March 8, 2024

Google's March 2024 Update- Is AI Content Dead?

Chris

If you're a blogger or SEO, you've obviously heard the loud rumbling about Google's March 2024 update. The internet is flooded with sad stories of lost traffic, deindexed sites and lost income.

Some influencers are even claiming SEO is dead!

Google's March 2024 update aims to reduce spammy scaled content (AI content), abuse of expired domains and parasitic SEO.

We'll look at what sites were affected and whether AI generated content is still worth the risk for your site.

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Key Takeaways-

  • Google's March 2024 update aims to reduce parasitic SEO, spammy AI scaled content, expired domain abuse and site reputation abuse.
  • Google's update doesn't mean AI generated content is dead- it needs to be used the right way.
  • Like building backlinks and any other SEO tactic to increase rankings, some of these suggested updates may be hard to enforce.
  • Sadly obituary spam is a real thing. Absolutely sick.

Understanding the March 2024 Update

Google introduced key changes for their search update. Some was to be expected and some that I hadn't even considered or knew of. Their predicted outcome will reduce unhelpful and unoriginal content from search results by 40%.

Spammy and low quality content-

Adjustments to Google's algorithm is to help better target unoriginal content. I'm not Google, but one can assume they are selectively targeting spun or copied content.

Time will tell if AI content is impacted by this update. Most AI content writers will pass Copyscape with no problem.

This update is a continuation of the helpful content update.

Reducing Spam in search results-

I'll be honest, I had never heard of obituary spam. Apparently Google is trying to eliminate it. I asked ChatGPT what it was and you can see the response below. Google's Gemini basically said the same thing, but added scamming relatives of the deceased.

Ok, I'll just say that is absolutely horrible and these people need a good ass kicking.

ChatGPT's definition of obituary spam.

Abusing Site Reputation-

Interesting enough, Google has decided to start penalizing low quality posts by third parties for the intent of SEO ranking. This enforcement will oddly enough, roll out May 5th.

One can only assume this gives larger sites ample time to get their sites in order. An interesting side note is if the content is published on the host site and was paid for, now what?

Does the host site need to mark it as a sponsored post? Or does the host site remove the article? Do the third parties get refunds?

Either way, it will increase the quality of the host site with better content by removing or rewriting the article with higher quality.

Abusive scaling practices-

According to Google's March 2024 update, it clearly states "producing content at scale to boost search ranking — whether automation, humans or a combination are involved."

Ok. So, what the hell? The only reason we crank out content is to increase rankings through authority. Apparently, it doesn't matter how the content is written as long as it's not scaled too fast?

What's to fast? I don't now, but I'm guessing publishing 100 to 1000 articles per day would be categorized as spammy scaling tactics. The old way was posting once per day or at a minimum of three to four times per week.

Some case studies were blatantly posting 1,000 articles as fast as the AI tool could write in bulk mode.

Abusing Expired Domains-

Buying expired domains with the intent of using the link juice is considered spammy and low quality. It wasn't too long ago that Google's John Mueller stated there was no advantage to expired domains.

YouTube video

If there isn't an advantage, then why the penalty? It's more or less Google speak. Take it with a grain of salt. Expired domains have been controversial and debated since the early 2000's.

Nevertheless, Google is planning to start cracking down on the tactic of expired domains.

The Role of AI Content in the New SEO Landscape

Google's March 2024 update doesn't necessarily mean AI generated content is bad. Sure, you'll see all over the internet videos and blogs posting doom and gloom.

All hype in my mind. Google themselves uses AI for their business. With anything, moderation is key. Abusing AI's power when creating content is probably the wrong answer.

Scaling faster than humanly possible will be straight up stupid in the future. If you're a small publisher like me, start small. As you build up your website, increase your content production.

For example, starting a blog is probably just where you are writing the content at first. As you start building traffic and monetizing, you have capital to hire a freelance writer. After a while, you hire another and so on until you have a team of writers.

You can do the same with AI written content. A fresh website will need to take it's time publishing at first.

You'll see an example below in the case studies where AI content is still rising in traffic after Google's March 2024 update. Having a good understanding of how AI content can rank is needed to navigate the future of SEO.

Adapting Your Content Strategy

To survive Google's March 2024 update, and any other update for that matter, you'll have to change your content strategy.

Here are some tips I feel will help you going forward beyond Google's March 2024 update.

  • Use AI to enhance your content within reason. If you're small, start small and build up.
  • Use a different Google search console account for each domain you're using ai on.
  • If you offer guest posts on your site. Demand the same quality or better and ensure it's relevant to your audience.
  • A common theme with Google's March 2024 update is to ensure your content is truly helpful to the user no matter how it's created.
  • Keep your mouth shut! Just because you're using Ai to create content doesn't mean you need to scream it from a mountain top.

Case Studies and Success Stories

Not all of the AI content filled websites were hammered. Below is a an AI blog written entirely by artificial intelligence. This site actually picked up traffic after the core update.

AI Content Website Not Affected by Google's Update

Here is another screenshot of a website that is written by AI as well and modified by human hands. This website has had a fall in traffic since Google's March 2024 update. This guy is a really good SEO, and this is his test site.

When checked as of writing this, it is deindexed. Another note to mention is that the following of this guy is huge and he's openly mentioned this URL on YouTube, email, blogs and social media.

AI Content hammered by Google's March update

Here is another test site that got a huge traffic boost for a while. It was entirely written by AI generated content. Using an AI written tool. He actually posted 100's of posts at a time with bulk creation.

This URL was openly displayed on his blog, social media accounts and YouTube as well. This site was already losing traffic, however, it got a huge loss of traffic after the update.

Another AI Website Openly Displayed was killed by updates.

Future of AI Content in SEO

The future of AI content is bright. Even Google claims that it's getting harder to tell if content is written by AI. With constant updates to writers such as Agility and SEO Writing AI it will be a back-and-forth battle.

YouTube video

This update is no different than Google's previous updates. Just like the last update, and ones before, people will soap box the hell out of it screaming that the end is near. Well, it's not!

Ai written content is still in the infant stage. it will continue to get stronger and harder to detect. Even the best AI detectors struggle to mark AI generated content.

AI has the power to give you enterprise level publishing that can help you keep up with the Goliaths of the online world. No other time has the online competitiveness been on an even playing field like now.

Final Thoughts on Google's March 2024 Update

Google's March 2024 update is for real, but it's not the end of AI content. Chill out for a second and let the dust settle.

Google is a business, and they have a need to clean up the search results. Search something and you'll see. The amount of junk is incredible.

If you have poor quality content get rid of it. If you've accepted guest posts, you better review and delete before May 5th. By all means, use AI, but use it accordingly to create helpful content.

Only time will tell how Google's March 2024 update will impact the results. Either way, artificial intelligence is here to stay!

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