Google Algorithm Update 2024: What Small Biz Owners Should Know

On March 5, 2024, a new Google Algorithm update went into effect. Learn about how this core update has the potential to impact small business websites in this blog.

Google Algorithm Update 2024

On March 5, 2024, Google announced the rollout of a core update with major impacts. Possibly the biggest impacts since their Panda and Penguin updates. So, what does this mean for small business owners who manage their own websites? We’ll break it down for you.

What is the Google March 2024 Core Update?

Per a tweet from Google Search Central, “Today we announced the March 2024 core update & new spam policies that, in combination, are designed to show less content made to attract clicks and more content that people find useful.”

The update has two main features: improved quality ranking and new and improved spam policies.

Basically, Google will now be penalizing websites that seem like they’re only creating content to make their site rank higher in the SERPs, instead of content that is helpful for people. By including the previous Helpful Content system in the core update, Google expects this update will keep unhelpful and low-quality content from showing up near the top of search results by 40%.

There are rumors that Google is mainly going after bad AI-written content with this update. That’s not necessarily the case. Google is cracking down on any content they consider spam. This can be completely AI-generated content, content created by humans or a combination of the two. Any content created with the purpose of manipulating rankings can be labeled as spam.

What Does the Google Algorithm Update Mean for Small Businesses?

The results of this update and Google’s commitment to crack down on spam have had some devastating results for some sites—including entire sites being deindexed. De-indexing is the process of removing a web page or website from search engine results pages.

If Google suspects you of only adding content to your site in order to influence search rankings, your site might stop showing up in the search results altogether.

For a small business, losing the ability to be found on Google would be catastrophic for your brand awareness, visibility and trustworthiness. But don’t worry, there are actions you can take to avoid this happening to your site.

How to Keep Your Content Compliant with Google

If the content on your site is helpful, original and human-generated, you shouldn’t need to worry. As we mentioned, Google’s main focus is reducing spam.

While this update does seem to be targeting AI content consistently, it doesn’t mean you can’t leverage AI for your small business at all. Just make sure you’re doing it with intention.

Something to keep in mind while creating content are Google’s search quality standards or E-E-A-T. This stands for experience, expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness. Whenever publishing new content on your site, be sure to keep these things in mind to avoid any penalties that might come with this new update.

Final Thoughts

In this digital age, your small business’s website is a key part of your marketing plan. Since Google reigns supreme as the most popular search engine, it’s important to keep up with their updates. Remembering E-E-A-T any time you’re creating content can help keep your site on Google’s good side.

We know that in the grand scheme of running an entire business, examining every piece of content on your site and every update Google pushes out isn’t always feasible. Contact RevLocal today to see how we can help you handle all the digital marketing needs for your business.

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