22 Mar, 2024

Google March Core Update Released

RT - March Core Update

Google has started rolling out its first core update of 2024, strengthening its commitment to provide users with better search results. The Google March core update is reportedly more extensive than previous core updates and contains stricter measures against spam and low-quality web content. 

For those in the recruitment industry, this signals a significant shift in search engine optimisation (SEO) strategies. With Google’s heightened focus on quality and relevance, recruiters must adapt their approaches to ensure visibility and competitiveness in search results.

Why Now is the Best Time to Ditch Low-Quality Web Content 

If you are still publishing low-quality content on your recruitment site, now is the best time to stop. The March core update, which started rolling out on March 8th, is geared towards reducing unhelpful content in search results by 40%. Google Product Management Director Elizabeth Tucker said it is “more complex” than its predecessors as it can better understand which pages are unhelpful and not user-friendly. The update is so massive that it would take Google about a month to finish its rollout. 

As part of the latest Google update, classifiers for the search giant’s helpful content system received a significant overhaul. Google now uses innovative signals and approaches to ensure high-quality content will appear first in search result pages. Consequently, Google will cease announcing new helpful content updates as they have already been integrated into the March core update. 

This means that if your website is deemed “unhelpful,” there’s a significant chance it will be buried at the bottom of search result pages. It also increases your chances of receiving a penalty from Google.

Google Tightens Spam Rules 

Besides reinforcing its helpful content system, Google has also intensified its campaign against spammy content. The search giant released a series of updates targeting spam, including the March 2024 spam update and several policy adjustments alongside its latest core algorithm update.

The content abuse search spam update goes beyond punishing “spammy auto-generated content.” It now targets and penalises any method of mass content creation aimed at gaming the system. These methods include publishing web pages that promise to answer popular search queries but fail to deliver valuable content. It doesn’t matter if these pages are created by humans or AI-generated. They will receive penalties through algorithmic spam systems and manual actions if they violate Google’s guidelines on search ranking manipulation. 

The practice of buying and repurposing expired domains to increase the search ranking of low-quality content is now prohibited. Similarly, Google warns against using “Parasite SEO” strategies, where third-party sites host low-quality content to take advantage of trusted websites’ search ranking and domain authority. 

However, Google has specified that not all third-party content falls under the spam category. Instead, it is focusing on penalising content lacking proper oversight from its owners and those designed specifically to manipulate search rankings. These stricter regulations on spam will be enforced starting May 5, 2024. For this reason, our team at Recruitment Traffic advises you to take necessary precautions and make preparations accordingly to avoid receiving a penalty.

The Results So Far 

The ongoing Google March core update is causing significant disruption for many marketers and site owners, with reports emerging of substantial damage to search rankings and even complete removal from the search engine.

1. De-indexing of numerous websites

Following Google’s announcement, a notable influx of low-quality spam sites has been entirely de-indexed from search result pages. Those spared removal were either relegated to the obscure depths of search results or hidden under filters. However, experts noted that complete de-indexing typically results from manual penalties rather than core algorithm updates. 

Many of the de-indexed sites featured subpar AI-generated content. While Google doesn’t explicitly prohibit AI usage, you must ensure your web content adheres to the search giant’s standards for freshness, quality, and relevance outlined in its EEAT guidelines. Surviving previous core updates offers no immunity. Your recruitment site remains at risk of de-indexing if it fails to meet Google’s standards.

2. Swift action by Google

Google swiftly imposed severe penalties on sites found in violation of its policies. Owners of de-indexed sites have reported their sudden disappearance from search results with minimal forewarning from the search giant. 

To check if your site remains indexed, input “site:yourwebsite.com” into Google’s search bar. As algorithmic updates are automated, affected sites will receive no notifications via Google Search Console’s manual action viewer. Therefore, it falls upon site owners or administrators to conduct regular manual checks for visibility.

The Importance of Staying Updated 

Amidst the flurry of developments in the digital community, it’s easy for recruiters like you to overlook critical updates from Google. However, at Recruitment Traffic, we emphasise the importance of staying in the know for greater success.

1. Ensure compliance

For recruiters, keeping abreast of Google’s ever-evolving policies is crucial. As Google wields significant influence over website visibility and traffic, understanding these policies is vital to staying compliant. Non-compliance can result in penalties that adversely affect search rankings and overall online presence.

2. Adapt your approach

Awareness of Google’s policy shifts empowers recruiters to adapt strategies effectively. Updates such as the recent Google March core update and alterations to spam policies signal changes in algorithmic priorities. By staying informed, you can anticipate potential effects on your website’s visibility and proactively adjust your approaches to meet new guidelines, ensuring sustained search engine visibility.

3. Maintain good online presence

Keeping up with policy changes aids in maintaining a robust online presence. With Google’s emphasis on combating spam and prioritising user-centric content, outdated or manipulative tactics can lead to penalties. By staying informed about policy updates, you can ensure your content meets current best practices, fostering trust with both users and search engines.

Follow Google Best Practices 

With Google staying committed to battling spam and providing users with high-quality search results, staying updated with policy changes and following best practices is key to having an excellent online presence. If you are serious about maximising your recruitment efforts and reaching top talent effectively, you should stay informed about Google’s policies and algorithm updates. By staying ahead of the curve, you can ensure your recruitment site remains visible and competitive in search results, ultimately attracting more clients and candidates. 

If you need help developing a more robust recruitment SEO strategy, we at Recruitment Traffic are happy to lend our expertise. Get in touch, and we’ll provide you with the expert online marketing solutions you require.

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