Google has announced that the third core update of this year – the October 2023 Core update is complete. It took almost 14 days (or to be more precise, 13 days, 23 hours) for the roll out to complete.
Based on reports, this update had a pretty big impact and has affected a significant number of sites with movement seen from October 10 -12 and 13 -15. Though do take note that two updates were rolling out at the same time – the core update and the October 2023 spam update.
Google’s Search Liaison responds on X that normally, they try to keep updates apart from each other but it is not always possible. But for anyone trying to understand changes, it’s pretty straight-forward. If you don’t spam and see changes, then it might be the core update. If you do spam and see changes, it’s probably the spam update.
If you have experienced a drop in rank after a core update, Google suggests focusing on ensuring that you offer the best content that you can, as this is what the algorithm seeks to reward. Check out Google’s guidelines on how to create helpful, reliable, people-first content for guidance on what type of content Google rewards and for some questions to ask yourself in assessing the content that you have on your site.
A content audit would also be helpful. Look at your site and the pages that you have, which pages have been impacted and for what type of searches? Doing a content audit will help you understand why particular pages may have dropped, what pages have been rewarded, and if there may be other pages on your site that can perform better for particular searches.
With regards to how long it takes to recover from a core update, assuming improvements have been made, changes may not be felt until the next core update is released. However, Google does release different types of updates constantly, and some are not always announced. When these are released, they may cause content to recover if the improvements are warranted.
Keep in mind though that improvements aren’t a guarantee for recovery, nor do pages have any static or guaranteed position in search. If there is more deserving content, then that content will continue to rank well in their system.
Read more on the Google Search Team’s insights and advice on core updates in our “What To Do During A Google Search Algorithm Update?” article.