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Although Google’s search algorithms are updated all the time (pretty much every day, in fact, according to Google), every few months, Google makes significant changes to them, and these are called ‘broad core updates.’
On 17 November 2021, Google announced the rollout of its latest broad core update. It’s called the November 2021 Google Core Update, and is the third core update of the year so far.
Subsequent to the above tweet, Google informed the SEO community that the algorithm began rolling out at 11am ET, and that it would take 1-2 weeks to be completed.
“The November 2021 Core Update is now rolling out live. As is typical with these updates, it will typically take about one to two weeks to fully roll out.”Google Search Central
Google Core Updates can have a very significant impact on websites. They can lead to very large increases or dips in traffic, and by extension sales.
What’s interesting about this particular rollout is the timing — it’s coming right before holiday season and Black Friday, which may have quite profound implications for ecommerce businesses.
The effects of the November 2021 Google Core Update so far
It’s very early days in the rollout of the November 2021 core update, so it’s hard to determine exactly who’s been affected and how badly just yet.
However, industry-leading SEO company Semrush is reporting some pretty wild changes in search results, its ‘Sensor’ tool showing a volatility rate of 9.3 / 10 and reporting ‘constant and massive tremors on Google search results.’
The popular SEO news site SEO Round Table is reporting a bit of ‘SEO chatter’ amongst webmasters regarding the update, but it’s fairly mixed (and anecdotal) so far, and hard to draw any firm conclusions from. As the rollout continues, we should get a better picture regarding who has been affected and how badly.
Recovering from a core update
Core updates typically focus on two aspects of a website: its relevance and authority. Website owners that see a decline in traffic following the rollout of an update generally need to look at the quality of their websites’ content, and how trustworthy it is.
If you’ve been very negatively affected by a core update, you may have to wait until the next one to recover fully; that said, Google’s John Mueller has said that it is possible to recover some traffic incrementally (see the opening few minutes in the video below).
For more information on recovery, we advise you to take a look at the Style Factory guide to recovering from a core update, and Google’s official guide to core updates.
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