Ranking Factors According to the Google Core Update March 2024

Estimated read time 7 min read

We have been conducting an ongoing investigation into Google’s algorithm for the past fifteen years, including the Google core update March 2024, and have been publishing our findings to the public. Due to the fact that we know the basics of local SEO for the United States, we possess a substantial data set upon which we can base our grasp of the components that make up Google’s search algorithm.

Please find below the update for the first quarter of 2024, which includes a description of each element as well as a summary of changes from the previous year based on Google’s core update March 2024.

Updates to Google’s Core Update March 2024

Factor Weight
Consistent Publication of Engaging Content 21%
Keywords in Meta Title Tags 15%
Backlinks 14% ▼
Niche Expertise 14%
User Engagement 11% ▼
Freshness 6% ▲ NEW 
Trustworthiness 5% ▲ NEW
Mobile-Friendly / Mobile-First Website 5% ▲
Page Speed 3%
Internal Links 2% ▼
Site Security / SSL Certificate 2%
Schema Markup / Structured Data 1%
Keywords in Meta Description Tags + 22 Other Factors 1%

Compared to the first quarter of 2023, the following are the adjustments and modifications that Google made to its algorithm as of the first quarter of 2024:

Updating Existing Content

The component of freshness rose from the “Other” category, which accounted for less than one percent of the algorithm, to become the sixth most important factor in the algorithm, with a weight of six percent.

When compared to pages that have not been updated, our research reveals that website pages that are updated at least once a year have gained an average of 4.6 spots in the search engine results pages (SERPs) over the course of the past two quarters.

If you update your information on a quarterly or monthly basis, you will likely reap even more benefits.

Trustworthiness, A New Factor

Trustworthiness was introduced as a new component in Google’s algorithm during the first quarter of the year, accounting for 5% of the total.

In the aftermath of Google’s application of a patent for an artificial intelligence technology that analyzes the factual character of material and the rollout of the “Your Money, Your Life” algorithm update, which scrutinizes pages that offer advice on financial and health-related matters, the modification has been implemented.

In order to optimize for this factor, Google recommends citing scholarly references whenever it is possible and avoiding statements that have not been substantiated.

Backlinks Still Matters

Backlinks experienced a decrease of one point, from fifteen percent to fourteen percent, in the year 2024. This indicates that the factor that, at one point in time, constituted more than fifty percent of the algorithm continues to be significant, albeit to a much lesser extent than it was in the past.

However, backlinks symbolize an age in which Google’s artificial intelligence was not yet advanced enough to evaluate the quality and trustworthiness of web material on its own and required the assistance of other websites in order to do so.

Backlinks continue to be an important element, since they are the third most weighted algorithm factor. It has given up its position in favor of the relatively more recent factors of trustworthiness and expertise in a certain niche.

A relative of the academic citation system, the concept of determining the trustworthiness of a page based on connections from other websites will always be relevant; yet, it is possible that its relevance inside the algorithm may never increase.

User Engagement

Despite seeing a minor decline in value (12% → 11%), user engagement continues to maintain its position as the fifth most significant element in Google’s algorithm during the first quarter of 2024. This is in the same echelon as other fundamental variables such as backlinks and keywords in title tags.

Due to the fact that this is a factor that has grown in importance over the course of the past three years, it is reasonable to assert that the primary focus of content creators should be on developing the most satisfying response to the searcher’s goal, which includes both explicit and implicit responses.

With user engagement, user experience UX and user interface UI are also very important factors when it comes to user engagement that effects the search engine ranking. For more details about UI, UX or other SEO related services, you can visit PromActive.

Niche Expertise

Niche Expertise remained unchanged at 14%, which further highlights the significance of Hub and Spoke SEO, which is widely regarded as one of the most significant SEO tactics that have arisen over the course of the past ten generations.

The strategy of establishing high-level sites that target big keywords and then linking those pages to a cluster of secondary pages that target keywords that are closely linked to those primary keywords is known as hub and spoke SEO.

Mobile First Index

The month of October 2023 marked the conclusion of Google’s move to a fully mobile-first index, which resulted in an increase in mobile-firstness gaining momentum. Consequently, Google takes into account the mobile version of each page on your website before the desktop version.

Because of this, it is absolutely necessary to make sure that your website provides a satisfactory experience for mobile users if you wish to maintain your complete rankability.

Regular Posting Meaningful & Useful Content

Continuous publication of content that is interesting and engaging remains the most important component. These websites continue to receive faster indexing and higher rankings as a result of Google’s continued practice of rewarding consistent websites that generate high-quality information.

When there is more high-quality material, there is also a better chance of attracting backlinks, which is another significant aspect in the accumulation of Google Trust.

Keywords in Meta Titles

In 2024, the percentage of keywords in meta titles will continue at 15%, despite the fact that Google has made a slight modification to its definition of what distinguishes terms in the first quarter of 2023.

There was a time when the distinction between “buy webcam” and “buy webcams” was quite obvious; now, this distinction is becoming less obvious. This element continues to be a condition for ranking positions in the first place, regardless of the weight that it holds in the algorithm.

Internal Linking

Because internal links lost some of their share to mobile-friendliness in the third quarter of 2023 and some of their share to trustworthiness in the first quarter of 2023, internal links declined one point to 2%.

Even though Google Trust is still being carried from page to page on your website, it is sending a weaker signal to Google than it did throughout the course of the previous years.

Keywords in URL and Header Tags

Both the keywords in the header tags and the keywords in the URL have been removed from the list of variables, and they have been relegated to the group of 22 criteria that collectively account for only one percent of the algorithm.


Bear in mind, as you go through this report, that certain elements, such as the presence of keywords in meta titles, continue to be criteria for ranking. If you optimize your website for these variables, the only way to enhance your rankings is in proportion to the weight that each component has in the algorithm.

However, if your website falls below a certain minimal threshold, Google will penalize it more severely than it would otherwise. Page speed, user engagement, trustworthiness, mobile-friendliness, and the presence of keywords in meta titles are the variables that are being considered.

You May Also Like

More From Author