By Kaitie Frank
28 Mar 2024

What the March 2024 Updates Mean for Link Building Agencies

Advanced Link Building     Advanced SEO     SEO Strategy

Google’s latest core and spam updates left the SEO world in a tailspin. From hundreds of manual actions to decreased rankings, SEOs are frantically trying to pick up the pieces of their broken sites. 

The March updates focus on removing spam results from the SERPs, penalizing sites that engage in spammy practices, and prioritizing helpful information. These updates come on the cusp of spam-filled search results, where forums and prominent publications reigned supreme. 

These updates not only impact how websites rank but also present opportunities and challenges for link building agencies.

Key Features of the Update

Google stated that the key changes in the update include algorithmic enhancements to the core ranking system and new spam policies to clean up the SERPs.

  1. Spam Deletion: Google boasts a substantial 40% reduction in spam from search results. This means low-quality, manipulative content is less likely to rank high, offering users more reliable and relevant information.
  2. Enhanced Search Quality: By filtering out spam, Google aims to elevate the overall quality of search results. Websites with high-quality content, authoritative backlinks, and positive user experiences are poised to benefit from improved rankings.
  3. Algorithmic Adjustments: Alongside spam detection improvements, Google has fine-tuned its algorithm to prioritize factors such as experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-E-A-T). Websites that demonstrate expertise in their niche and adhere to Google's quality guidelines stand to gain visibility in search results.

Focus on Manual Link Building

Google emphasizes organic, natural link-building practices that adhere to its quality guidelines. With Google's mission to improve SERP quality, agencies must prioritize securing links naturally. 

Building manual links from reputable sources isn’t a short-term game; it’s an investment in long-term sustainability. These types of links tend to be more stable during algorithm updates or ranking fluctuations, meaning websites can more likely maintain their web presence more effectively over time. 

Plus, manual link building typically implements ethical practices, mitigating the risks that manipulative link building practices impose. Engaging in these spammy practices, like link schemes and paid links, can result in manual penalties and loss of traffic. Manual link building focuses on building relationships within the industry to ensure links are obtained naturally. This practice is the safest way to build links that can withstand algorithm changes. 

By prioritizing natural links from reputable sources through genuine relationship-building efforts, link building agencies can ensure compliance with Google's guidelines and safeguard their clients' online presence from potential penalties.

Content Optimization 

With the update prioritizing high-quality content in the search results, manual link building agencies must strongly emphasize creating and optimizing content that aligns with user expectations.

Content is the foundation of manual link building. Google defines helpful content as helpful, reliable information primarily created to benefit people, not gain search engine rankings in the top Search results.  This type of content attracts natural backlinks as websites are more likely to link to valuable information that resonates with their target audience (think resources, studies, and educational content). 

Google’s algorithms prioritize content from authoritative sources. Links from such sources carry more weight in determining a website’s ranking. When these links are relevant and obtained naturally, they can help search engine crawlers discover sites faster, improving search visibility. 

Google has repeatedly stated that site owners should create content for their users, not for Google. The new spam policies in the 2024 March updates include a better understanding of evolving content practices. Specifically, it can detect if content is created at scale to improve search rankings, regardless of whether it is made by AI or humans. 

By creating content that resonates with the target audience, manual link building agencies can enhance user engagement and satisfaction. A positive user experience signals to search engines that the website offers value and deserves to rank higher in search results.

As Google rewards high-quality content, manual link building agencies should collaborate closely with clients to create informative, engaging, and shareable content. 

Adaptation and Flexibility

No sites are immune to this update. Sites that may have skated by under the radar in past updates are now being blinded by the spotlight. Sites that have “always made content this way” are getting penalized, which means they have to switch up their strategies if they want to survive in the SERPs. 

Respectively, this means that link building agencies need to adapt as well. Strategies that were effective yesterday may not yield the same results today, and tomorrow could bring something entirely different. Agencies must be prepared to pivot with algorithm changes, whether that means trying new strategies or adjusting tactics. 

Agencies must also be flexible in their approaches. No two websites are alike, and neither should link-building strategies. Agencies must tailor their strategies to fit the unique needs of each client. This may require customizing outreach efforts, adjusting target keywords, or exploring new opportunities for link acquisition based on the client's industry, audience, and competitive landscape. 

By continuously monitoring Google's updates, agencies can proactively identify any changes that may impact their link building efforts and adjust their strategies accordingly.

Google's March 2024 core update represents a significant milestone in the ongoing battle against spam and a step forward in enhancing search quality. This update underscores the importance of prioritizing content quality, ethical practices, and adaptability in navigating the ever-changing SEO landscape for link building agencies. By embracing these principles, agencies can position themselves and their clients for long-term success in the digital realm.

Kaitie Frank

Kaitie is a copywriter and content writer for Page One Power who specializes in SEO-optimized content. She has written for various niches and prides herself in knowing random tidbits of information. In addition to putting words to paper, she indulges in physical fitness and telling her cat why he is, in fact, a good boy.