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Has your organic traffic dropped since the Google Core update?

Posted 6th June 2024
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Have you noticed changes in your organic web traffic since the Google core algorithm update? Maybe you have noticed a change in your keyword ranking in Google Search. If you haven’t checked yet, take a look at your Google Search Console to see how your traffic has been affected. The insights provided are a great place for you to understand how your website performs over long periods.

Has your traffic dropped

If you weren’t aware, in March 2024, we saw the latest Google core algorithm change. The Google search core update saw a major change, significantly refining how Google Search assesses and ranks websites. The Google algorithm updates are designed to ensure that the results from your audience’s search query have the most relevant and authoritative content on page 1 of the search engine results pages (SERP).

This blog aims to help you recover after the Google Core update. But, as Google says…

“There’s nothing new or special that creators need to do for this update as long as they’ve been making satisfying content meant for people”.  

With the complete Google Search algorithm update rollout, you will now see 45% less low-quality, unoriginal or spammy content in your search results.

So, let’s see what the update is about and how you can recover from it.

So, what is the latest Google algorithm update?

This core algorithm update has caused quite a stir, impacting numerous systems behind the scenes. And to complement the multitude of Google Search algorithm updates, there was a spam update! And, not one, not two but three new spam policies, designed to limit different types of spam!

They’re cracking down on practices that can harm the quality of search results, like expired domain abuse, scaled content abuse and site reputation abuse. It’s all about keeping Google Search results genuine.

Let’s delve a bit deeper into what these policies mean…

Expired domain abuse

You’ve heard about expired domain abuse, right? It’s like trying to hitch a ride on a domain’s old reputation to boost your search engine ranking. It’s all about creating content that’s more about impressing search engines than helping real people.

Google provides the following example:

someone might purchase a domain previously used by a medical site and repurpose that to host low-quality casino-related content, hoping to be successful in Search based on the domain’s reputation from a previous ownership.”

Under this policy, using expired domains and giving them a makeover to boost the search ranking… Google calls that spam!

Google's new policy to remove spam

Site reputation abuse

Site reputation abuse is more difficult to wrap your head around, so hang in there.

It is when third-party pages get published without the main site’s approval. They aim to trick the search rankings by piggybacking on the primary site’s good standing.

Here is an example: You own a popular, well-established cooking blog that ranks highly on Google. Someone has sneakily hosted a page on your blog without your knowledge, promoting a completely unrelated product (like weight loss pills). They want to benefit from your blog’s strong ranking to trick search engines into ranking their page.

If you need a more detailed explanation of what counts as site reputation abuse and what doesn’t, you can find more information on Google’s spam policies webpage.

But, don’t worry, Google can tell the difference between acceptable and unacceptable third-party content. Content intended for the user and not to manipulate Google Search, such as advertising or advertorials is considered acceptable. This is because the content is transparent to regular readers!

Scaled content abuse

As part of the broad core update, this builds on the previous spam policy about automatically generated (such as AI) content.

Scaled content abuse happens when an influx of content is created for the main purpose of manipulating Google Search. This practice is focused on creating large volumes of low-quality and unoriginal content, to simply flood search engines to boost their visibility.

Google has a long-standing policy that says that the use of automation, including generative AI, is spam if the purpose is to manipulate search results. All content should be quality content and written for the user, first and foremost.

For more information on the core update spam policies, Google released a blog for your reading pleasure.  

Can I recover from the Google Core update?

If the Google algorithm update has negatively impacted your website, this next bit is for you, as we are here to guide the way. Now, if you have the copywriting and SEO skills and knowledge, recovering from the Google Core update will be much easier!

It is important to note that, having the ability to write compelling content, is no longer enough! It takes a bit more than just putting words down on paper.

We recommend these three things should be your focus when writing content for your audience.

  • Content relevancy: As part of your content strategy, include creating (or revising) content that is aligned closely to the user search query, content that provides high-value, relevant, unique and authoritative content to the user.
  • SEO: Your content must be wholly optimised for search engines. On-page and off-page optimisation as well as the technical side of SEO needs to be considered. Remember, it’s not just about keywords.
  • User Experience (UX): understand and develop your current user journey as part of your core strategy. Slow page load times, large imagery and lack of mobile adaptability will negatively impact your performance in Google Search. But, that is not all! Google’s core update means they now look at the entire UX, not just the user journey when ranking websites. Including, but not limited to, low engagement rates, high bounce rates, lack of backlinks and low dwell time! These are all indicators that your content does not meet the users’ search enquiry or intent.

In short, the answer is yes! Write quality content designed for your audience, using your copywriting and SEO skills to optimise that content. You can also use tools such as SE Rankings Content tools which will help you gauge your content when compared to that of your competitors.

What skills do I need to make it happen?

As mentioned above, if you have the copywriting and SEO skills and knowledge needed, you are probably well on your way to recovering from this update, if you needed to recover that is.

The Essential Agency researched the B2B Tech Channel to understand their content marketing skill set (Download your copy of this report here). We identified a huge skill deficit within the channel. With less than 50% of respondents considering themselves to be skilled copywriters, less than 15% are skilled in SEO. These elements are fundamental for content marketing success!

These same companies who participated seemed to understand the need to stay relevant by publishing content and maintaining, or increasing, its frequency.

Yet, over 80% did not receive leads from their content. In fact, very few companies could establish if their content had met the objective and most struggled to measure the impact and engagement of their content. There is very little point in publishing content for the sake of it. It can actually work against you!


As a digital copywriter, you need to be adept at crafting compelling, clear and persuasive content tailored to target audiences, that tells a story. You need to have a clear understanding of your audience, your brand and how best to structure content for digital.

Copywriter are required


As an experienced SEO marketer, your skills will be important to maintain and increase your position in Google Search. You need to be able to understand your keyword market (this is harder than you think!), as well as on-page and technical SEO elements, link building, and content optimisation. SEO isn’t just for your text, it’s for your images and videos too!

If you are currently reading this, and think you have your content in hand, then why not validate your efforts, The Essential Agency are offering a free content teardown where our SEO and Content experts review your content and give you a score based on our Kick-Ass Content Methodology. We will even leave you with some immediate actions you can take away. The same applies if you do not know if you are getting it right, just ask us, and we can help.

What about AI?

We have all seen the rise in the use of AI to generate content. Our benchmark study reported over 80% of respondents are planning to use AI in some capacity in 2024!  The challenge with AI lies in its inability to comprehend the context of a topic fully.

Also, AI platforms require a constant flux of information and are often out of date. And, whilst AI can be trained to mimic human creativity, it will struggle to produce truly unique and engaging content. The level of uniqueness and engagement are key factors when it comes to getting ranked in SERP.

How will AI impact search?

Google is always tweaking their algorithms for improvement, but reading on the BBC, we became aware that Google Search will provide AI-generated answers to many search queries, a feature called “AI Overviews”. This has already been rolled out to users in the US. This is considered an experiment in Search Labs that lets you see AI Overviews and offers access to additional generative AI features in Search.

Google’s Help Centre provides more information on this, as it has replaced Search Generative Experience (SGE).


Let’s be clear, the Google Core update is just another push in the right direction for ensuring that search queries have the most relevant results. Google wants to make sure your audience receives the most relevant information when they input a search query, ensuring that the SERP is full of high-quality, relevant and authoritative content.

Your website needs Kick-Ass Content now more than ever, to stand out in what is already a tsunami of content. The content must align with the user query and intent, it should add value and be engaging. Your websites should be SEO-friendly and optimised regularly. We have said it before, and we will say it again, “SEO is a marathon, not a sprint”.

And, you need both skills in copywriting and SEO to maximise your content marketing effectiveness. This will limit any penalties and get you well-ranked in the SERP.

Get in touch, and we can tell you how The Essential Agency can support and drive your 2024 marketing ambitions.

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