SEOIntel Weekly News Round-up (2nd week of March, 2024)

From manual penalties, sites getting deindexed, volatility in the SERPs, to INP replacing FID. Here are the notable SEO news for the 2nd week of March 2024
Marie Aquino
March 15, 2024

It has been more than a week since Google announced the March 2024 Core update and Spam update and it has been a very nerve-wracking week with manual penalties being issued, ranking volatility, and sites getting deindexed. This is just the beginning as the core update is expected to roll out for a month while the spam update will roll out for two weeks (another week more!). Google has also mentioned that the core update is quite the complex update with changes being made to multiple core systems. You may be safe this past week, but how about the coming weeks when other core systems are updated? We can only wait with bated breath and crossed fingers. Here are other notable news in the SEO world this week:

Interaction To Next Paint (INP) is Now a Part of Core Web Vitals

It was announced in January that Interaction to Next Paint (INP) will be replacing First Input Delay or FID. Google has announced last Tuesday (March 12) that the change is now being enforced.

What Is INP?

INP (Interaction to Next Paint) is a metric that assesses a page’s overall responsiveness to user interactions by observing the time that it takes for the page to respond to all click, tap, and keyboard interactions that occur throughout the lifespan of a user’s visit to a page. The final INP value is the longest interaction observed, ignoring outliers. A low INP means the page is consistently able to respond quickly to the vast majority of user interactions.

The goal of INP is minimize the time from when a user initiates an interaction until the next frame is painted, for all or most interactions the user initiates.

Read more about INP in this Google documentation.

Google also reminds us to achieve good Core Web Vitals for success in search and to ensure great user experience. While the Core Web Vitals are used by their ranking systems, keep in mind that getting good results in Search Console’s Core Web Vitals report and other third-party tools does not guarantee high ranking in search as there is more to great page experience than Core Web Vital scores. The scores provided by these tools only serve to help improve your site, and aiming for a perfect score on these may not be the best use of your time. Google also adds that beyond Core Web Vitals, other page experience aspects may not directly help your site rank higher, but they can make your site more satisfying to use – which is aligned with what their ranking systems seek to reward. Therefore, it is still worth working on improving the overall page experience.

Google Posts Guide on What to Do if You Receive a Spam Manual Action Notice

Ryan T, a Google community manager posted a guide in Search Console’s Help Center Forums on what to do if you have received a pure spam manual action notice. The blog titled “Received a ‘Pure Spam’ Manual Action Notice? See What It Means for Your Site and How to Address It“ talks about what a spam manual action is, why it exists, and how to identify if you have been penalized. Aside from those, a step-by-step is provided on how to resolve a pure spam manual action, and some FAQs.

In the past week, a lot of sites have received manual action penalties, with sites ranking lower in search, and some even dropping out completely from the index (deindexed). This is a good guide to go through if you are one of those who have received the penalty. Check out the guide here.