The search engine landscape is never static. Google’s algorithms are constantly evolving, and with each update, websites must adapt to remain competitive. The latest major update, the November 2023 core update, has caused significant shifts in search results, leaving many website owners wondering what they need to do to recover or maintain their rankings.
What was the November 2023 Core Update About?
According to Google, the November 2023 core update focused on two key areas:
Improving search quality: This meant prioritising websites that provide original, in-depth content relevant to users’ search queries. Google aimed to reward websites demonstrating Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T) in their specific niches.
Reducing spam: The update also targeted websites that used manipulative tactics to inflate their rankings artificially. This included keyword stuffing, link spam, and other black-hat SEO techniques.
Google disclosed the core update for November 2023 via their Google Search Central Twitter handle.
Google has published a comprehensive Q&A here, providing further details on the new core update and the update of the forthcoming review.
What Are the Impacts of the Update?
The November 2023 core update had a significant impact on websites across various industries. Some websites saw dramatic traffic increases, while others experienced significant drops in ranking and visibility. The factors that influenced these changes are not always clear, but here are some of the key trends observed:
- Websites with high-quality content and strong E-A-T signals generally benefited from the update. This includes websites with original research, expert insights, and a strong track record of providing reliable information.
- Websites with thin content or low-quality backlinks saw declines in rankings. This highlights the importance of creating high-quality content and building backlinks from authoritative sources.
- Websites that rely heavily on keyword stuffing or other spammy tactics were penalised. This confirms Google’s commitment to rewarding websites that provide genuine value to users.
How to Recover from the November 2023 Core Update
If your website has been negatively affected by the November 2023 core update, there are steps you can take to recover:
- Review Google’s Webmaster Guidelines: Ensure your website adheres to Google’s best practices for SEO and avoids any black-hat techniques.
- Analyse your website content: Identify pages with thin content or outdated information and update them with fresh, relevant content that provides value to users.
- Build high-quality backlinks: Focus on building backlinks from authoritative websites in your niche.
- Focus on E-A-T: Demonstrate your expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness in your field. This can be achieved through author bios, credentials, and citations from reputable sources.
- Monitor your website traffic and rankings: Keep track of your website’s performance in the search engine results pages (SERPs) to identify ongoing issues.
- Be patient: It takes time to recover from a core update. Implement the necessary changes and monitor your progress over several weeks or even months.
Google announced the completion of its November 2023 core update, marking the fourth major update of the year. This update, which began on November 2, 2023, followed closely on the heels of the October 2023 core update that started on October 5 and concluded on October 19. The rollout of the November update spanned 26 days, concluding on November 28, 2023
The November 2023 core update serves as a reminder that SEO is a continuous process. Website owners must stay updated on Google’s latest algorithm changes and adapt their strategies accordingly. By focusing on high-quality content, E-A-T, and ethical SEO practices, websites can thrive in the ever-changing search engine landscape.