Google released a core update to its search ranking algorithm on October 5, 2023. The update lasted two weeks and was completed on October 19, 2023.
This was the third core update Google released in 2023. It is crucial to note that the update ran alongside the October 2023 Spam Update, which was released a day earlier on October 4, 2023.
Google’s Official Announcement
Google announced the update in a post on X (formerly Twitter).
Today we released the October 2023 core update. We'll update our ranking release history page when the rollout is complete: https://t.co/pooeFs6tEC
— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) October 5, 2023
What Are People Saying?
Barry Schwartz posted about the update on X. Several SEOs were not very impressed with the back-to-back updates from Google.
Next is the haloween core update!
— Zakariae (@ZakariaeZer) October 6, 2023
In response to Google’s official announcement, Google’s Public Liaison for Search offered some advice for sites that may notice a drop in their rankings.
Normally, we do try to keep updates like these apart, but it's not always possible. But anyone trying to understand changes, it's pretty straight-forward. If you don't spam, and see changes, then it might be the core update. If you do spam and see changes, it's probably the spam…
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) October 5, 2023
On October 10, 2023, five days after the update was released, Glenn Gabe shared images indicating some sites had begun losing their rankings.
Yesterday I said I was starting to see impact from the Oct core update & thought we would see much more volatility this morning… Well, that's definitely the case. I'm seeing huge swings in search visibility across sites this AM. Here are some examples of drops across verticals: pic.twitter.com/SHeGLiX7mq
— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) October 11, 2023
The October 2023 Core Update was finally completed on October 19, 2023. Several SEOs were unimpressed with the update and didn’t hesitate to express their disappointment.
Now, not just MacObserver, but the highly trusted HowToGeek has also lost the featured snippet. At the same time, I notice a lot of low-trust websites that typically write about food and fitness venturing into the tech niche. pic.twitter.com/LaC2UCMbtp
— Alina Mulova (@AlinaMulova) October 19, 2023
Previous Core Updates
Below, we have provided a rundown of the Google core updates we have documented since 2021.
- August 2023 Core Update: August 22 – September 7, 2023
- March 2023 Core Update: March 15 – March 28, 2023
- September 2022 Core Update: September 12 – September 26, 2022
- May 2022 Core Update: May 25 – June 9, 2022
- November 2021 Core Update: November 17 – November 30, 2021
- July 2021 Core Update: July 1 – July 12, 2021
- June 2021 Core Update: June 3 – June 12, 2021
What’s Next – Dealing With This Update
The October 2023 Core Update clearly left some SEOs and web admins upset. Plus, the fact that it ran side-by-side with the October 2023 Spam Update didn’t help matters.
At this point, you should begin monitoring your site with Rank Math Analytics. If you notice a drop in your traffic, you should assume it’s the spam update; if you’ve been spamming, that is. Else, you should assume it’s the core update. In either case, refer to the video below for tips on recovering from a Google update.