Google: When To Fix Sites Hit By March 2024 Core Update

Google When To Fix Sites Hit By March 2024 Core Update

John Mueller of Google responded to a query regarding the completion of the March Core Update and the appropriateness of starting to make adjustments in response to the update.

Reddit’s Core Update Question

The questioner was waiting for the core upgrade to finish before making any changes to get it to rank again after experiencing a 60% decrease in traffic. They wanted to know whether the update was complete.

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“I was directed not to make any major changes to my blogs while the primary upgrade was being developed. Regretfully, I lost a substantial amount of traffic—roughly 60%—and I’m now motivated to get these figures back.

Have you got any advice for me? My pages and bought backlinks have been the most badly impacted.

Generally speaking, the Redditor’s advice to wait until an update is complete before trying to remedy things is sound.

The March 2024 Core Algorithm Update: It’s Not Over

Updates to the whole set of search algorithms are called core algorithm updates. The Google Core Algorithm includes the ranking component. Furthermore, the ranking engine comprises numerous additional elements connected to comprehending search terms and webpages, assigning varying weights to various parameters based on search query context and meaning, relevance, quality, and page experience, among numerous other considerations.

Additionally, there are systems like RankBrain that deal with spam. There are several components to the core algorithm, and the March 2024 Core Update is one of the more complicated ones, which could be the reason it’s taking so long.

In his response, John Mueller acknowledged that the March Core Update was ongoing.

He clarified:

“No, it’s not finished. It will be declared complete when it has completed rolling out.

Is It Better To Hold Off Until The Update Ends?

Mueller then answers the portion of the query concerning whether the user should wait to fix their website until the update is finished.

He responded,

In any case, I would take action if you have found any areas on your website that need improvement. It’s not the intention to alter content solely for search engines. If you can improve things, your users will be satisfied even if search engines still need to revise their perception of your website.

John Mueller makes a good point when he says that any time is a good time to address issues found during a website self-evaluation.

Since I’ve been in the search marketing industry for 25 years—far longer than John Mueller—I know rankings frequently change during algorithm updates. When an update is complete, drastic changes in rankings are often undone. If you “fix” something before the update is complete, you risk making changes to something that isn’t broken or in need of repair.

However, in this case, John Mueller’s advice to fix what’s broken—paid links, as the Redditor pointed out—probably contributes to the unfavorable adjustment in their rankings.

However, it might be wise to wait if you engage in something other than bought links or aggressive link building, such as writing guest posts with keyword-rich anchor texts.

According to Google’s website, there may be more variations, and this specific upgrade is complex. Thus, it’s possible for websites that dropped in ranking to move up.

From the documentation for Google’s March Core Update:

The rollout of this upgrade may take up to a month due to its complexity. Rankings will fluctuate more than a typical core update when various systems are fully updated and complemented.

Optimizing For People

Mueller continues by advising on making the website user-friendly rather than search engine-friendly. Mueller’s approach strongly emphasizes optimizing for “users” or website visitors.

The remaining passage from Mueller’s reply:

Additionally, even if I need to become more familiar with your website, there is always room for improvement. You can figure out how to increase the number of different traffic sources so that, if search engines change their perception of your site, the fluctuations will be less severe, and you will be more search engine-independent.

Going down this route will also likely cause you to concentrate more on adding value for consumers (as you want them to visit and recommend you on their own), which is also what search engines desire.

Optimizing for people goes beyond slogans like “content is king” or “make your site awesome.” Optimizing for people is one practical method for building and optimizing websites with significant ranking potential.

The Navboost signal monitors user interaction signals and is a potent ranking component, as demonstrated by the US government’s current antitrust lawsuit against Google. Google reacts to signals from user engagement, and according to the Navboost Patent, one of the most significant ways to generate these signals is to build webpages that encourage favourable reactions.

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