Google's March Update: A Seismic Shift Towards Higher Quality Search Results

Google's March Update: A Seismic Shift Towards Higher Quality Search Results

Have you noticed a dramatic shift in your website’s organic search traffic within a short span of hours or days? If so, it’s possible that your site has been affected by a recent Google algorithm update.

These updates can prove detrimental to businesses that heavily rely on organic traffic as a revenue source, whether through online advertisements, affiliate marketing, or direct e-commerce sales.

Google’s “core updates,” in particular, are notorious for their sudden and substantial impact, frequently leaving website owners perplexed about what they might have done wrong and how to regain their lost search traffic.

What is a Google Core Update?

Google Core updates are a distinct type of update that Google releases several times per year. Unlike other major updates, these core updates involve changes to the core algorithm itself, rather than adjustments to individual ranking factors.

While other updates often target specific areas (e.g., introducing a new ranking factor or integrating new technology), Google Core updates primarily focus on improving the overall quality of search results delivered to users. They are part of Google’s continuous efforts to present relevant and authoritative content to searchers.

Whenever a new core update is released, Google announces it via their Twitter channel, naming the update according to the month and year of its release (eg. “May 2024 Core Update”).

March 2024 Core Update & Spam Update (from March 5th 2024)

Following numerous complaints and even a study highlighting the declining quality of Google search results in recent months, Google has announced a major improvement to Google Search with the March 2024 Core Update. This update aims to deliver more high-quality, unique results that genuinely benefit users. In contrast, content created solely to manipulate rankings will be removed from search results. Simultaneously, Google has also announced a Spam Update with new and improved spam policies to keep low-quality results out of search results.

According to Google, the March 2024 Core Update builds upon the Helpful Content Updates that began in 2022 and now integrates those updates’ results into the core algorithm. This means there is no longer a separate “Helpful Content System”; instead, the core algorithm now includes several signals for evaluating helpful content. Together, Google expects these updates to result in a 40% reduction in low-quality search results.

This update is a much more complex Core Update than usual, as several ranking systems are being updated. As a result, rankings may fluctuate strongly over a period of up to one month.

The new spam policies introduced as part of the Spam Update target the following types of spam:

- “Scaled content,” which is content produced automatically and in large quantities but provides no real value to the user.

- “Site reputation abuse,” which exploits a website’s high reputation by allowing third parties to publish low-quality content on that domain – also known as “parasite SEO.” This change will not take effect until May 5th, giving website owners time to exclude such content from Google search.

- Using expired domains to boost the ranking of low-quality content.

Unlike the Core Update, the Spam Update is expected to be completed in around two weeks.

Since the update’s launch, a large number of manual penalties have been observed, with entire sites being removed from search results, including some sites with a high volume of purely AI-generated content.

In addition to the usual recommendations for Core Updates, you should also review Google’s recommendations for creating Helpful Content if you notice a negative impact on your rankings due to the March 2024 Core Update.

REAL DESIGN can help with any search engine optimisation and web design/developments - contact us today, and we’ll be happy to help. 

Google Source Post:

Posted on 11th Mar 2024 16:21:53 by

Tags: News, SEO.

Core Web Vitals The Need to Know

Core Web Vitals The Need to Know

Core Web Vitals, originally scheduled for May 2021, rolled out as a new ranking factor in two Google algorithms across June and July. Some website owners are concerned about how Core Web Vitals will impact their rankings in the SERPs (search engine results pages).

What Are Core Web Vitals?

Core Web Vitals are metrics that apply to all web pages and showcase how they perform based on real-world usage data. Page experience has been an important factor for a while, but it now plays a more significant role in helping you rank in SERPs.


Core Web Vitals refer to loading, interactivity and visual stability, so they’re made up of three distinct measurements that help Google to analyse your page’s UX (User Experience):

• Loading – Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

•Interactivity – First Input Delay (FID)

•Visual Stability – Cumulative layout Shift (CLS)

The 3 Core Web Vitals Explained


LCP (Largest Contentful Paint) is the largest element on the browser since it indicates when content has shown up for the user; in short, it can be defined as the loading speed of a page. According to Google, loading time shouldn’t exceed 2.5 seconds.


Interactivity measures how responsive the page is and how quickly people can start interacting with it. If a user wants to access your website, but the page is processing something and doesn’t react to the person’s input, this will negatively impact your metrics.

Visual Stability

Visual stability refers to how your content moves on the page. For example, have you ever tried to click a link, but an image loads suddenly, and the link shifts down, causing you to open the wrong thing? Or you’re trying to read a paragraph, but an ad or video loads and shifts the entire thing down the page, preventing you from having a smooth experience?

Google believes all page elements should be as stable as possible since shifting layouts lead to a poor user experience (UX).

How Important are Core Web Vitals?

All three measures are crucial but now carry a lot more weight. Webmasters and SEO professionals must stay on top of these metrics to ensure the site doesn’t fall in rankings.

The idea behind attributing such importance to these metrics is that Google wants sites to provide high-quality pages people can enjoy. If the algorithm determines your page is quality based on these and other metrics, you’re likely to appear higher in search results.

However, this doesn’t mean the content of the page itself will lose importance. On the contrary, both matter. As Google says:

“A good page experience doesn’t override having great, relevant content. However, in cases where there are multiple pages that have similar content, page experience becomes much more important for visibility in search.”

How to Measure Core Web Vitals?

It is essential to measure the Core Web Vitals metrics and understand how they can impact your page experience. Google has several tools to help, such as Page Speed Insights, which allows you to see what can be improved regarding page loading speed.

You can also use Google Search Console for reports and analytics that show several ways you can enhance the UX of your pages.

It would help to keep optimising your pages to ensure no issues pop up, and this means staying up to date with the latest Google algorithms and information and tweaking your site regularly. For business owners, this can take up valuable time that could be spent running their business.

REAL and Core Web Vitals

You don’t have to worry about learning new tools and changing things on your site, as we can take care of everything for you. We’ll monitor your pages to prevent issues from arising and act fast to solve problems should they arise.

Core Web Vitals first became a feature of Google Search Console back in 2020 and, since then, our design and development team has worked together with our SEO department to make sure all our clients’ pages are optimised. We’ve managed to get URLs out of the Poor classification for both Mobile and Desktop use; we also worked hard to get as many URLs into the Good bracket as possible.

There are several ways to improve Core Web Vitals, including:

• Keeping your website simple by removing all non-essential elements that can slow a page down (such as plug-ins).

• Using specific sizes for images and other media to keep the pages’ layout as stable as possible.

• Preload some elements so that visual loading times are faster.

As an SEO agency, we look into these and more when we analyse your website, so you can be confident that we will catch all those small elements, which will make a big difference.

In Summary

Core Web Vitals are key metrics you must pay attention to in 2022 and beyond, as they will impact your page rankings.

If you’re looking for web design in East Yorkshire to ensure your website pages are fully optimised, contact us today, and we’ll be happy to help.

Posted on 16th Nov 2021 13:14:26 by

Tags: News, SEO.