“It’s a rare occurrence, like a double rainbow. Or like someone on the Internet saying, “You know what? You’ve convinced me—I was wrong.” – Michael, The Good Place
Yep, back-to-back Google core updates are that rare.
We tend to see only a few Google core updates a year, and we never see them released in such quick succession. But just as November kicked off, Google rolled out the second core update in as many months.
The November 2023 Google core update is also the third since August. If you count the spam update from October, it’s the fourth significant update Google has released since late summer.
So, what’s with all the big Google updates over the past few months? We’ve seen enough volatility lately—when will we finally be able to look forward to some stability?
Let’s dive into what this update means and what’s likely coming down the pike next.
It’s been a busy year as far as Google updates are concerned.
On the heels of the monumental Helpful Content Update in December 2022, Google gave us only about seven weeks before releasing a product reviews update in February 2023. Still, there were plenty of others to come.
Here’s a look at the Google updates we’ve seen roll out this year.
If you’re just catching up, you’ll note that October was particularly chaotic, with Google rolling out a core update and spam update simultaneously.
To add to the frenzy, the folks at Google Search identified a bug with how the October 2023 core update was applied to Discover. This problem affected rankings and complicated site owners’ task of diagnosing content and site performance issues.
According to the Google Search Status Dashboard, the issue was resolved on October 31. Google added that the bug fix may lead to an increase in Discover-related traffic for some sites.
However, we aren’t out of the woods just yet.
In the announcement of the November 2023 core update, Google said it intends to begin the rollout of another reviews system update next week—just in time for the busy holiday shopping season!
“That will also mark a point when we’ll no longer be giving periodic notifications of improvements to our reviews system because they will be happening at a regular and ongoing pace,” Google said.
Per usual, Google hasn’t provided much clarity as to what precisely this latest core update covers. But we know the November update isn’t directly tied to October’s core update.
“Why another so soon after the October 2023 core update? We have different systems that are considered core to our ranking process; this month’s update involves an improvement to a different core system than last month,” Google said. “However, our guidance about core updates is the same for both.”
Until the rollout is completed, which typically takes 13 to 14 days, and we can dive into to learn how exactly rankings changed, all we really have to go on is Google’s boilerplate language regarding ranking systems updates.
“We use multiple ranking systems that do different things,” Google says on its Search Central blog. “We use automated systems to rank search results, and like anything, these aren’t perfect.”
“We’re always looking at ways to improve these systems to show better results,” the blog post continues.
We could try to infer what Google means by “better” until we’re blue in the face. But fundamentally, we know that Google is trying to deliver the utmost value to searchers so it can grow its market share as the world of search becomes increasingly competitive.
Google has made a habit of telling site owners and SEOs to hang tight as each new core update rolls out.
The key takeaway here is that if your site’s rankings drop, it doesn’t necessarily mean there’s something wrong with the affected pages. It just means that Google’s newly updated ranking systems have decided that other pages are more helpful or relevant for a given query.
You don’t have to work too hard to read between the lines to see what Google is really saying: Your pages are ranking right where they should be, whether you like it or not.
Does that mean you should be satisfied with your priority pages ranking outside the top 50, top 20, or top 10 for valuable keywords? Of course not.
But reacting to rankings fluctuations must be done carefully. In fact, updating your site as a reaction to a core update isn’t the right way to go about things at all.
It’s far better to keep up with Google’s evolving guidance regarding helpful content, site performance, and UX, employing this guidance proactively to stay ahead of the curve.
What’s the key to getting your revenue-driving pages into the top three positions for the keywords that are most valuable to your business? What’s more, how do you maintain these crucial positions in the face of shakeups brought on by Google core updates?
First and foremost, producing best-of-web content is essential.
Don’t expect your product pages featuring duplicate copy to achieve meaningful rankings. To drive results, a page needs to include unique, comprehensive, helpful content that aligns with Google’s E-E-A-T guidelines.
Of course, your site should also deliver a seamless experience for users. It should be easy to navigate with screaming fast loading times and no broken links.
Despite the fact that your goal is to rank highly in search results, you must avoid falling into the trap of creating content for search engines. Write content for the people you want to click through to your site, discover your products or services, and convert into loyal customers.
This content—helpful content created for humans—is what Google wants to reward with high search rankings.
So, although you’re working to push your pages to the top of the search results for your target keywords, you must create content for people, not crawlers or algorithms.
You’re likely wondering, “Well, isn’t that exactly what all of my competitors are doing?” As a matter of fact, it is.
You won’t see the results you need to scale your enterprise without best-of-web content. It’s indispensable, which is why it should be the cornerstone of your SEO strategy.
However, successful digital marketing requires much more. And, spoiler alert: Google won’t tell you what it is or how to go about it.
But with the right digital marketing agency by your side, you can edge out the competition, driving revenue and exponential growth through higher CTRs, improved ROI, and more conversions.
Putting together a robust digital marketing strategy that leverages world-class content, careful link building, on-site optimization, and other crucial techniques can be challenging work for enterprises to pursue in-house. Why overspend to reinvent the wheel?
Instead, partner with VELOX. As an ROI-focused digital marketing agency, VELOX tailors campaigns to achieve and surpass each client’s unique goals. Our PPC, SEO, and SMM specialists innovate using leading-edge technologies and proven techniques to drive stunning revenue results.
Contact VELOX today and see what a difference sustained search engine dominance could make for your enterprise.