Google rolls out August 2023 broad core update

Posted by Edith MacLeod on 22 Aug, 2023
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The update may take up to two weeks to complete.

Google core update.

Google announced on Twitter on 22 August that it had released the August 2023 Core Update, adding on its Search Status Dashboard page that the rollout might take up to two weeks to complete.

This is Google’s second core update of 2023, with the first one coming in March this year.

If your site is impacted following a broad core update, it’s normal to try and find out what went wrong and what you should fix.  However, Google’s advice is that there may be nothing specific to fix on your site. It may just be that there is newer, better content which has moved up in the rankings. So, you should focus on making sure you’re providing the best content that you can.

Keep an eye on your rankings while the update is rolling out, and check again a few days after the rollout has completed as it can take a few days for the changes to settle down.

See also our post on SERP volatility and how you can protect your rankings for advice on strategies to weather SERP volatility.

In a follow-up tweet Google linked to its Search Off the Record podcast episode entitled “Let’s talk ranking updates”, where John Mueller, Danny Sullivan and Martin Splitt discuss “everything you need to consider when the ranking algorithm changes”.

A strong theme emerging from the podcast is that webmasters should focus on the big picture and try to provide good content and a good experience for users.  As an example, Page Experience is an area where although the individual signals do count, it's more important to consider the overall concept.

"We don't want you to be thinking about these in terms of individual signals, and I've got to do this one and I have to do that one. And if I get all those dialed up to 8,000 percent, then I'm going to finally rank," as much as saying, "Look, page experience is this concept you need to keep in mind."

That you want to provide a good overall page experience to people, because that will correlate with people generally being happy and often correlates with good, helpful content.

You can listen to the whole episode below, or access the transcript here.

*** Update 9 Sep: Google announced that the rollout had competed on 7 September.

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