Google’s November 2023 Core Update Explained

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On the 2nd of November, Google announced they were rolling out the November 2023 Core Update across their systems. On the 28th of November, it finally finished rolling out, marking the fourth Core update that Google has released in 2023.

As usual with these Core updates, Google hasn’t given us much information on the specific things that are being changed, but that’s because these updates are so broad and make improvements to a vast range of Google’s ranking systems and processes.

So, for this blog post, I sat down for a chat with our SEO Specialists to get their expert opinion on what’s changed with this update and how it will likely influence your website rankings, visibility, and traffic.

What are Core updates?

A few times a year, Google releases ‘Core Updates’ that make significant changes to their ranking algorithms.

Because these updates focus on a broad range of Google’s systems, they get called ‘Core’ updates (they used to be referred to as ‘Broad Core Updates’), showing that these updates are different from ones focusing on individual systems like the Helpful Content Updates and Reviews Updates.

Google’s main focus for their users is delivering the highest quality and most relevant content when they search for something. To do that, Google uses complex algorithms to determine the quality and relevance of different web pages and where they should rank for specific keywords and search terms.

When a Core Update is released, it means Google have made some big changes or adjustments to these algorithms to improve the overall quality of search results for their users.

With these updates often comes some ranking volatility as Google’s updated systems re-evaluate where websites should appear in search results.

Some websites may be rewarded with higher positions, while others may drop down the rankings quite significantly.

Now, if your rankings drop, this doesn’t necessarily mean that your is rubbish and Google hates you.

It just means that you need to review Google’s guidance and ensure that you’re following best practices with your website and SEO.

What’s changed with the November 2023 Core Update?

Let’s talk specifically about the November 2023 Core Update and the changes that have been brought in.

Hidden Gems

The ‘hidden gems’ improvement is something that Google has been testing for a while after announcing it in a post on their ‘The Keyword’ blog back in May.

In the blog post, Google said: “Helpful information can often live in unexpected or hard-to-find places: a comment in a forum thread, a post on a little-known blog, or an article with unique expertise on a topic. Our helpful content ranking system will soon show more of these “hidden gems” on Search, particularly when we think they’ll improve the results.”

But, instead of coming in a Helpful Content update as expected, Google has begun rolling it out as part of the November 2023 Core Update.

So, if you’re not already, maybe it’s time to start creating content from your own unique perspective and sprinkling some of your expert opinions and knowledge into it because that’s what Google wants to see!

General improvements to Core systems

Aside from the Hidden Gems rollout, it’s been a pretty run-of-the-mill Core Update, with general improvements and tweaks to some of Google’s core systems.

Like with most other Core Updates, Google hasn’t really gone into detail on what they’ve changed and why. However, we do know that the November 2023 Core Update focused on improving a different core system than the October 2023 Core Update.

As always, it’s important to remember that Google’s priority is serving the most relevant and helpful search results to their users. These Core Updates are made for them to optimise their systems and algorithms to improve their searchers’ overall experience.

And that brings me to the changes you will need to make after the November 2023 Core Update.

What changes do you need to make?

Well, as it’s only been a month since the October 2023 Core Update, as long as you’re still following Google’s guidance for creating genuinely helpful content and other best practices, you shouldn’t need to change much, if anything, with the November 2023 Core Update.

Google said the same themselves: “Chances are, there’s nothing to do for most creators who have already been working to create helpful, reliable, people-first content.”

If you’re seeing some ranking volatility with your website, it might be worth re-evaluating your approach and checking that you follow best practice guidance for content and overall SEO. If you feel you’re complying with all of Google’s guidance as best you can, then just be patient and give things time to settle and even out.

If you have any questions or need some SEO advice, you can always get in touch with our team on 01329 565001 or by clicking the live chat button in the bottom-right-hand corner of your screen.

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