Google’s search algorithm powers your internet searches. In March 2024, Google released an upgrade to prioritise high-quality and useful content on various topics.

The main parameters that are a part of this major core update are:

  • Enhanced the core ranking systems to show more helpful results.
  • Updated the spam policies.

Google has made a significant modification to its key ranking algorithms. This update seeks to improve how Google reads webpages, with a special emphasis on detecting information that provides little value to consumers.

The update affects web pages that display:

  • Unhelpfulness: Content lacking instructive value or failing to fulfil user requirements.
  • Poor User Experience: Websites with unclear navigation, sluggish loading times, or invasive components.
  • Search Engine Focus: Content prepared with the goal of ranking for certain keywords at the expense of readability and user engagement.

By improving its grasp of these elements, Google intends to dramatically minimise the quantity of low-quality information that appears in search results. This equates to an estimated 40% reduction in unoriginal material, allowing more useful and high-quality websites to take centre stage (Tucker, 2024). 

Spam Policies

Three new spam policies against bad practices have seen growth in popularity: expired domain abuse, scaled content abuse, and site reputation abuse (Nelson, 2024).

Expired Domain Abuse: Expired domain abuse is when an expired domain name is acquired and converted solely to influence search rankings by providing material of little or no value to users. For example, someone may buy a domain that was previously used by a medical site and repurpose it to host low-quality casino-related material, intending to achieve success in Search based on the domain’s reputation from prior ownership (Nelson, 2024). 

Scaled Content Abuse: Scaled content abuse is when content is purposely, desperately created to manipulate the search engine results and not help users with the provided content. The malpractice is performed to only create a large amount of content which is typically unoriginal and offers little to no value to users, regardless of how it is made (Nelson, 2024).

This new spam policy is derived and expanded on the previous spam policy of automated content of any sort, ensuring that Google may respond to scaled content abuse as needed, regardless of whether the content is created by automation, human efforts, or a combination of human and automated processes (Tucker, 2024). 

Site Reputation Abuse: Site reputation abuse is when third-party pages are published without any regulations on the first-party website, here the purpose of the third-party pages is to manipulate search rankings while shadowing with the first-party website’s search ranking. Third-party pages including Sponsored, advertising, and partner, are often independent of a host site’s principal purpose and have nothing to do with the host site’s content providing little to no relevance on the same. 

What does this mean to business? 

  • Previously high-ranking content may have lost value.
  • AI-generated content is seeing the biggest hit.
  • One of the most significant impacts some businesses have seen is a huge website traffic dip (Marino, 2024). 

Google released some of its most significant updates in a long time in October 2023 and March 2024, which made companies with websites more cautious about the content they provide.


  1. Marino, S. (2024, April 9). Google Algorithm Mayhem: 6 Experts Weigh

In on Recent Changes. WordStream. Retrieved April 15, 2024, from 

  1. Nelson, C. (2024, March 5). What web creators should know about our March 2024 core update and new spam policies | Google Search Central Blog. Google for Developers. Retrieved April 15, 2024, from 

  1. Oberstein, M., Schwartz, B., McCoy, J., Goodwin, D., Busby, L., Grehan, M., Barnard, J., Markee, C., Crosbie, A., Harkins, C., & Ramsaran, C. (2024, March). Google algorithm updates the latest news and guides. Search Engine Land. Retrieved April 12, 2024, from 

  1. Tucker, E. (2024, March 5). Google Search: New updates to address spam and low-quality results. The Keyword. Retrieved April 15, 2024, from