Back in August 2020, Google announced its first-ever Core Algorithm Update as a part of its ongoing effort to improve search engine results pages (SERPs). Since then, they have released several updates that aim to make SERPs more relevant and useful for users. The latest Google Core Algorithm Update rolled out in October 2023. Like all the previous Core Updates, the October 2023 update was also expected to bring some significant changes to how websites are ranked.
In this technical SEO guide, we will take a look at what you need to know about this latest update so that you can take suitable action.
Understanding Google Core Algorithm Updates
Google Core Algorithm Update October 2023 is the third important core update of this year launched by Google. Two major core updates preceding the October update were launched in March and August respectively. Google launched the update for October on October 5 and completed on October 19. Like all the previous updates, the latest update is expected to bring a shift in search rankings, impacting how Google evaluates a website’s overall quality by taking into consideration a wide range of factors, including page-load speed, seamless navigation, mobile responsiveness, and so on.
The October 2023 update’s chief purpose was to improve search quality by eliminating the predominance of low-quality, spamming content in the SERPs by and large. Thanks to the update, Google’s search algorithm will now promote only those webpages that meet Google’s E-E-A-T (Expertise, Experience, Authority, and Trustworthiness) standards.
Why should we care?
The importance of the Google Core Algorithm Update cannot be overstated. From ranking in SERPs to overall performance, the core updates play a critical role in every aspect of a website’s success. How a particular website responds to a core update can be a determining factor in how it performs in attracting organic traffic, leading conversions, and generating income.
Characteristic Features of Google Core Algorithm Updates
How a specific Google Core Algorithm Update impacts your website’s ranking and performance may not be definite, but every core update has some characteristic features that can influence your website’s response. These are:
- Frequency: Since 2020, Google has been releasing multiple core updates in a year to continually refine the search engine’s algorithm. Each core update is known to have a deep impact on the website rankings. These updates typically take into consideration diverse aspects of the search algorithm and assess websites based on the predefined aspects to rank them accordingly.
- Potential Impact: Fluctuations in website rankings remain a typical side effect of core updates. However, the shift in SERP rankings is not universal; it is natural for some sites to experience major changes while many others may remain completely unaffected by the core updates. Anyhow, it is important to be aware of these fluctuations and take the necessary steps to ensure your site remains competitive.
- Parameters: Google core algorithm updates take into account a wide range of factors to evaluate websites, such as content quality and relevance, page loading speed, mobile-friendliness, and more. This helps ensure that the most relevant results are displayed in search engine rankings.
Expected Impact of Google Core Algorithm Update for October 2023
We are expecting the Google Core Algorithm Update for October 2023 to influence search engine rankings, website traffic, and overall visibility. It is crucial that businesses, brands, and organizations stay informed about the potential changes so that they can recover better.
- Increased Focus on Quality Content:
One thing that many experts expect from the new core algorithm update is an increased focus on quality content over quantity or keyword-stuffing tactics. Websites with high-quality content will likely see improved rankings while those relying heavily on low-value keywords may find themselves slipping down the ranks if they don’t adjust their strategies accordingly.
- More Emphasis on User Experience Signals:
Another key component of this upcoming core algorithm update is its emphasis on user experience signals such as loading speed, mobile friendliness, security protocols, etc. These factors play a big role when it comes to ranking websites higher up in SERPs so optimizing them now could give your site an edge once the new algorithms come into effect later this year.
- Improved Local Search Results:
Finally, a greater emphasis placed on location data is anticipated when determining where sites appear within SERP listings. This means that even small businesses located far away from major cities can still compete against larger companies by ensuring their online presence accurately reflects their physical address information across various platforms.
What does this mean for your site’s ranking?
Regarding how core updates work, Google states:
“There’s nothing wrong with pages that may not be performing as well as they were before a core update. They haven’t violated our spam policies, nor been subjected to a manual or algorithmic action, as can happen to pages that do violate those policies. In fact, there’s nothing in a core update that targets specific pages or sites. Instead, the changes are about improving how our systems assess content overall. These changes may cause some pages that were previously under-rewarded to do better in search results.”
This means that while your website can potentially face drastic fluctuations in its SERP rankings, which can be either positive or negative. However, if negative, the lowered rankings will not automatically translate that your website is spammy or the like. So, even if your website has everything up to the mark, it can still face ranking instability until the next update comes along. Routinely viewing your site metrics will help you determine whether your website is at fault or not.
For websites that get negatively affected, Google suggests that they assess their content and conduct an audit. Google states:
“We suggest focusing on ensuring you’re offering the best content you can. That’s what our algorithms seek to reward.”
How to Tackle the Challenges of Google Core Algorithm Update for October 2023?
You should not be overly concerned if your website’s ranking fluctuates after the Google October 2023 core update. It is normal for there to be some disruption as a result of such large system changes, but you can rest assured that by continually providing high-quality content and optimizing it accordingly, any negative effects will eventually subside. You can seek expert guidance from professional SEO services to build consistent SEO efforts. The following might also help:
If your website is experiencing a drop in ranking, you should carefully analyze the differences in performances before and after the October 2023 update, and pinpoint potential areas for improvement. Once any existing issues have been addressed, you may need to wait until the next core update before seeing any positive changes in your ranking position.
Google prioritizes websites that consistently deliver high-value content. As such, it is extremely likely that websites that unfailingly deliver helpful information to their users will continue to flourish in search engine results pages (SERPs) even after a core update. Thus, creating content that is high-quality, pertinent, and reliable is the key to winning over the core update drawbacks.
Since the Google algorithm also stresses user experience, it is essential to carry out an audit of factors that deeply impact user experience, such as page load speed, mobile-friendliness, ease of navigation, etc.
Expertise, Experience, Authority, and Trustworthiness (E-E-A-T):
If your website is experiencing poor ranking after the October 2023 update, then you might want to evaluate your website’s E-E-A-T standards. You can improve your website’s credibility by generating high-quality backlinks from the highest-ranking websites in your niche. Backlink guides will tell you how.
Examine Spam Policy:
Violation of Google spam policies will also lead to poor rankings after the October 2023 core update. Hence, Google suggests examining your website’s spam policy to identify if there are any penalties and fixing them. Reviewing and updating your spam policy will help you tackle negative performance post-core update.
The Google Core Algorithm Update for October 2023 brought some adjustments to the search ranking algorithm, creating fluctuations in ranking and performance for some websites. The core update for October also overlapped with the October 2023 spam update. On November 2, Google also released the November core update, for which the official status dashboard states that the estimated time for the rollout to be complete is up to two weeks.
Together, all these core algorithm updates are set to evolve how content is delivered and consumed across the search engine, bringing to light the importance of high-quality helpful content, continuous improvement, and consistent efforts to define a website’s success and growth potential.