Analysis of the March 2024 Google updates: winners and losers

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Let’s start with the known facts: last March 5, Google officially released two updates at the same timeMarch 2024 Core Update and March 2024 Spam Update – which obviously shuffled the rankings a bit on a global scale. The effects on the Italian SERPs arrived a bit late, but nonetheless they were noticeable, and starting from the monitoring of our SEOZoom SERP Observatory we analyzed what was the concrete impact of these two updates on the sites positioned on Google Italy, thus identifying who gained traffic and positions and which sites instead collapsed after the updates.

Google’s March 2024 updates, situation analysis

The first difficulty in analyzing the impact of Google’s changes on SERPs lies in the fact, precisely, that the interventions were two and rather broad-spectrum.

The anti-spam update, which was completed after about two weeks (and thus last March 20) targeted new illicit behaviors such as large-scale production of low-quality or unoriginal content, illicit use of expired domains, and abuse of host site reputation.

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In addition to the algorithmic changes, the anti-spam policies have also caused another side effect: Google has in fact initiated numerous manual actions to address pure spam issues, and in this regard a study by Originality found a surge in websites being de-indexed completely-with strong correlation to the misuse of AI, since 100 percent of such sites were publishing at least some AI-generated posts and, more importantly, half of the sites had 90-100 percent of the posts created by artificial intelligence alone.

Instead, core udate is still in place-in fact, Google anticipated that the implementation would take about a month, twice as long as usual-which affected ratings on the definition of “useful content,” now included in Google’s core ranking systems. However, its impact on SERPs has been substantial, with various fluctuations in rankings, as also seen in our charts.

Winners and losers: SEOZoom’s study of the effects of Google’s updates

Complicating the picture, then, is that volatility has also been compounded by a noticeable amount of reversals, i.e., sites recording sudden losses followed by immediate recoveries or, conversely, of positive peaks and equally rapid declines.

For this reason, too, therefore, credit must be given to the advice that has come from Google’s Search Liaison, Danny Sullivan, who has urged SEOs to be patient and cautious, stressing the importance of waiting for the update to be completed before making significant changes to one’s pages that have lost rankings to try to regain traffic and visibility.

In any case, also in light of the completion of the spam update, with SEOZoom we extrapolated some preliminary data on sites that benefited from these updates or lost rankings.

As methodology information, we queried our entire database to identify domains that had traffic changes in the period “straddling” the updates, but excluded activities unrelated to the updates-such as seasonality, “normal” surges for the type of site, effects of migrations, and so on. In addition, a subsequent check allowed us to further redefine the list to focus only on sites with at least 1,000 keywords ranked on Google, so that the change in traffic did not depend precisely only on fluctuations in a few keywords.

The sites that lost the most

Let’s start by listing the ten sites that were hit the hardest by Google’s updates on the Italian version of the search engine, losing rankings and traffic significantly.

Il calo di mypersonaltrainer

Such is the case with My Personal Trainer, a relevant site specializing in wellness and fitness issues, which lost nearly 11 million estimated visits in just a few days, or about 25 percent of its total volume.

Tendenza in calo per la Zoom Authority di MyPersonalTrainer

In addition, the domain also lost one Zoom Authority point (from 86 to 85) and dropped to 16th place in the overall ranking of the most influential sites in Italy.

Il calo di dizionari.corriere

Also notable is the drop in, a subdomain of the historic Italian newspaper dedicated precisely to dictionary entries: minus 30 percent, because before the update its estimated traffic was 16,110,506 while now it has dropped to 11,253,489, down one percentage point.

Il calo di deepl

Ranking third among the largest changes in percentage terms is Deepl, a free, multilingual, automated translation service (which is perhaps also losing visibility and usefulness due to the global spread of ChatGPT), which quickly went from a traffic of over 15 million to the current 11.3 million (minus 24%), resulting in a loss of one ZA point.

il calo di thewom

Broadening the picture of the analysis, the overall downgrade of The Wom, the Mondadori Group’s “social magazine for the new generation of women,” also jumps to the eye, with declines for both the main domain (from about 3 million visits to 2 million) and some subdomains, such as (almost 40 percent loss, from a traffic volume of 5,346,354 to 3,256,675!) or

Il calo di mercati.ilsole24ore

Among the sites down after Google’s March 2024 Core Update are then (which loses one ZA point and 15% traffic), a subdomain of Il Sole 24 Ore even more vertical on financial and stock markets in real time; it, a well-known news portal, which instead loses two ZA points and 50 percent of traffic (but in a rather erratic trend of historical placements);, the real estate agency and private personals classifieds site, which in just a few days saw its traffic drop by one million visits and lost one ZA point.

Il calo di nostrofiglio

Also negatively affected by the update are two other sites in the Mondadori and Corriere galaxy: in the first case, loses nearly 1 million visits, also dropping to 13th place in the “Children, Parents and Family category.” In the other situation, the domain is, which dropped by half a million traffic and one ZA point.

Il calo di tuttogreen

Finally, the (gradual) descent of Tuttogreen, one of the best known sites and reference for the new Green Economy, should be noted: with the last update alone there was a 78% drop in traffic volume (in practice, loss of three quarters of visits from one day to the next or almost! ), but the domain had already been out of Google’s good graces for some time, if we consider that just a year ago, at the end of March 2023, its estimated traffic volume was 4,673,564 and ZA of 75 – today it is at 215,846, with ZA of 61.

Tendenza in calo per la Zoom Authority di tuttogreen

The sites that gained the most

Let’s now go to the other side of the fence to find out which 10 sites, on the other hand, have positively benefited from the March 2024 Core Update, posting notable increases in traffic and estimated visits.

I grafici in salita di Amazon

The first name is, which gained only 10 percentage points which, looked at in purely quantitative terms, equates to a jump of more than 11 million visits since the last pre-update check!

I grafici in salita di eBay

From one e-Commerce giant to another, because is also among this weeks’ winners: the marketplace gained 1 ZA point and 1 million traffic, surpassing 11.5 million.

I grafici in salita di it.pornhub

Also notable are the results of, which has a graph with very high peaks: plus 55% traffic (more than 20 million increase) and two points of ZA more than in February, bringing the well-known site with adult content to 10th place overall among the most influential sites in Italy. Also doing well is one of the (many) industry competitors, namely, which now boasts an estimated traffic of over 8.5 million and a ZA of 77.

I grafici in salita di Humanitas

We continue with, the flagship site of the private, highly specialized Rozzano polyclinic hospital, which also houses a clinical and scientific research center and Humanitas University: here, too, we note an increase of 1 ZA point and an estimated 1 million traffic, or 10%.

I grafici in salita di fattoincasadabenedetta

Also celebrated after the update was, Benedetta Rossi’s recipe site, which has now reached fourth place in the “cooking” sector thanks in part to a positive change of about 10% in estimated traffic. It enters the top ten in the same category, with a +20% increase in traffic volume and a two-point jump in ZA, now at 75.

I grafici in salita di gazzetta

It is about half a million the estimated traffic gained by, which also fortifies its ZA by one point, while confirms its position at the very top of Italian news sites, not only in sports, with a further leap of about 4 million in estimated traffic volume and an extra ZA point.

I grafici in salita di reverso

Interesting, finally, are the movements concerning the niche of translations: here the improvements of and traduzioni-asseverate are significant, gaining great visibility in the sector.

Grafici in salita di traduzioni-asseverate

Specifically, the French Reverso database gets an extra 1.5 million hits (and the context.reverso subdomain also flies high, post-update!), while the translation agency Giuritrad‘s project, which specializes in sworn translations (i.e., those with legal and official value, in Italy or abroad), has also made its way to more generic and generalist queries and keywords, such as “English translation” or “Italian Portuguese translator.”

Analisi keyword in salita di traduzioni-asseverate

The analysis of the update: impossible to detect a pattern

What does this data tell us? We tried to analyze the variations in detail to identify possible keys to interpreting and interpreting the work of Google’s algorithms, but obviously no certain pattern could be detected.


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There are some frequent variables that we have noticed on sites that have dropped, such as low scores for Core Web Vitals (especially for INP, the latest metric inserted as of March 12, 2024), presence of a significant number of banners or interstitial ads that, particularly from mobile, hinder content viewing. However, these elements sometimes return even in sites that gained traffic after the update, and thus are not an effective correlation signal.

Similarly, it is not possible to do a simple check of sites by domain to see if one domain’s gains match another’s losses, although it is interesting to note that there are clear overlaps in themes between the winners and losers-such as in the case of translations or health. This trend, however, is in line with Google’s guiding words that a site negatively affected by a Core Update did not necessarily “do something wrong,” but was outperformed by those who “did better” according to the new algorithmic ratings.


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