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Navigating Google’s March 2024 Update

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Google has announced their latest changes to tackle the significant amounts of low-quality content, noticeably targeting spammy artificial intelligence (AI) generated content that has plagued the internet– changes that may affect small and large businesses that rely on SEO content for traffic and sales. If you’re a content creator, you’ll want to read up on the latest update to be sure your content or website won’t be penalized, as many businesses are already reeling because almost overnight, their sites have been completely de-indexed or lost substantial ranking position for publishing low quality, poor content (whether Ai-generated or not). Moving forward, website publishers that neglect these quality standards may suffer more serious consequences. 

In addition to targeting low quality AI content, Google also updated their spam policies, including site reputation, expired domain, and scaled content abuse. Website owners are now encouraged to audit their content and revamp it if they largely used AI to create it. 

Google Search Liason tweet

Google’s Penalty for Low Quality Content 

AI-generated content is that which is created by various artificial intelligence platforms or programs, rather than by a human being. While this type of content can obviously make content creation much easier and faster, it can often be low quality and inaccurate because it lacks human touch and depth that captivates audiences and often not thoroughly reviewed, edited, polished and verified by site owners. Human-generated content can just as easily be considered spam by Google, but the recent update noticeably targeted AI-heavy, low quality content—so be wary of using any tools unchecked.

If you’d like to know if your website has been affected, type “” into Google and check for your site’s visibility in the search results. If nothing shows up, then your site has been penalized and removed.

Google website in browser

Impact on Content Creation Practices

As you can imagine, updates like this can cause content creators and SEO experts to question how this affects their content creation strategies. Are they still able to use any AI-generated content at all? What if it’s known for high quality output? 

While there may be a gray area, content creators must prioritize creating content that is unique, authentic, and is high-quality or Google may penalize them. AI may be a great tool to help with the process of content creation, but it shouldn’t be used completely. Straight from Google’s blog, they state, “We believe these updates will reduce the amount of low-quality content on Search and send more traffic to helpful and high-quality sites.”

Strategies to Navigate the Penalty

If you currently have a lot of unchecked, unedited AI-generated content on your site or if you plan on using it in the future, there are some strategies that will help you avoid the penalty so you know your content will remain strong in Google’s search engines. 

Assess The Quality

Assess the quality of your content. For starters, head over to Google’s Self-Assessment Questions, as they are there to help content creators be sure that their content is up to Google’s standards. These questions will help you gauge if your content – AI or human generated – is unique, helpful, and relevant to readers. It might also be a good idea if you have someone outside of your company evaluate your content against these questions, so you can get honest feedback from someone else. 

Gain Authorship And Expertise

Google is looking for content that is trustworthy. In Google’s Self-Assessment Questions, there is a section that includes expertise questions, so be sure you look through them. It’s tough for AI content to get past this, as it usually does not include the correct citations or expert demonstration. One question to consider is, “Does the content present information in a way that makes you want to trust it, such as clear sourcing, evidence of the expertise involved, background about the author or the site that publishes it, such as through links to an author page or a site’s About page?” If you’ll take the time to ensure that your content adheres to the criteria, you’re more apt to be viewed as a credible online business/organization.

Content strategy infographic

Only Use AI To Polish Content

One way you can effectively use AI is to think of it as a ghost writer and only use it to polish or refine original, rough draft content. Create a workflow that involves creating unique, human-generated content and then asking AI to simply polish it up without altering the core structure. One creative example of this is to use voice dictation to create original content, not worrying about structure, and then pop it into AI and ask it to polish it up and make it more professional, engaging, etc. This way, it has a far greater chance at avoiding plagiarism. 

Dig Deep Into E-E-A-T

Google has always had quality search content standards, but now they’re even better. It used to be that the search engine crawled for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, (E-E-T) but they’ve now added another E – Experience, making it E-E-A-T

If you went to a doctor, wouldn’t you want to know that they are experts in their field with quite a bit of experience? Wouldn’t you want them to be authoritative and trustworthy? Of course you would. Google wants the same thing for user-generated content. It wants to know that the content being indexed is the real deal with a human touch – not just AI thrown up there in a sly attempt to win Google over. 

Does your content demonstrate expertise in whatever your niche is? Is it backed by trustworthy, experienced people or businesses? Is it authoritative? Be sure that it checks off all the criteria so that it won’t be penalized and can rank higher in search engine results. 

Proving E-E-A-T To Win Google Over

Content creators or SEO specialists must learn how to prove E-E-A-T to win Google over. According to the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab, there are 10 guidelines that will help content creators prove E-E-A-T:

  1. Be sure that the content on your site is accurate and can be verified.
  2. Be sure that your contact information is easily accessible.
  3. Have a professional looking website.
  4. Be clear about the expertise behind your business or organization.
  5. Demonstrate that your business/organization is legitimate.
  6. Be sure your website is user-friendly.
  7. Double check to be sure that your content contains no errors, including spelling and grammar.
  8. Keep your site up-to-date with useful, unique content. 
  9. Keep sales ads/offers to a minimum. 
  10. Be bold in showing that you have reliable, trustworthy humans running your website.

Tools and Resources for Content Creators 

As a marketer or business owner, you want to double check that your content is unique, authentic, and high quality. To assist you as a content creator, there are plenty of AI detection tools and resources that will help you detect content that has been generated by AI. According to a Forbes article, the top three AI detection tools are Undetectable, Winston, and Originality. If you find such content, simply rework it eliminate it so it’s not flagged by Google. 

Essentially, the tools employ algorithms and advanced techniques that are able to determine if the content was generated by AI. By running your content through these tools, you can be sure that the content you’re putting out there is original, relevant, and high quality, which can certainly increase your ratings in Google. 

Tech globe

Stay On Top Of Google’s Algorithm Changes

Whether you’ve got a little or a lot of AI generated content on your site, you’re not powerless over making sure it’s original and high-quality – it’s just going to take some time and effort. By getting your eyes on it to do a manual review, as well as using AI plagiarism tools, you can find and address what gets flagged and rework it, so your website stands in integrity. 

Moving forward, be sure that you keep up to date with Google’s algorithm changes, as this will help you keep your content synced up with the latest search engine criteria. This assures you a competitive edge among your competitors and also helps your audience get the high-quality information it desires. To find the latest algorithm changes, check Google’s blog, relevant online forums, and respected industry journals or publications.


Content creators that want to remain competitive in their markets must stay abreast of Google’s algorithm changes. With the most recent Google 2024 update, many businesses are disheartened because overnight, their websites were banned and taken down or lost substantial ranking positioning. You don’t want this to happen to you, so stay vigilant and be sure you’re adhering to the E-E-A-T criteria for all of your content. 

The new standards may make it a bit tougher, especially if you’re heavily using AI-generated content without much review and polishing. However, you can always reassess your content creation workflow and be sure that you have someone on board who can give it that human touch and relevance that Google respects. While AI platforms can be helpful for some processes, it just can’t replace certain qualities that humans have, such as creativity and empathy. Those that prioritize these and remain up-to-date with Google’s algorithm updates will do just fine in the constantly changing digital landscape. 


Dominica Applegate

Author Dominica Applegate

Dominica Applegate is an author, writer, and the founder of Rediscovering Sacredness, a holistic endeavor dedicated to nurturing the mind, body, and spirit. With over 15 years of experience, she specializes in business, technology, mental health, fitness, and spirituality.

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