Google’s Massive 2024 Spam-Fighting Updates
  /   March 11, 2024  /   Digital Marketing

Google is getting serious about removing bad and spammy content from its search results. In March 2024, they are launching three major updates all rolled into one big package. Let’s break down what each of these updates does:

The Broadcore Update

This first part of the package is a core update that Google does regularly. But this time, it has one main goal – to lower the search rankings of websites creating content just to try and rank higher, instead of being helpful for people searching.

Google estimates a whopping 40% of the content currently ranking high in searches may get hit hard by this Broadcore update because it’s not useful content. That’s a huge amount, showing how determined Google is to improve search quality.

The Helpful Content Update

The second update is all about defining what counts as truly “helpful” content that Google wants to reward. Until now, this was a separate system. But going forward, it’s going to be baked right into Google’s core ranking algorithms.

This means a few big changes:

  1. No more announcing “Helpful Content” updates separately. It will be updated automatically all the time.
  2. Bad content on any part of a website can now hurt the whole site’s rankings across all pages – not just that single bad page.
  3. It will automatically filter out AI-generated or human+AI hybrid content published solely to make money or manipulate the rankings – no separate update needed.

So in essence, Google’s war on unhelpful, manipulative content is going into permanent overdrive through this update.

The Spam Update 2024

The third and final part goes after specific spammy tactics some overzealous website owners and SEOs use:

Abuse Type Description
Scaled Content Abuse Rapidly pumping out huge volumes of low-quality, AI-assisted content across a site just to get traffic and make money.
Site Reputation Abuse Popular, reputable sites in one area start pushing completely unrelated content, exploiting their authority to rank that unrelated stuff higher.
Expired Domain Abuse Buying up expired domains that have lots of good backlinks, then filling them with unrelated garbage content.

Google says any sites still doing these spammy tactics after May 5, 2024 will get penalized – unless they clean up their act within 2 months. The worst offenders buying expired .gov/.edu domains may get hit immediately with no grace period.

The Big Content Purge

Crushing garbage content.
Crushing garbage content.

When you look at all three updates together, Google’s mission is clear – to aggressively filter out low-quality, manipulative content and only show the most genuinely helpful, high-quality results to searchers.

Millions of websites that have been focused on optimizing content for SEO metrics instead of user-value could find themselves completely buried in the rankings after this so-called “Great Content Purge of 2024”.

Calling Out Google

While the intent behind these updates is good, the speaker criticizes Google for their lack of clear guidance to website owners on how to properly recover from getting hit by a penalty for unhelpful content.

Despite having all the data, Google doesn’t directly answer basic questions like “how long until rankings recover after removing bad content?”. Their own documentation is convoluted and unhelpful, requiring website owners to dig through multiple vague policies.

The criticism is that while Google endlessly preaches “create helpful content for users”, their own official communication is the opposite of helpful.

The Right Path Forward

Putting aside all the confusion and uncertainty, the fundamental takeaway is straightforward – focus on creating high-quality, original content that truly helps your target audience, rather than obsessing over keywords and rankings.

The spammy black hat tactics targeted by the Spam Update may yield some short-term ranking gains, but they guarantee long-term pain. As AI gets smarter, it will easily detect this manipulation.

Ethical “white hat” SEO focused on genuinely serving user needs is the only sustainable approach going forward.

AI Content Restricted

Those publishing thin, AI-spun or scaled-up-just-for-monetization content face a potential “game over” scenario post these updates. It’s a wakeup call to re-evaluate business models built on such shaky foundations.

At the same time, website owners trying their best to produce great content ethically but lacking full understanding can seek out proper SEO education from legitimate sources and communities – not get-rich-quick scheme peddlers.

The core message from Google’s March 2024 Trilogy is clear – produce truly helpful, high-quality content following ethical SEO best practices, or become irrelevant as Google clears its rankings of spammy, synthetic, manipulative content.

For website owners and SEOs, the path forward boils down to a simple choice – embracing ethical content creation focused on user value, or courting irrelevance by continuing to game the system through underhanded tactics that Google’s smarter algorithms will inevitably catch.

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