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Google announced on 2 Nov that it had released the November 2023 core update. It follows closely after the October 2023 core update and is the 4th in 2023. The reason for two updates so closely together is that these involve improvement to different core systems.
“We have different systems that are considered core to our ranking process; this month's core update involves an improvement to a different core system than last month.“
As is usually the case, the update may take up to two weeks to roll out fully.
** Update 29 Nov: The update completed on 28 Nov meaning the rollout lasted for 26 days.
Google also announced that it would be rollilng out an update to the reviews system next week. After this, periodic notifications will no longer be given about improvements to the reviews system as these will be happening “at a regular and ongoing pace”.
Google will communicate any notable changes to the system, for example covering more languages.
Google says the guidance for core updates is the same for both.
Given that there are two updates scheduled for November, Google has published an FAQ on Google Search updates. This provides information about November’s two updates and answers some common questions including:
Q: What’s the difference between a ranking system and a ranking update?
A: "Ranking systems are what we use to generate search results. We use multiple ranking systems that do different things… Updates are when we make an improvement to a ranking system."
Q: Why do notable updates sometimes overlap?
A: “We do try to separate notable updates, so that if they produce changes, site owners can better identify which system is involved. However, given we have so many updates overall, it's not always possible. In addition, when an update is evaluated and approved because it will make Search better, we don't want to hold that back.”
Q: Shouldn’t there be no updates during the holiday shopping season?
A: "We do try to avoid having updates during the late-November to mid-December period when possible. But it's not always possible. If we have updates that can improve Search, that have been developed over the course of several months, we release them when they're ready.”