The November 2021 Core Update

The November 2021 Core update started rolling out on 17th November with the impact only becoming clearly visible in the search landscape the following day – Thursday 18th November.

By 19th November the core update appeared to have completely settled and if you have seen no sharp rises or falls in your Visibility Indexes then you have almost certainly not been affected.

This is what a fall looks like – after the initial movement everything is level.

Screenshot 2021-11-22 at 10.38.50

Here’s a clothing website that saw an obvious improvement

Screenshot 2021-11-22 at 10.38.27

The size of impact appears to be very similar to the July Core update and definitely larger than the June update, the impact of which was negligible.

The impact was felt across multiple categories from fashion to finance and to a lesser extent publishing.

Similar to the July update – the impact of this one, while clearly obvious in Visibility Indexes, is less damaging than Core updates of previous years. winners appear to be making marginal gains in visibility across a range of content and terms, reflecting both improvements in the quality signals and improvements in Google’s ability to measure quality signals from an E-A-T perspective.

So for now it’s all over. There will be no recovery for those negatively impacted until the next Core update which will be months away. However, even if you have benefitted from this Core update, there’s no guarantee of automatically benefitting from the next. Those quality signals are always worth working on.

I’ll be covering everything you need to know about the latest algorithm update in a quick overview video.. coming soon

What is a Google Core update?

A Core update (Broad Core to be precise) is a significant change to Google’s algorithm, as they are constantly trying to improve the quality and relevancy of their results. While Google makes multiple algorithm updates every week, most of these go unnoticed. Core updates on the other hand tend to be announced, normally a week in advance but in this case we had less than 24 hours notice from Google.

According to Google, there’s nothing wrong with pages that suffer as a result of a core update (and they tend to be felt site wide) and while these updates are not supposed to target individual sites – the data often suggests otherwise.

Top tips:

  • If you think you have been negatively impacted – don’t rush in and start making changes. That might make things worse. Core updates take a while to bed in and  the algorithm will be looking for feedback for some time before any readjustments can be made
  • The only thing you should be attempting to fix now are acknowledged webmaster violations
  • The best thing you can do is keep an eye on your performance over the next few days