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If you’re in the know about SEO, you’ll likely already be familiar with the updates that Google rolls out on a regular basis. Known as core updates, these algorithm changes often shake up the way Google ranks web pages, and it’s usually done in quite a subtle way, so it’s important to know what’s changed in order to stay in Google’s good books.

The latest of these updates rolled out in November 2023 - so what does Google’s November 2023 core update have up its sleeve, and what does it mean for your Google rankings?

What is a Google core update?

A core update is a broad adjustment to the algorithms that Google uses to generate search results for its users. These updates are prompted by improvements that Google wants to make to the relevance and quality of search results, ultimately ensuring that their users get the information they need as quickly as possible.

How often are Google core updates released?

There’s no set schedule for when you can expect Google core updates to be rolled out, but in general, we see one every few months. 

What changes have been made in the November 2023 core update?

As with previous core updates, the ways in which the algorithm has been changed in the November 2023 core update hasn’t been explicitly disclosed by Google. However, what they have said is that the ranking system that they’re updating in the November core update is a different system to the one they updated in the October 2023 core update, which explains they’ve occurred so close together.

Google’s core algorithm updates take around two weeks to roll out, so now that it’s complete, you may well see a change in rankings, and trying to pinpoint the reason for this can be tricky without direct guidance from Google. However, Google’s advice has for some time been to continue creating helpful, user-first content, and that isn’t changing any time soon. In fact, Google has said that:

“those doing so will largely see updates come and go without notice, or they might find themselves performing better in search.”

November 2023 reviews update

Not to be confused with the core update, Google also released a reviews update in November. Whilst not an immediately obvious ranking factor, it’s one that Google is all over. This applies not only to product and service based businesses, but also destinations and media, such as films and games.

The update focuses on articles, blog posts and content that contains opinions and analysis - not third-party review platforms that you may have thought of when we mentioned reviews.

Google has said before that it likes reviews to be original, informative, transparent and current, and it should thoroughly cover pros/cons. Anyone who’s site contains review-based content should ensure that they’re following E-E-A-T guidelines in order to sail through reviews updates with little impact on their rankings.

The big news that accompanied this reviews update is that it was the last one that will be announced; from now on, Google will simply make ongoing changes to the reviews algorithm, which includes opinion-based content, without declaring it as an update.

What should you do if your website is hit by a Google update?

If there’s specific core update guidance that has been released by Google, understanding that is your first port of call if you see that there’s been a drop in traffic following an update. The next is to weed out what web pages specifically have seen a drop, and then run through Google’s self assessment questions to ensure the content on the page is the best that it can be. These questions keep you on the straight and narrow when it comes to helping your user, and giving yourself the best chance of rising through the rankings and surviving core

Is Google preparing BIG search ranking changes?

It has been reported recently that Google is preparing some major search ranking changes, which, as you can imagine, has piqued our interest. This information has come from Google’s Search Liaison, Danny Sullivan, who gave a talk in early November in which he mentioned ‘a lot of improvements’ that are on the way. However, he again stressed that although he didn’t ‘want to say buckle up’, ‘those who are making good, people-first content should be fine’.

Do you need help with your SEO marketing?

Getting your head around SEO is one thing, but keeping on top of Google updates is quite another when you’re trying to run your business. Here at 427, we’ve always got a beady eye on the latest Google news, so that we can react quickly to maintain and improve the rankings of our client’s web pages.

Whether this means technical adjustments, fresh content, or tweaks to your local SEO strategy, we do all we can on your behalf to raise your rankings and make your business even more discoverable to the people that are looking for what you do.

If you’re looking to stay ahead of your competitors on the search engine results pages, it’s wise to have a team at your side who knows the ropes - that’s us! Get in touch with us today for a chat about how we can help.

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About Chris Simmons

Chris is our onpage SEO Specialist at 427 Marketing, having joined the team in early 2023. He works with our content team to cover the 4 pillars of SEO; content, onpage SEO, technical SEO and offpage SEO. Prior to joining the 427 Marketing team, Chris spent almost 10 years applying his SEO and content skills across several different industries in marketing agency and inhouse roles including tool hire, auctioneering, health care within the NHS and high end luxury retail in both B2B and B2C capacities. His passion for writing, content, UX, technical and on page SEO has expanded our content offerings, helping provide reliable advice about all things SEO to 427 Marketing.

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