Ranking Changes Related To Google March 2024 Core Update

Today is the first day I have seen solid evidence of serious ranking volatility and changes related to the big Google March 2024 Core Update. As a reminder, the Google March 2024 Core Update officially started on March 5, 2024, and will take up to a month to roll out fully. We are expecting numerous ranking changes during the next few weeks.

Google said this core update should reduce the amount of unhelpful, low-quality, unoriginal content in its search results by 40%. Google is pushing out changes to numerous systems within the overall core ranking system, which is why it will take around a month to roll out and which is why you should expect ranking volatility numerous times throughout this roll out period.

Today I am seeing signs from both SEO professionals and site owners and also the automated Google tracking tools that this update has landed today, March 9th. Some saw early signs yesterday as well.

Also, keep in mind, Google dished out tons of manual action penalties on March 6th and 7th, mostly related to “pure spam” penalties. This is different from the core update or even the spam update, because manual actions are not algorithmic and you will get notified of a penalty in Google Search Console – I explain more over here.

Google Tracking Tools On March 2024 Core Update:

As you can see, most of the tools started to spike a bit on Friday, March 8th, but really started to show big volatility on Saturday, March 9th. I expect even more volatility to show tomorrow, Sunday, March 10th – I may update this story with more details then, so check back tomorrow:





Cognitive SEO:



Advanced Web Rankings:




SEO Chatter

Here is some of the SEO chatter of people talking about this update kicking in. This is across X, WebmasterWorld and the over 1,200 comments here:

And here are some sites starting to surge based on the March 2024 core update. Again, these are sites previously impacted by core updates or HCUs. I’ll share more as time goes on. I think we will see a lot more volatility in the next day or two… pic.twitter.com/cMOy1rldv8

— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) March 8, 2024

Traffic is terrible this morning. Google vs spammers battle is more intense than ever. And they are not using precision munitions either. They are dropping nukes. Collateral damage is immense. Spammers are changing tactics. Reddit, Medium, Linkedin Pulse are turning into Blogspot style spam dumps. Quality of search continues to steadily decline. It’s Spamaggeddon!

Strangely, GSC shows a corresponding increase in indexed pages to around 150k for 1 ccTLD. It only has around 1200 pages to index. All noindex’s are checked and in order, so what’s going on, I wonder.

No manual penalties reported.

There is tremendous volatility on many queries right now. A guide of mine with several solutions on android auto problems is surpassed by news sites that give a solution that there was on a certain day a few years ago. Obviously this solution no longer works and is not valid for all the problems that can be had with the operation of Android auto, moreover these news dealt with only a bug of a version of Android auto. Once My article used to be among the top positions, rightly so Since it has all the possible solutions to try for solve.

I’m hoping that this is a Search Console bug too. But the other thing that my GA4 must be glitching too, because it also shows drop to 2 clicks per day. But…

I’m checking my Semrush, checking Hrefs numbers – they are all showing some changes (~10%), but no drop to zero or something like that. Hoping this is a glitch…

I am not seeing a huge decline in overall traffic, but this morning there is a big increase in traffic to obscure lower-level pages and also from unusual locations. I am also seeing single product pages with unusually high levels of visits from different unique visitors. It’s as if this one item suddenly rocketed to the top of searches and lots of people clicked it, then it dropped out of sight again. So I think there must be a lot of churning going on now as the pattern of visits is very different from the norm. The steady decline in converting traffic continues…zero serious inquiries from USA, UK, CA, AU or UAE…it’s like the blood being drained out of my business. I did get an inquiry from Mongolia though…no joke.

This remains to be seen, though many will believe it simply because Google said it. Instead observe the serps for evidence. I see numerous very high quality websites have taken a huge hit in the last few days. By high quality I’m talking about site’s created by professionals with degrees in their fields who have so much EEAT it is oozing out of their eyeballs. My observation suggests the facts don’t back up the claim about Google very easily penalizing AI sites. But we are still early in this update to come to any definitive conclusions.

USA traffic is -31% today, so something is definitely kicking in in the USA SERPS. My overall search traffic is actually up slightly, and UK, AU, CA, and most of Europe ex France is very high today.

I see a slight increase today, as opposed to the last 3 days and compared to the last 3 Saturdays – Saturday is an important mark for one of my sites. So, on this site I see a small increase.

Seeing a lot of sites drop total traffic i.e no impressions but page still shows on the index

🚀 pic.twitter.com/ahSLMX0ham

— Marie Haynes (@Marie_Haynes) March 9, 2024

So I really think this March 2024 core update started to dig its heels in today.

What are you all seeing?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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