March 2024 Google Algorithm Update: AI-Generated Spam Removed

Josh Pettovello

The March 2024 Google Algorithm has spurred conversations about the relationship between AI-generated content and content quality. This algorithm has knocked many AI sites out of rankings, particularly those who post a massive amount of content regularly.

Explore the causes behind this update, commonly asked questions, and actionable insights  to stay current with Google.

March 2024 Google Algorithm Removes Spam 

Google implemented the “March 2024 Core Update” only a month ago. While it’s common for Google to adjust its algorithm periodically, the changes are typically more incremental. This time, however, the update has larger implications for search engine results pages (SERPs), similar to what happened during their Core Web Vitals update.

As we can see, the SERP volatility over the past month has wavered into the ‘”high” (and even some days in the “very high”), meaning we’re seeing more changes than we’re used to.

SERP visibility example over the last 30 days since the update, via SEMRush.

What Sites Are Affected? 

Google has stated that this update aims to assess the “helpfulness” of content. The primary focus seems to be managing AI-generated or “spam” content, which is detected and targeted through the search engine’s SpamBrain detection service.

Why Is the Update Taking So Long?

Google has indicated that this update is more complicated  than typical algorithm changes, it is still ongoing though expected to conclude shortly. 

Marketers have noticed the changes and started adapting their strategies accordingly. Despite these adjustments, many sites continue to experience adverse effects from the update.

What strategies do you employ to differentiate your AI-assisted content from low-quality, mass-produced AI content?

“As with any written material, it’s crucial to approach it as a competent editor and fact-checker. Treat anything AI produces as an initial draft, requiring significant revision and a personal touch. Ensure the accuracy and originality of your ideas, opinions, and facts. Prompt ChatGPT with specific information to guide its output, as it may generate inaccurate statistics or facts. Consider it akin to supervising a junior team member; you wouldn’t publish an intern’s work without thorough review and refinement. Apply the same diligence with AI-generated content.”

Director of Content Strategy, KORTX

AI Content & Google Ranking

The March 2024 Google Algorithm update does not ban using AI tools like ChatGPT or Grammarly for content creation. Google only targets low-quality AI content and does not scrutinize all AI-generated content. Many content creators and websites extensively use AI and still achieve high rankings.

The key lies in proper usage. Churning AI-generated content with minimal human oversight will lead to subpar quality. However, if you and your team take the time to edit, refine, and review this content thoroughly, it can still perform well in rankings.

🩵 Are you worried your content might look like AI? For peace of mind, consider using a tool like this AI content detector from While these tools are not foolproof, they likely have parameters comparable to those of Google’s spam detector.

Adjusting for the March 2024 Algorithm: Now or Later?

“Regardless, if you have noticed things that are worth improving on your site, I’d go ahead and get things done. The idea is not to make changes just for search engines, right? Your users will be happy if you can make things better even if search engines haven’t updated their view of your site yet.”

How to Check If You Were Impacted 

  1. Evaluate your site’s current ranking and traffic for any significant drops starting around March.
  2. Gather insights on what specific pages or types of content saw a negative impact.
    1. Pages, specific keywords or categories, etc.
  3. Check your backlinks:did you see any negative impacts around specific links to your site?

📚 Related Article: Technical SEO: What It Is + 10 Tips to Get Started
Stay on top of your SEO strategy with our technical SEO guide.

What Can I Do If My Site Was Affected by the March 2024 Core Update?

Google’s updates consistently favor user-centric content. Websites with poor-quality content or user experience will ultimately face negative impacts from the March 2024 Core Update and future changes.

This emphasis on user experience has been a core Google principle for years, underlined by the latest update. Accurate and helpful content significantly enhances SEO. The principle that “content is king” is a crucial website enhancement strategy. Improving your site’s user experience sends positive signals to Google, increasing your resilience against updates like March 2024.

Provide valuable content and a seamless user experience to improve your site’s Google ranking. These are vital to making your website more update-resistant. Read Google’s documentation on Creating helpful, reliable, people-first content to learn more.

About the Author
Josh Pettovello is a University of Michigan graduate who enjoys all things data, SEO, and nerding out.

Josh Pettovello

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