Understanding Google's March 2024 Core and Spam Updates

Google March 2024 core algorithm update

March 2024 marked the start of Google rolling out a significant core algorithm update, alongside a series of spam policy updates, to improve the quality of search results. Known collectively as the March 2024 Core Update, these changes are designed to combat spam and low-quality content. They are expected to affect around 40% of such content across the web. 

What are the key changes from the March 2024 Core Update? 

As with previous Google algorithm updates, the main focus of the March 2024 Core Update is to ensure that search results return high-quality information that fulfils the user’s search intent. With the latest update, Google has enhanced its ranking systems to prioritise the most beneficial and informative content. The aim is to decrease the visibility of content that is deemed unhelpful or unoriginal.

In addition to this, the recent update also places a heavy emphasis on the value of content, and penalises websites that engage in keyword stuffing or producing content to primarily manipulate search rankings.

Google March 2024 core algorithm update

How will the update affect your website’s digital marketing strategy?

At I-COM, our digital marketing strategies always centre on producing helpful, valuable content. From our perspective, not a lot will be changing, but this serves as a valuable reminder that you should produce content for users, not search engines, and provide genuinely useful information. 

If you don’t have a dedicated digital marketing strategy currently, then it is important to take a step back and critically assess the quality and helpfulness of the content you publish on your website. Creating content that is genuinely helpful, well-researched, and user-focused is more important than ever. 

New spam policies

Alongside the March 2024 core algorithm update, Google has introduced three new spam policies to target scaled content abuse, expired domain abuse, and site reputation abuse.

Scaled content abuse

Scaling content is when content is produced en-masse with the intention of manipulating search rankings. With the new policy, Google has made it clear that this practice is against its guidelines. This applies to content whether it has been written by a person or produced by AI.

Expired domain abuse

The practice of buying expired domains and repurposing them with the intention of boosting the search ranking of low-quality content is now deemed a targeted spam tactic as part of the new update. Google believes that this practice misleads users and deteriorates trust in search results.

Site reputation abuse

This can be referred to as “Parasite SEO” and this involves publishing third-party content on reputable sites without sufficient oversight to manipulate search rankings. To use Google’s example, “a third party might publish payday loan reviews on a trusted educational website to gain ranking benefit from the site.”

It is important to note that this doesn’t mean that all third-party content is a violation of the policy - it is only content that is intended to manipulate search rankings.

Google's spam policy 2024


The March 2024 Core Update and spam updates mark a significant shift in Google’s approach to ensuring the quality of content on the internet. The updates started at the start of March 2024, but as of mid-April, the core update still hasn’t finished rolling out. It is essential for SEO professionals and content creators to focus on content quality to maintain or improve their search engine rankings. Adapting to these changes is not just about avoiding penalties but about leveraging the opportunity to deliver better content that truly satisfies the queries of users. In turn, this can help your brand to stand out in a competitive marketplace, and build relationships with your users that can turn into leads or conversions later down the line.

For more information on how we can help you to produce high-quality SEO-driven content that will drive organic growth for your website, get in touch with I-COM today at 0161 402 3170 or fill out our contact form