March Google Algorithm Update News

 In Featured, SEO Tips

Now that we are over a week into the latest update, we have more information, results, and data that can support a more educated discussion on the impact of the changes.

Was your site affected by the March Google update?  Are you wondering what the root of the loss of rankings is?

As much content has already been published about this update, I think sometimes it’s still difficult to find a clear answer and what’s even more complex is a definition of a possible path forward. We are going to try to simplify the implemented changes and hopefully, give you a clear answer on what are some things you can do to recover or generally improve your rankings in the future.

  1.  Content and Spam Policies

    The majority of the affected sites had some level of “spam” content. Well, you may get offended here as you think you’ve been working with a top agency and they would never add “spammy” content to your site. Spam today has a much broader meaning since the AI writers took over the SEO.  The wide release of chatGPT changed the search landscape and flooded the digital world with a vast amount of blog posts, landing pages, and service content, specifically optimized for search keywords, partially or completely generated by AI.  Suddenly, every person became a content writer. We know this first-hand as some of our clients fell into that category and started “building” content on their site.  The first advice we gave them was to rewrite or delete any AI-generated text.
    Poor content, pages developed for SEO purposes only with very little high-quality content were demoted or removed from Google Search.  Sites with human-written, great quality copy, often very helpful answers gained in the rankings.  We’ve been talking about this trend for months and we’ve written about the overall dangers of misinformation being produced due to the use of AI.  Don’t get this wrong, there’s an absolute place for AI and it’s undoubtably the fastest growing tech.  It will eventually revolutionize the way we look at search, information delivery and overall improvement of our lives.  This does not refer to generating of mass content by pressing a button to beat the search engine game.  As it turns out, although Google is placing an importance on the AI technology, the mass produced copy itself has very little to no value.

    How to overcome the keyword ranking drop caused by the update:

    – Content Audit: Delete any AI generated copy. If you have AI copy within your product and service pages, you’ll need to rewrite it.  An option would also be to rewrite your AI generated articles but if the URL was already taken out of index, we would recommend just deleting it and focusing on new, human-written content going forward.
    – Prioritize pages that bring value to your business.  Focus on expending your natural expertise rather than relying on chasing SEO key terms.

  2. 3rd Party “Guest” Content

    I cannot describe how many times per day we get an offer of a “free-guest written blog post”.  Well, if you fell for this trap and at any point you’ve allowed guest articles from an unreliable source on your website, it would be time to delete them.
    Google is giving you time till May 5, 2024 to audit your site for any content that would be considered “advertorial”.

  3. Scaled Content

    This refers primary to websites that develop large amount of pages and urls in order to improve their overall rankings.  These thin, unoriginal and often keyword stuffed content pages will also be penalized. This content was usually generated by scraping other pages or stitching information from multiple sites without adding any value.  To read more details about the scaled content abuse policies visit the developers page. 

What’s your next step?  It has been the same recommendation from us for the last 10 years. Nothing can replace putting in hours to do research to write a solid article.  Advising clients on the best use of their expertise to talk about the specialties has been at the forefront of our strategy for years.  There is no mass automation and one-click-solutions to build valuable websites. It takes time, dedication, effort, planning and just pure honesty. I think it’s also important to note that you’ll not win on all keyword search terms.  Pick the ones that matter most and focus on building these terms.  And if your rankings drop, it will take time and effort to reverse it, but it’s not impossible.


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