Marketing Pulse Blog

Decoding the October 2023 Google Algorithm Update 


Google, in its ongoing mission to provide the best search experience for users, regularly introduces core algorithm updates that shake up search rankings and put marketers on alert. These updates typically occur 3-5 times a year (though they’ve become more frequent recently) and have one primary goal: to boost search results by ensuring that the most valuable, relevant, and accurate information takes the top spots.

Once an update is complete, marketers can easily determine its impact by looking at their website’s keyword rankings and organic traffic. The most recent update, which began on October 5, 2023, and finished on October 19, 2023, happened to negatively affect a lot of websites due to its crackdown on “thin and misleading” content.

Where You’ll See The Effects

While the terms “thin” and “misleading” content may sound subjective, Google has provided clear guidelines for identifying such content:

  • Pages with minimal or no content
  • Pages with irrelevant content
  • Pages with factually inaccurate content
  • Pages that lack proper citations
  • Pages featuring content that’s unfocused, poorly written, or overly broad and doesn’t provide value to users (ie: content that regurgitates information from other articles without provided any new or unique information) 


If your website has a number of pages that could fit into the above categories, you probably want to keep reading.  

What To Do If Your Site Was Affected

These updates impact websites across all industries, so it’s crucial for all businesses to keep a close eye on their website analytics during this period. The effects of these algorithm updates can vary from site to site, but you’ll quickly notice changes once Google’s bots have crawled your site with the new algorithm  in place. This will lead to immediate shifts in your keyword rankings and organic traffic.

If you noticed a significant drop in your websites keyword rankings and organic traffic, there are steps you can take to address this update:

  1. Take a close look at the pages most affected by the update and try to understand why their content was devalued. Ask yourself: Does this page offer substantial content? Is the content accurate? Does it provide valuable and factually correct information to readers?
  2. If you believe your content was devalued due to being “thin,” enhance it with substantial, relevant, and factually accurate information.
  3. If your content was likely devalued due to other reasons, evaluate whether it revolves around a central theme and provides valuable insights supported by proper citations from reliable sources. If not, you’ve found the issue.


How To Create Compliant Content Moving Forward

With the latest algorithm update now in full effect, brands should keep Google’s core objective in mind when creating future content: delivering high-quality, relevant content that enhances the user experience. Simply rewording existing content won’t cut it. Creating fresh, unique content will allow brands to stay aligned with Google’s evolving goals, strengthening their online presence and improving user engagement.

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

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