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  • Writer's pictureYvette Elliott

Time to E-E-A-T - How to avoid the Google Core Update March 2024 penalty box

In my experience as a digital marketer, for almost as many years as it seems it’s taking the Toronto Maple Leafs to win a Round 1 series in the playoffs, Google’s recent March 2024 Core Update, completed on April 19, 2024, is truly a major shift in Google’s algorithm. Time to sound the 'cowbell'? Perhaps. This update is a game-changer, much like a power play in hockey. It aims to enhance search quality and combat low-quality content, which can help calm resounding fears of being ‘taken’ by an AI bot.


Understanding the March 2024 Google Core Updates

Core Update Google says that this update focuses on reducing unhelpful, irrelevant, and unoriginal content from search results. Websites found violating Google’s guidelines or employing questionable SEO tactics will not only be penalized but completely removed both from the search results and the index.


This update has led to a seismic shift in the SEO industry, with many sites impacted by algorithmic changes and de-indexed from Google Search[8]. The impact is enormous and widespread, and every seasoned marketer agrees that this update is a big deal.


The Role of E-E-A-T

In this new era of intelligence and advanced algorithms, Google has introduced the E-E-A-T model, which stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. According to both Google developer blog and Search Engine Land’s articles on March 14, 2024, these are undisputedly the qualities that Google looks for when ranking websites.


Experience, the new addition to the model, means firsthand or life experience in the topic[2]. Google says that it intends to reward pages where the author has actually experienced the topic they are writing about. For instance, for an iPhone review, the author must have actually used the product.


Expertise reflects what the author or publisher of a piece of content knows about the primary topic[1]. Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness, on the other hand, are used to determine which websites and online content are best.


The Impact on Companies

With the March 2024 Core Update and the E-E-A-T model, Google is taking steps to ensure that spam or overuse and malicious use of AI is being penalized. This means that most companies don’t have to worry, particularly if they are using the E-E-A-T formula.


Companies that focus on providing high-quality, relevant, and original content, and adhere to the E-E-A-T model, will likely see their websites rank higher in Google’s search results. On the other hand, those employing questionable SEO tactics or providing low-quality content may face penalties. No power plays here.


To see the updated search rater guidelines where you’ll also see clearer guidance throughout the guidelines underscoring the importance of content created to be original and helpful for people, and explaining that helpful information can come in a variety of different formats and from a range of sources, check out Google’s Search Central documentation at https://developers.google.com/search/docs/fundamentals/creating-helpful-content.


Conclusion

The March 2024 Core Update and the E-E-A-T model are clear indications of how Google is leveraging AI to improve the quality of its search results. As we move forward in this digital age, it’s crucial for companies to understand and adapt to these changes. By focusing on providing high-quality, relevant, and original content, and adhering to the E-E-A-T model, companies can ensure their digital success in the era of AI and avoid the Google search penalty box.



Just like in hockey playoffs, where adapting to the opponent’s strategies and adapting play style for the new playoff pace, can lead to a win, companies that adapt to these changes and play by Google’s rules can score a digital marketing playoff victory.

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