Google's November 2023 Core Update: Ranking and Visibility Impact
Google has rolled out its November 2023 core update, marking this year's fourth core algorithm update. This article explores the critical aspects of this update and how it may affect your website's rankings.
Google's November 2023 Core Update
Google's November 2023 core update is currently underway and is expected to take up to two weeks for its full implementation to be completed. This algorithmic transformation comes on the heels of Google's most recent update, completed two weeks earlier, on October 19, 2023. The October update aimed to elevate the search experience for users by favoring high-quality E-E-A-T (experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness) content and relegating lower-quality websites.
What Is the Purpose of Google’s Latest Core Update?
As is the case with all core updates, Google's primary purpose is to assess and supply users with the most relevant and value-driven content for their needs, and the new update for November 2023 is the optimized version. For a more detailed understanding of all of Google’s algorithm updates, explore our comprehensive guide to all of Google's algorithm updates and changes in 2023.
How Google's Core Updates Work
Get ready for a wild ride if this latest update is anything like the one from October 2023. Users reported that the update's unpredictability shook their top-performing pages, leading to less interaction and even lower rankings. Google wants to make it clear that these core updates aren't meant to blacklist or punish your content. Instead, they're all about improving their content evaluation system and giving a fair chance to sites delivering user-focused material that need more online awareness.
Imagine Google's core update changing in the same way music does. Just as new songs are released every year, a song that was a big hit in 2021 will have a different buzz or popularity down the road. Imagine the all-time greatest hits list—it naturally shifts as trends, tastes, and what people are into change. The songs that rocked the top 10 won't stay there forever, and some tunes that were lower on the list will rise, showing they deserve a higher spot.
What to Expect for the November 2023 Update
Like any developing system, November's update shows significant signs of volatility, meaning sites performing well due to the October core update may experience drops in search visibility and rankings.
Users claim the rollout has started causing page traffic spikes and drops.
How to Keep Your Pages Ranking Against Google's Core Update
If you want to stay competitive and prevent any website traffic declines, the key is to focus on delivering authoritative, updated, relevant, and valuable content. In other words, create helpful, reliable, and people-first content. Offering content that aims to help users instantly answer their questions and improve their lives will increase your chances of success post-update.
If your page rankings or site engagement dropped due to a core update, keep refining your content. Since Google frequently changes its algorithms, there's a good chance your pages will improve with the next update as you continue optimizing your content. Remember, it's more like a marathon than a sprint.
Google's Best Practices Checklist for Delivering People-First Content
The following checklist ensures you follow Google's best practices for delivering user-focused content:
- Is the information in the content new, reported, researched, or analyzed?
- Does the content give a good, complete description of the topic?
- Does it share creative insights or interesting material we wouldn't usually know?
- If it uses other sources, does it do more than copy them? Does it add something new and valuable?
- Does the title tell you what the page is about without being too over the top?
- Would you bookmark, share, or recommend this page to a friend?
- Could you see this information in a credible magazine, encyclopedia, or book?
- Is the content way better than other pages you find in search results?
- Are there any spelling or style issues?
- Does it look well-written, or does the content seem rushed and messy?
- Was this content crafted or shared by many people across multiple sites?
- Does the information in the content seem trustworthy, offering credible resources, the author's background, or links to the site's About page?
- If someone looked into the site that made this content, would they think it's trustworthy and known for being good at what it talks about?
- Is this content written or reviewed by someone who is an expert or has in-depth knowledge of the topic?
- Are there any errors in the facts or misleading information?
November 2023 Core Update FAQ
Explore some frequently asked questions about how the November 2023 update might impact your online visibility.
- What steps should I take during an update?
Google answers: “There's nothing to do for most creators who have already been working to create helpful, reliable, people-first content. Those doing so might find themselves performing better in search.”
- What's the difference between a ranking system and an update?
Google answers: “Ranking systems are what we use to generate search results. Updates are when we make an improvement to a ranking system.”
- Does a traffic drop after an update mean my site is considered spam?
Google answers: “If you see a change after a non-spam update, it's not a spam issue. If you saw a change after a spam update, our systems might have determined you were spamming or perhaps discounting spam links.”
- What updates and changes can we expect this month?
Google answers: “We expect an update to our reviews system to start rolling out next week. That will also mark a point when we'll no longer be giving periodic notifications of improvements to our review system because they will be happening at a regular and ongoing pace.”
- Are you updating more frequently than you used to?
Google answers: “We update Google Search thousands of times per year. We don't share all these updates because many of them are relatively small. We do share updates we think are notable. We shared 10 updates in 2021, another 10 updates in 2022, and expect about the same in 2023.”
- Why another update so soon after the last?
Google answers: “We have different systems that are considered core to our ranking process; this month's core update involves an improvement to a different core system than last month.”
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