Last week on November 2, Google released its November 2023 core update, which is expected to take up to two weeks to complete. While some may feel that this update comes too soon after October's core update, Google has clarified that this update involves an improvement to a different core system than last month's update.
The November 2023 core update is said to improve a core ranking system. With this in mind, it’s crucial to watch your analytics and rankings to see if there has been any impact on your site.
More clarification from Google’s Q+A:
What's the difference between a ranking system and an update?
“Ranking systems are what we use to generate search results. We use multiple ranking systems that do different things. We have a guide to Google search ranking systems that explains some of our more notable ones. Updates are when we make an improvement to a ranking system.”
Are you doing more updates than in the past?
“We update Google Search thousands of times per year. We don't share about all these updates, because many of them are relatively small and make incremental changes. We do share about updates we think are notable. We shared 10 updates in 2021, another 10 updates in 2022, and expect about the same in 2023.”
Why do you sometimes have notable updates that overlap?
We do try to separate notable updates, so that if they produce changes, site owners can better identify which system is involved. However, given we have so many updates overall, it's not always possible. In addition, when an update is evaluated and approved because it will make Search better, we don't want to hold that back.
If my traffic drops after an update, does that mean I'm spamming?
If you see a change after a non-spam update, it's not a spam issue. However, there might be other non-spam content issues to consider.
If you saw a change after a spam update, our systems might have determined you were spamming or perhaps discounting spam links that might have benefited your site. Learn more on our page about Google Search spam updates.
Google has also announced an update to their reviews system, and they have stated that this will be the last periodic notification regarding any improvements to this system. Going forward, Google will update the system regularly. For those who write reviews, it is important to read the guidelines to ensure that they meet the expectations during that time.
This marks the fourth board core update this year:
- The first core update was in March 2023
- The second landed in August 2023
- The third happened in October 2023
If you are seeing negative ranking effects from the broad core update, Google advises people to read their guidance during core updates. While there are no specific actions to take to help recover from a core update, Google lists questions to consider if your site is hit.