Overview of Google’s March 2024 Core Update

May 3, 2024 Posted by Sean Walsh Round-Up 0 thoughts on “Overview of Google’s March 2024 Core Update”
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Sean Walsh
Director at Intelligency

Sean is a Director at Intelligency heading up our digital marketing and client services operations. Sean has 15+ years experiencing working both in-house and agency with brands including Lloyds, Alstom, Hitachi, Lufthansa, Viaplay, DFDS Seaways and Mercedes-Benz.

On March 5, 2024, Google began rolling out its first major update of the year, which concluded on April 19, 2024. This significant update impacted various core systems and aimed to enhance the quality of search results by targeting low-quality and unoriginal content.

Key Outcomes and Achievements
Initially, Google projected a 40% reduction in low-quality content; however, the actual improvement exceeded expectations, achieving a 45% reduction. This update also marked the end of standalone helpful content updates, integrating these into the core update mechanism.

Details of the March 2024 Core Update

Complex Changes to Core Systems

The update involved intricate changes to multiple core systems. Chris Nelson from Google emphasized that this update was more complex than typical updates and aimed at improving the way content helpfulness is assessed.

Impact on Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

For site owners and SEO professionals, understanding the implications of this update is crucial. Google has refined its approach to identifying web pages that offer poor user experiences or appear to be crafted solely for ranking purposes. These are often pages tailored to very specific search queries but do not provide genuine value to users.

Support and Resources for Site Owners

Debugging and Feedback

Google updated its help center page to assist site owners with troubleshooting drops in search rankings. Additionally, a new feedback form was introduced for site owners to report ranking changes for further review by the Google Search team.

Understanding Overlapping Updates

During the same period, Google also rolled out a spam update and adjusted its core web vitals, switching from First Input Delay (FID) to Interaction to Next Paint (INP). These overlapping updates may complicate identifying the specific impacts on site performance.

Long-term Effects and Recovery Tips

Advice for Affected Sites

Recovering from a negative impact can be challenging. Google suggests that the most substantial recovery opportunities may occur following subsequent core updates. The key is to focus on creating helpful, reliable content designed primarily for users, not just to enhance search rankings.

Continued Evolution in SEO Practices

With this update, Google will no longer announce new helpful content updates separately, as these have been integrated into the overall core system. This reflects Google’s ongoing commitment to enhancing the relevancy and quality of search results, encouraging creators to focus on genuine, user-first content.


The March 2024 core update signifies a pivotal shift in Google’s approach to improving search quality. By consolidating the helpful content updates into the core update mechanism, Google aims to streamline its efforts to combat spam and enhance the user experience across its search platform.

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