Google’s October 2023 Broad Core Update – Little Impact
Have you ever visited your favorite restaurant and realized they’ve rearranged their seating? At first, it feels unfamiliar, but it all makes sense when you understand why (maybe to provide more space or better light). Similarly, Google, the world’s most frequented search engine, occasionally rearranges how it displays websites. In October 2023, they made another significant change. Here’s a deep dive into this Google October 2023 update, explained as if we were chatting over coffee at that favorite cafe.
Understanding the October 2023 Core Update
In the digital world, updates by Google are like seasons; they come, bring changes, and set a new course. This October’s update is the third such update of 2023. Picture Google as a vast digital library. With this core update, the librarians (Google’s algorithms) are rearranging the books (websites) to make sure readers (users) get the best ones first.
But what sparks these changes? Over my two decades in SEO, I’ve observed that Google, like a meticulous librarian, notices if a book is borrowed often or if readers frequently inquire about a topic. These observations shape how Google rearranges its ‘books’. This ‘rearrangement’ usually unfolds over a week or two.
Connecting Past and Present
A glance at the past helps navigate the future. Before this October shuffle, Google made similar changes in March 2023 and August 2023. Each of these updates tells a story. It’s like when you attend yearly family reunions. Over the years, you notice Uncle Joe’s beard gets grayer, or Cousin Amy is now a head taller. Similarly, by monitoring these Google updates closely, you can discern patterns and trajectories, helping you anticipate and adapt to future changes.
Google’s Announcements: A Compass in the Digital Storm
The fascinating aspect of Google is its transparency. When there’s a looming change, Google often signals it, much like a town crier heralding news in older times. They indicated that the rearrangement would span about two weeks for this October change. For webmasters, marketers, and businesses, this announcement is crucial. It allows them to brace for shifts in website traffic and make any necessary adjustments.
Navigating Negative Core Update Impacts
After such updates, some websites might see a dip in their usual traffic or their rank on search results. But here’s an insider scoop from my 20 years of being in the trenches of SEO: A dip isn’t always bad. It doesn’t necessarily indicate that there’s something wrong with your website. Remember our library analogy? A book may be relocated to a different shelf, not because it’s of lesser quality, but perhaps to make way for new arrivals, other high-demand books, or even if the librarian feels it fits better on another shelf.
Google has provided some questions as a guide to reflect on if your website takes a hit. It’s a way to introspect and see if there’s room for improvement. Sometimes, making minor adjustments based on these guidelines can position you better for the next update.
Recent Core Updates: Fitting Pieces of a Puzzle
The landscape of Google’s algorithm is vast and continually evolving. Google has also initiated the October 2023 spam update alongside the core update. It’s essential to be aware of these simultaneous updates as they can sometimes interact unexpectedly. Imagine trying a new recipe while also adjusting the oven’s settings; both actions will influence the final dish.
Navigating Google’s Core Updates
Alright, let’s break things down in a way everyone can understand. You know when you clean out your closet and you decide to rearrange everything? You aren’t throwing clothes out; you’re just placing some items in more accessible spots because you wear them more often now. Google does something similar with its ‘closet’ – the websites it shows you. Now, let’s talk about this in more detail.
Is Your Site Broken? Probably Not!
When Google does these rearrangements, or ‘core updates’, your website might move from its usual spot. But here’s the kicker: it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with your site. Think about that shirt you bought last summer; it’s still in great condition, but maybe it’s not your go-to shirt this season. Google’s telling us that just because your website might not be at the front of the closet right now, it’s still good quality.
The Why Behind the Changes
The next big question is: Why did Google rearrange things? They’re just trying to show people the most useful websites. Say you listed your top 10 local restaurants in 2019. By now, many new restaurants have opened up, and some, though on your list, may have closed or, even worse have dropped in quality, or others have simply jumped up the list. Your list is bound to change, right? That doesn’t mean the restaurant that dropped down a few spots is terrible; there are just newer or more relevant restaurants that took their place.
What Should You Do?
With these shifts happening, it’s easy to feel a little lost. But Google’s advice, which has been consistent for over a decade, boils down to this: make sure your website (or your ‘shirt’ in our closet analogy) is the best it can be. That means offering valuable, original, and clear content.
To determine if your content is top-notch, search experts at Google have given us a handy checklist:
- Clear Headline – Is your headline or title a clear snapshot of what’s in the content?
- Proper Title – Have you made sure your title isn’t too sensational or dramatic?
- Fresh Content – Is your content fresh and unique, or is it just repeating what everyone else says?
- Unique Insights – Are you offering insights or information that isn’t just common knowledge?
- Thorough Coverage – Does your content cover the topic thoroughly, giving readers a complete understanding?
- Original Spin – If you’ve used information from other places, have you added your own spin without copying or slightly changing what was originally said?
- Share-Worthy – Is this a page you’d proudly show to a friend or suggest they check out?
- Publication-Worthy – Could you imagine your content being mentioned in a reputable magazine or book?
Deep Dive into Expertise
Here, we’re looking at how trustworthy your content is. Does it make readers feel confident? It’s like when you ask for advice: you’re more likely to trust someone who knows what they’re talking about.
- Trustworthy Advice – Would you trust the advice or information here when making important decisions, especially those involving your finances or well-being?
- Expert Authorship – Can you easily see who wrote this content, and do they come across as an expert?
- Detailed Backstory – Does the material provide details like where they got their information or the backstories of the authors to build trust?
- Well-Researched – Does the content seem well-researched and free from mistakes?
- Reliable Website – If you look deeper into the website sharing this information, does it seem trustworthy, reliable, and respected in its field?
How Does It Look?
Looks matter, too! How your content is presented can affect how people perceive it.
- Mobile Friendly – Can you comfortably read the content on your phone without any display issues?
- Polished Article- Does the article look polished and free from apparent mistakes like spelling errors?
- Too Many Ads – When you’re on the site, are there too many ads that make it hard to focus on the actual content?
- Unique Material – Does the material feel unique, or does it seem like it’s just churned out and scattered across many websites without much care?
- Well-Crafted Content – When reading, does the content feel well-put-together or does it seem rushed?
Comparing Your Content
Imagine a buffet; your content should be the dish everyone’s talking about and coming back to.
- Value-Add: Does your site offer more value than others? Think about that special ingredient that makes your dish stand out.
- User-Centric: Your website should cater to what users genuinely want, not just what you think might get more clicks.
The Gold Standard: EEAT
Over the years, I’ve often guided fellow professionals and clients toward Google’s search quality raters guidelines, particularly the Google EEAT sections. EEAT stands for Expertise, Experience, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. It’s the measuring tape for how good your content really is. Diving into these guidelines can be a game-changer, giving you insights and pointing out areas to refine.
Google’s updates and guidelines might seem overwhelming, but it’s all about ensuring your website is valuable, trustworthy, and user-friendly when broken down. Always remember: it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Continuous improvement and adapting to these guidelines can pave the way for success.
October 2023 Core Update: Insights from Tracking Tools
Based on the tracking tools’ data, here’s the current status concerning the Google October 2023 Core Update:
- Stable Reports: Many monitoring tools haven’t detected significant shifts or variations compared to the past data. This might hint that the initial impact of the core update is either minor or hasn’t fully manifested yet.
- Steady Rankings: Some tools show a decrease in ranking fluctuations. In the world of SEO, this fluctuation is known as volatility. When there’s less volatility, it means website rankings remain stable without many ups or downs.
- Uniform Patterns: As of now, the patterns appearing in the tools are steady. This could mean that the initial concerns about the core update causing major shifts might not be as severe, especially in the early stages.
- Patience Is Key: Remember, these updates can take a while, sometimes up to two weeks, to be implemented entirely. So, keeping an eye on these tools over a longer span is essential to grasp the full scope of the update’s effect.
While there’s always anticipation and concern surrounding Google core updates, the tracking tools suggest that the October 2023 Core Update has begun relatively calmly. However, the SEO community should remain vigilant and monitor the situation as the update completes its rollout.
Understanding and Bouncing Back from Core Updates
When Google releases a core update, here’s what you might experience and how to respond:
- Diverse Outcomes: Core updates can shift your website’s position on Google. You might climb the ranks, descend, or remain steady.
- Not Your Mistake: Should your website descend in rankings post an update, Google emphasizes that it’s not necessarily a reflection of issues with your site.
- Understanding the Shift: Often, a decline is due to Google tweaking its approach to ranking and interpreting content. It does not always indicate flaws in your content or site structure.
- Enhance, Don’t Just Mend: Google advises that rather than nitpicking minor technicalities if you notice a drop, focus on elevating your website’s overall quality.
In short, Google’s core updates are about giving users the best answers to their questions. If you focus on providing high-quality content and a great user experience, you’re on the right track, no matter how these updates shift the rankings.
As the repercussions of Google’s October 2023 core update begin to surface, there are a few key things to remember for businesses and SEO experts:
- Keep Your Cool: Give it time to fully understand the impact of the update.
- Prioritize Excellence: Focus on boosting your website’s overall quality. Great content and user experience remain key.
- Bypass Quick Fixes: Immediate, superficial solutions aren’t always practical. Consider a comprehensive strategy for SEO and content.
Stay tuned. We’ll continue to provide updates on this topic as more insights and details emerge.
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