2023 has been marked by a flurry of Google updates, with four core algorithm updates already rolled out. The first wave occurred from March 15 to March 28, followed by another in late August that concluded on September 7. Just a few weeks ago, we witnessed a third update, starting on October 5 and finishing on October 19.
Now, Google has unveiled yet another update for November, which is currently in the process of rolling out and is expected to be completed within the next two weeks. To gain insight into the potential impact on businesses for the remainder of the year, let’s delve into the specifics of this update and what it means for users moving forward.
This November update follows closely on the heels of the October release, signaling an unusually swift turnaround time in Google’s typical algorithm update schedule. Adding to the challenge, Google has maintained its characteristic ambiguity about the precise nature of these recent updates, leaving us to conduct our own investigations to discern the changes and, more importantly, how these changes will affect users.
It appears this update targets a different core system compared to its predecessors this year. Specifically, it aims to refine the evaluation process of Google reviews within the search algorithm, potentially altering how these reviews are presented in search results.
A notable shift is that future updates related to Google’s reviewing system for businesses will become less predictable. Previously, Google issued periodic notifications about improvements to all systems, including the review system. However, with this latest update, Google has announced a shift towards continuous updates of their review system.
This change in update structure means that we will no longer receive notifications of significant Google Reviews updates. Furthermore, these updates are expected to be smaller in scale, focusing on gradual adjustments over an extended period, rather than one major update. Understanding this shift can assist us in preparing for the future of Google Reviews and in adapting our SEO strategies to accommodate this integral aspect of Google Business Profiles (GBPs).
As with any Google update, users are advised to monitor their analytics and rankings over the coming weeks. Some businesses may see no noticeable changes in their rankings, while others could experience significant shifts before and after major Google updates like this one. The variability in outcomes is a hallmark of Google updates, which are often designed to target specific niches or types of content. Those who operate within these niches are more likely to be affected by the update, particularly when compared to industries that are not closely related to the update’s focus.
Unfortunately, for those facing substantial changes, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Sometimes, businesses may be adversely impacted without any apparent wrongdoing. Nevertheless, Google has provided a set of guidelines that can be helpful in diagnosing potential issues with your website. These guidelines emphasize the evaluation of content quality, including proper structuring such as headings, as well as the concise and effective communication of your expertise. Additionally, comparing your site to competitors who improved from the update can offer valuable insights into areas for improvement.
It’s important to anticipate some recovery between core updates. Over time, the algorithm undergoes further tweaks and stabilizes to a new norm. While this new norm may still have an impact on your ranking, it is often clearer why such changes are occurring by that point. This cycle repeats with each core update, with heightened volatility during the initial rollout and the algorithm eventually stabilizing, typically within a few weeks to a few months.
Google updates can significantly influence your business’s online presence. Navigating these updates requires the help of a dedicated team, especially during times of change. Reach out to us today to learn more about how we could assist your business in growing through digital marketing strategies!