Google March 2024 Spam Update Done Rolling Out

Google has completed the rollout of the March 2024 spam update after a 14-day and 21-hour period. This update started on March 5, 2024, and was completed on March 20, 2024. Remember, the March 2024 core update is still rolling out and will do so for the next couple of weeks.

There was not much new announced around the spam update, but there were new Google spam policies announced, which results in a slew of painful manual actions to many sites.

March 2024 Google Spam Update Quick Facts

Here are the most important things that we know right now in short form:

Name: Google March 2024 Spam Update

Launched: March 5, 2024 at about 12 pm ET

Rollout: March 20, 2024 at around 9:10 am ET

Targets: Sites violating its search spam policies.

Penalty: It penalizes spam techniques that are against Google’s spam policies.

Global: This is a global update impacting all regions and languages.

Impact: Google would not tell me what percentage of queries or searches were impacted by this update.

Recover: If you were hit by this, Google said you should review its spam policies to ensure they are complying with those.

Refreshes: Google will do periodic refreshes to the spam update. It can take many months to recover, Google said.

Overlapping Updates

As you know, we had manual actions hit around March 6th and 7th. We had the March 2024 core update start rolling out the same day as this update. The core update is still rolling out, so we have a number of things happening all at once. And to confuse more people, we had a Core Web Vitals update that is likely not the cause of any search ranking movement.

But Google again said they try not to overlap updates – even as these March updates were released.

For now, Google wants you to wait for the updates to complete before making changes. But you can always continue making content improvements where you see fit.

Tracking Tools On March 2024 Spam Update

Here are what the tools show over this time period, keep in mind, we don’t know if the spam update, core update or other changes impacted these tools. I suspect it was more core related over anything else. We first saw ranking shifts on March 8th and 9th, then some reversals on March 12th and then more movement on March 15th. I also saw some limited chatter on the 18th, but I did not cover it.

Here are the tools:



Advanced Web Rankings:








Cognitive SEO:

Previous Google Spam Updates

Here are the documented previous spam updates:

June 2021 spam update on June 23, 2021 – one day rollout

June 2021 spam update on June 28, 2021 – one day rollout

July 2021 link spam update started on July 26, 2021 and completed 29 days later on August 24, 2021

November 2021 spam update started on November 3, 2021 and completed 8 days later on November 11, 2021

October 2022 spam update started on October 19, 2022 and completed 48 hours later on October 21, 2022

December 2022 link spam update started on December 14, 2022 and completed 19 days later on January 12, 2023

October 2023 spam update started on October 4, 2023 and completed 15 days later on October 20, 2023

March 2024 spam update started on March 5, 2024 and completed 15 days later on March 20, 2024

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