Digital Carrera team! 

Related posts

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.