Website owners who have seen some fluctuations in their rankings in recent days should see them settle, as Google has announced that its November core update is now complete.
The update lasted its usual timeframe of about a fortnight, having begun on November 17 and finished yesterday, according to a tweet from Google Search Central.
The November 2021 Core Update rollout is now complete.
— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) November 30, 2021
Core updates are the names given to the major and significant changes Google makes to its algorithms. The search engine is constantly tweaking the way it performs, but it tends to be only after core updates that noticeable changes to rankings are detected. Patterns in previous years have suggested they take place about once every three months, but with this summer seeing a glut of Google algorithm updates, the November 2021 Core Update was the first since July.
The timing of it still took many analysts by surprise though, with it coinciding with the run-up to the US holiday Thanksgiving, continuing through the holiday itself and into the Black Friday weekend. Barry Schwartz, the founder of Search Engine Roundtable, blogged that he expected Google to wait until December or later before performing any core updates.
Schwartz also writes for Search Engine Land, where he describes some “tremors” over the course of the rollout, most notably on the days around Thanksgiving (November 25th), as well as some movement yesterday, but he expects this to be the last of the volatility.
Google’s core updates are no longer announced in advance, and nor is any specific information given about what the updates have entailed. Since August 2019, Google has directed webmasters to the same blog post on what to do if you find your site has taken a hit in the rankings. These include making sure your content is original, insightful and meets Google’s E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness) quality indicator.
With Google’s core updates now being more sporadic and less specific, the best way to deal with them is to take a proactive approach rather than wait to be affected by them. For high-quality and engaging content, speak to the Engage Web team.