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This Google Update Could Be Tanking Your Traffic. Follow These Steps to Significantly Boost Your Page Views and Revenue Now. This crackdown demonstrates Google's commitment to enhancing search result quality and combating manipulative tactics like AI content spam. But it also raises an important question: How can website owners increase organic traffic significantly in this new reality?

By Ekaterina Ovodova Edited by Maria Bailey

Key Takeaways

  • Google is intensifying its efforts to prioritize high-quality, relevant, valuable, and original content in search results.
  • While Google targets AI-generated spam, it is not waging a war against AI. The responsible integration of AI and human expertise can be powerful if the content provides original value and aligns with Google's guidelines.
  • Google strongly emphasizes content that offers a seamless and valuable user experience. Websites focused solely on keyword optimization without considering holistic UX design principles may face penalties.
  • The March 2024 Core Update underscores the need for businesses to stay ahead of Google's evolving algorithms and content standards.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Google's March 2024 Core Update was a seismic event for blogs and website owners relying on organic search traffic. This significant algorithm change targeted low-quality content and AI-generated spam, leading to the deindexing of hundreds of websites in its early stages. The consequences were that severely affected sites lost valuable organic traffic and advertising revenue overnight.

The update aligned with findings from an Originality AI study, which revealed a high prevalence of AI-generated content among the deindexed websites. 50% of impacted sites had 90-100% of their posts generated by AI.

This crackdown demonstrates Google's commitment to enhancing search result quality and combating manipulative tactics like AI content spam. But it also raises an important question: How can website owners increase organic traffic significantly in this new reality?

Related: The Rules of SEO Are Changing — Here Are 5 Powerful Strategies to Help You Rank in 2024

Strategies for increasing organic traffic in 2024

In the wake of the March 2024 Core Update, website owners must adapt their strategies to regain lost ground and significantly increase organic traffic. Here are some key focus areas:

1. Perform a comprehensive content audit

The first step is thoroughly analyzing your content. Use tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush to identify:

  • Articles performing well but not ranking in the top search results (prioritize these)
  • Content that has stopped performing after the update
  • Underperforming content that has never ranked well

You can strategically allocate your optimization efforts by understanding which content assets are working and which need improvement.

2. Focus on your best-performing content that hasn't yet ranked #1 in searches

Double down on your strengths to increase organic traffic rapidly. Find high-volume, low-competition keywords with a difficulty score of less than 10 that rank between 2 and 8. These are more likely to get that coveted highlight in the rich snippet position.

Related: The Rules of SEO Are Changing — Here Are 5 Powerful Strategies to Help You Rank in 2024

3. Optimize for featured snippets

The highlighted results at "position zero" above the primary organic listings are known as featured snippets. There are four primary categories of them:

  • Paragraph snippets
  • List snippets
  • Table snippets
  • Video snippets

4. To improve the ranking of your website and attract more highlighted snippets, it is essential to adhere to current SEO best practices:

  • Understanding the query's intent and matching the snippet format.
  • Defining your topic succinctly in two to three sentences for paragraph snippets.
  • Using objective, fact-based language and avoiding personal pronouns.
  • Structuring content logically with proper heading tags.
  • Writing simply and using language your audience understands.

Above all, prioritize providing a superior user experience over basic keyword optimization.

Google's stance on AI-generated content

While Google has not explicitly banned AI-generated content, the message is clear: quality, originality and user value are paramount. AI should be leveraged as a supportive tool, not replacing human expertise and creativity.

Matt G. Southern of Search Engine Journal aptly says, "Google is not waging a war against AI; the battle is against mediocrity." The responsible use of AI as a content creation aid is acceptable. Still, it must be coupled with human insight, editing and a commitment to providing genuinely valuable information to users. AI should be leveraged as a supportive tool, not replacing human expertise and creativity.

Related:

The intelligent use of AI

While the update penalized sites for over-relying on AI content, Google's emphasis has always been on originality, depth and reader value. The ethical use of AI as a research aid and writing co-pilot is acceptable as long as human editing ensures unique, high-quality content.

The future is E-E-A-T moving forward — Google's prioritization of Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-E-A-T) will be essential. Establish your topical authority by:

  • Citing reputable sources.
  • Showcasing author expertise prominently.
  • Providing accurate, trustworthy information.
  • Ensuring an optimal user experience through intelligent design.

Websites solely focused on keyword optimization rather than holistic quality signals will increasingly be left behind.

The March 2024 Core Update ushered in a new era of search where quality, originality, and authority reign supreme. You can significantly increase organic traffic in this new landscape by auditing your content, capitalizing on your strengths, and adhering to E-E-A-T principles. The path ahead requires a steadfast commitment to creating an exceptional user experience through genuinely valuable content.

Ekaterina Ovodova

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

CMO

Ekaterina Ovodova is a NYC-based marketing and commerce executive. She also coaches digital marketing, primarily with women-owned small businesses.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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