Google’s November 2023 Core Update: What Site Owners Need to Know

Google’s November 2023 core update is currently in progress and is expected to take about two weeks to fully roll out.

This marks the fourth comprehensive core algorithm update for the year 2023. The first core update occurred in March 2023, commencing on March 15 and concluding on March 28. The second core update took place in August 2023, beginning on August 22 and concluding on September 7. The third core update, the October 2023 core update, started on October 5 and wrapped up on October 19.

What’s new in this core update? Google has stated that this update represents an enhancement to a different core system compared to the previous month’s update. Google’s guidance regarding core updates remains consistent across all updates.

A reviews update is also on the horizon, set to arrive next week. Google has mentioned that they will cease providing periodic notifications about enhancements to their reviews system since these improvements will occur on a regular and ongoing basis.

For more detailed information, Google has published a comprehensive Q&A to shed light on the new core update and the upcoming reviews update.

Why the need for another core update so soon? Google clarifies that they have distinct systems at the core of their ranking process, and this month’s update targets an improvement in a different core system than the previous one.

Google makes a distinction between a ranking update and a ranking system. Ranking systems are the tools used to generate search results, and Google has multiple ranking systems that serve various functions. Updates, on the other hand, signify improvements made to these ranking systems.

The primary purpose of updates is to enhance the automated systems responsible for ranking search results. Google acknowledges that these systems are not flawless and is continually seeking ways to improve them to deliver better search results.

Sometimes, updates may overlap. Google does its best to separate notable updates so that site owners can better identify which system is involved. However, due to the sheer volume of updates, complete separation is not always feasible. When an update has been evaluated and approved to enhance the search experience, Google prefers not to delay its release.

Regarding updates during the holiday season, Google aims to avoid them during late November to mid-December, but this is not always possible. Updates that can enhance the search experience and have been in development for several months are released when they are ready.

If your site is negatively impacted by a core update, Google advises that there are no specific actions to take for recovery. A drop in rankings does not necessarily indicate an issue with your web pages. Google offers a list of questions to consider if your site is affected by a core update, and you may see some improvement between core updates, with the most significant changes occurring after another core update.

The importance of these updates lies in their potential to influence your site’s performance in search results. Understanding when these updates occur helps you determine whether any changes to your website or Google’s ranking algorithm are responsible for fluctuations in your rankings. However, with the simultaneous rollout of the spam update, it may be challenging to pinpoint which update or updates have impacted your site. Keep a close eye on your analytics and rankings over the next couple of weeks to assess the effects of these updates.