On November 2, Google announced its next Core Update to the search algorithm, marking the second significant update in the last two months. This sort of frequency between updates is uncommon, but Google also has different core systems in its ranking process. As Google’s developers noted in a Q&A session, “This month’s core update involves an improvement to a different core system than last month. However, our guidance about core updates is the same for both.”
In addition to the Core Update, Google also announced a significant Review Update. This will impact the system “designed to evaluate articles, blog posts, pages or similar first-party standalone content written with the purpose of providing a recommendation, giving an opinion, or providing analysis.”
But what exactly do these updates entail, and how might they affect you?
As we mentioned, this month’s modifications are split into two separate updates:
The November Core Update
Core updates adjust Google’s algorithm. While these are different from Google’s ranking systems, they can impact your site’s performance on the search engine results page (SERP). Unfortunately, there isn’t much information about the actual contents of the update, but more details will likely come as the rollout nears completion.
The Reviews Update
Google’s Reviews Update marks a new era for the Reviews Systems. Moving forward, the company will update its review system “at a regular and ongoing pace,” and as such, it will “no longer be posting about future updates on the status dashboard.” This kind of rolling update can actually be a good thing for search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.
Previous updates to Google’s Reviews System have had a catastrophic effect on some websites, and these sites would often have to wait for the next Reviews update to see improvements. This caused cases where sites suffered long periods of traffic dips between updates. With regular updates now in place, it could potentially mean faster recoveries.
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How Does This Impact You?
While the November Core Update hasn’t officially finished rolling out as of writing this, your site could be impacted by both the core and review updates. In fact, there was already a surge in search volatility following the November 2nd launch.
Beyond just search volatility, the Reviews Update can have serious implications for websites publishing review content. It will be important to check in with your rankings to keep a close eye on your organic traffic.
If you’re worried about Google’s criteria for a high-quality review, be sure to look over its best practices for writing and publishing reviews that help people and improve your site’s performance.