If it feels like we just discussed a Google core algorithm update, it’s because we did. Just two weeks after the October update, on November 2, 2023, Google initiated another significant change to its core algorithm, which concluded on November 28, 2023.
As we highlighted in our analysis of the October 2023 core update, Google implements these changes to enhance the search experience, ensuring that the most valuable, relevant, and accurate information ranks at the top. While updates usually don’t fall so close together, marketers quickly noticed that the November update was stronger and more impactful than previous versions. And that’s not all! On November 8, Google launched the November 2023 Reviews Update.
November 2023 Review Update: This update is relatively self-explanatory. Its primary focus was on ensuring that site reviews align with Google’s guidelines. According to Google: “The reviews system evaluates articles, blog posts, pages, or similar first-party standalone content aimed at providing recommendations, opinions, or analyses. It explicitly excludes the evaluation of third-party reviews, such as those posted by users in the reviews section of a product or services page.”
November 2023 Core Algorithm Update: This update concentrated on opinion-based content, evaluating whether it presented accurate data supported by credible sources and scientific processes.
If your website regularly publishes product or service reviews or opinion pieces, you’ll want to keep an eye out for your site rankings.
With two updates running at the same time, the impact on websites varies across industries but in distinct ways. Immediate shifts in keyword rankings and organic traffic will occur once Google’s bots have crawled your site with the new algorithm and update in place. It’s crucial for businesses to closely monitor their website analytics during this period until the search results stabilize.
November 2023 Review Update: E-commerce sites are likely to feel the strongest impact, although service industries will also be affected.
November 2023 Core Algorithm Update: Any site containing opinion pieces will be impacted and held to a higher standard of proof and evidence.
If you’ve noticed a significant drop in keyword rankings and organic traffic, there are steps you can take to address these changes — the first determining what content was affected.
If effects are across products and category pages, it’s likely due to the Reviews Update. Refer to Google’s help page on how to write high-quality reviews to rectify this issue.
If effects are concentrated in articles, blogs, and learning centers, it’s likely due to the Algorithm Update. Evaluate your content and assess whether it provides accurate data backed by credible sources and scientific processes. If not, incorporate these elements to optimize this content.
For Reviews: Brands should maintain an easy-to-use review process that properly feeds information to search engines, including aggregate review structured data. The positivity and authenticity of reviews are crucial for organic rankings.
For Content: Always write honest content that doesn’t try to manipulate truth and facts. Google has been combating false information for quite some time, but with the rapid rise of AI and AI-generated content, it’s becoming even more of a priority.
If your brand struggles to create content that aligns with Google’s objectives, or if you have questions about the algorithm update, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our SEO experts.