Google November 2023 core update and what it means for you

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      Google recently rolled out its November 2023 Core Update, marking an important milestone for its search algorithm. Mastering Google’s latest core update is crucial for website owners who want to stay competitive and maintain strong search visibility.

      What Are Google Core Updates?

      Google core updates, also called Google search algorithm updates, are major changes to how Google ranks and evaluates websites, with the goals of:

      • Improving search quality and relevance
      • Enhancing the search experience
      • Reducing spam and manipulation

      Core updates typically occur 3-4 times per year. With over 10 smaller updates daily, understanding both minor and major Google updates is imperative for site owners.

      Minor Google UpdatesCore Updates
      Daily3-4 times per year
      Minor, specific issuesMajor, significant impact
      Usually announcedRarely announced

      These updates occur multiple times a year and are often announced by Google Search Central:

      google search central updates 2023

      Did you know that there is an average of thirteen algorithm modifications daily, which amounts to over 4,745 alterations annually?

      Search Engine Land

      Why Does Google Issue Core Updates?

      The main motivations behind Google pushing core updates are:

      • Promote high-quality, useful content
      • Improve relevance of search results
      • Reduce spam and link manipulation
      • Maintain a fair, accurate ranking system

      By continually refining its algorithm, Google aims to display the most helpful, reliable information to searchers.

      How Do Core Updates Affect Search Rankings?

      Core updates often lead to fluctuations in search rankings, as Google applies new signals to evaluate pages. Some sites may gain visibility, while others may experience drops, especially those using manipulative tactics.

      Potential reasons for decreases in rankings after a core update include:

      • Low-quality, unhelpful content
      • Poor website speed and performance
      • Over-optimisation and spam
      • Lack of expertise and authoritativeness (EAT)
      • Issues with site architecture and technical infrastructure

      Regularly monitoring your site’s visibility through search console and analytics tools can help diagnose issues in the aftermath of an update.

      Difference Between Google Updates and Core Updates

      While Google makes smaller adjustments daily, core updates represent substantial, infrequent changes:

      • Google updates – frequent, minor changes addressing specific issues. Limited ranking impact.
      • Google core updates – major updates revising how pages get evaluated and ranked. Significant effects on visibility.

      For example, the Penguin and Panda updates focused on link schemes and thin content respectively. On the other hand, core updates like BERT and the November 2023 release are broad, wide-reaching algorithm changes.

      Understanding the November 2023 Core Update

      Google’s November 2023 core update incorporates signals emphasizing expertise, authenticity, and value to searchers. By promoting trusted, helpful information over self-serving content, Google hopes to better match user intent.

      Some noticeable effects include:

      • Authoritative health and medical sites gaining prominence
      • More video content appearing for informational queries
      • Growth in featured snippets and rich results

      This update also expands on AI and machine learning advancements for comprehending language and assessing page quality.

      Strategies to Adapt to Core Updates

      Here are proactive steps sites should take when navigating Google’s core updates:

      Regularly Audit Your Website

      This allows you to stay up to date with the most recent SEO best practices and make any required adjustments to keep your site competitive and applicable given Google’s Core Updates.

      Conducting regular reviews of your website is vital for identifying and fixing potential SEO issues such as technical errors, content quality, and backlink profiles.

      Prioritise Superior Content

      Focusing on superior content that meets user needs is key for preserving and enhancing search engine rankings:

      • This requires creating unique, compelling, and informative content optimised for relevant keywords and search intent.

      Avoiding spammy approaches like keyword stuffing and low-quality backlinks can assist your website with adhering to Google’s guidelines and improving its organic search visibility.

      Enhance On-Page SEO Components

      Optimising on-page SEO components such as meta descriptions, title tags, headers, and internal links is vital for boosting your website’s search rankings:

      • These elements help search engines better comprehend your content and enhance your site’s search visibility.

      Additionally, the effective application of keywords in your content can positively impact your website’s ranking after a Google Core Update.

      A diverse backlink portfolio consists of high-quality backlinks from authoritative and applicable websites, which assists with improving your website’s search rankings. To construct an effective backlink portfolio, you should:

      1. Prioritise quality over quantity Produce link-worthy content
      2. Build relationships with other website owners or bloggers in your niche Follow best practices for backlinking

      Regularly auditing your backlink profile and eliminating low-quality or spammy backlinks can ensure your website’s rankings are not negatively impacted by Google’s updates.

      Boost User Experience

      User experience plays a key role in influencing SEO rankings, as search engines utilise user-engagement metrics in their algorithms. Offering an optimal user experience on your website requires focusing on elements such as:

      • Usefulness
      • Usability
      • Consistency
      • Security
      • Accessibility
      • Credibility
      • Personalisation
      • Value

      Remember, Google released its most recent update to stress the significance of user experience by aiming to enhance the web browsing experience and prioritise websites that provide a superior user experience.

      Target Core Web Vitals

      Core Web Vitals are a set of three metrics that quantify the speed, interactivity, and visual stability of a webpage:

      1. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): Gauges the time it takes for the largest content element on a page to load. Ideally, LCP should transpire within 2.5 seconds for a good user experience.
      2. First Input Delay (FID): Quantifies the time it takes for a browser to respond to a user interaction like clicking a button or tapping a link. Ideally, FID should be less than 100 milliseconds for a smooth and responsive user experience.
      3. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): Measures the magnitude of unexpected layout shift occurring on a page as it loads. Ideally, CLS should be less than 0.1 for a stable and predictable user experience.
      core web vitals
      Google’s Core Web Vitals. Source: Google.

      These metrics are key for providing an excellent user experience and are thus deemed important ranking factors by search engines, making them a vital component of any SEO tactic.

      Enhancing Core Web Vitals can produce improved search engine rankings and a superior user experience.

      Adapt to Search Purpose

      An effective SEO approach entails grasping and optimising for search purpose, as this ensures your content aligns with the intention or motivation behind a user’s online search.

      The four kinds of search purposes are:

      1. Informational: Users are seeking information or solutions to their inquiries.
      2. Navigational: Users are looking for a specific website or webpage.
      3. Transactional: Users are aiming to make a purchase or complete a specific action.
      4. Commercial: Users are investigating products or services before deciding.

      By examining user interactions with search engine results pages (SERPs) and considering keywords and content, Google can produce the most helpful and reliable outcomes for every search query.

      Optimising your content to match the search purpose of your target market can assist with expanding your website’s visibility and relevance in search results.

      Common Mistakes That Hurt Rankings

      Some frequent missteps by sites trying to counteract effects of core updates:

      • Overreacting and Making Hasty Changes
        • Making knee-jerk decisions often backfires. Patience and relying on data over panic is key.
      • Attempting to Reverse Engineer or Cheat The Algorithm
        • This will likely trigger a manual penalty. Play by the rules.
      • Taking a Narrow, Short-Term Approach
        • Sustainable SEO requires recurring investment across website infrastructure, content, and authority building.

      The November 2023 core update ushers in new considerations for how Google evaluates and promotes content. Aligning your strategy with Google’s evolving standards remains imperative for success.

      Google Core Update FAQs

      What was the most recent Google Core update in 2023?

      The November 2023 core update was the latest major algorithm shift, rolling out between November 2nd and November 28th, 2023. Its focus was on further improving search quality and reducing low-value content in results.
      If you saw changes, review your content relevance, fix technical issues, and monitor traffic.

      What are Google Core Updates?

      Core updates are major search algorithm adjustments, typically occurring multiple times per year, that aim to improve overall result quality by rewarding websites offering helpful, high-quality content.

      What’s the purpose of core updates?

      The purpose is to enhance the search experience by prioritising websites that offer helpful, trustworthy, and relevant content that meets user needs.

      How do core updates differ from regular updates?

      Regular updates tend to be minor while core updates bring major shifts that can substantially impact search rankings.

      What strategies help websites adapt to core updates?

      What strategies help websites adapt to core updates?

      When did recent core updates happen?

      Major core updates occurred in November 2023, October 2023, August 2023, July 2023, May 2023, and several other months in 2022.

      If you were unable to find the answer you’ve been looking for, do not hesitate to get in touch and ask us directly.

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      Written By
      Daniel Kelly is the driving force behind Build Digital Growth, an innovative digital marketing agency based in Mildura, Australia. With a keen focus on web design, local SEO, and providing top-notch digital solutions, Daniel’s expertise has positioned Build Digital Growth as the go-to local digital agency for businesses seeking scalable and predictable revenue growth. As a local digital agency near you, Build Digital Growth specialises in crafting custom-tailored strategies that deliver outstanding results. Daniel has a proven track record of assisting clients across various industries, solidifying the agency’s reputation as a leader in the field. Explore the world of web design, local SEO, and digital marketing with Daniel Kelly and his team at Build Digital Growth.
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