November 2021 Google Core Update is Rolling Out

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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.

November 2021 Google Core Update announcement via Twitter
November 2021 Google Core Update announcement via Twitter

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.

This did not go unnoticed by online retailers, many of whom made their feelings known to Danny Sullivan, Google’s Public Search Liaison, who acknowledged these concerns on Twitter.

Danny Sullivan's comments on Twitter about the timing of the November 2021 Core Update
Danny Sullivan’s comments on Twitter about the timing of the November 2021 Core Update

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.’

Semrush's statistics on the core update so far
Semrush’s take on the core update so far

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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