A Q&A on Google Search updates

By admin

Google Search
ORG

regularly updates our search ranking systems to ensure we’re showing the most relevant, helpful content that we can. We’ve had a series of notable updates we’ve shared about in

the past few weeks
DATE

, and we have

two
CARDINAL

for

this month
DATE

. Given this, it’s a good time to share some reminders in a Q&A format about how we do updates, why we share about them, and what (if anything) creators need to consider when one happens.

We’ve announced that the

November 2023
DATE

core update is rolling out, starting

today
DATE

. Why another so soon after the

October 2023
DATE

core update? We have different systems that are considered core to our ranking process; this

month
DATE

‘s core update involves an improvement to a different core system than

last month
DATE

. However, our guidance about core updates is the same for both.

We expect an update to our reviews system to start rolling out

next week
DATE

. That will also mark a point when we’ll no longer be giving periodic notifications of improvements to our reviews system, because they will be happening at a regular and ongoing pace. We’ll be updating our page about the system to reflect this; we’ll also update that page if the system evolves in some notable way, such as covering more languages. Those who do reviews should read our guidance and stay focused on that over time.

Ranking systems are what we use to generate search results. We use multiple ranking systems that do different things. We have a guide to

Google
ORG

search ranking systems that explains some of our more notable ones. Updates are when we make an improvement to a ranking system.

We use automated systems to rank search results, and like anything, these aren’t perfect. We’re always looking at ways to improve these systems to show better results. Our blog post from

2021
DATE

is still useful in explaining more about this: How we update Search to improve your results.

We update

Google Search
ORG


thousands
CARDINAL

of times per year. We don’t share about all these updates, because many of them are relatively small and make incremental changes. We do share about updates we think are notable. We shared

10
CARDINAL

updates in

2021
DATE

, another

10
CARDINAL

updates in

2022
DATE

, and expect about the same in

2023
DATE

.

If there’s an update, chances are, there’s nothing to do for most creators who have already been working to create helpful, reliable, people-

first
ORDINAL

content. That’s what our systems seek to reward. Those doing so will largely seek updates come and go without notice, or they might find themselves performing better in search.

If a particular update happens, and you notice a change in traffic, look closely at the guidance we provide specific to that update.

The Google Search Status Dashboard
ORG

will link to this guidance. Review to see if there are improvements you should make.

If you see a change after a non-spam update, it’s not a spam issue. However, there might be other non-spam content issues to consider.

If you saw a change after a spam update, our systems might have determined you were spamming or perhaps discounting spam links that might have benefited your site. Learn more on our page about

Google Search
ORG

spam updates.

We share when we think an update might be notable in some way, to give guidance in case sites see changes.

We share notable updates through our

Google Search Status Dashboard
ORG

. You can see if an update is currently rolling out, subscribe to our updates RSS feed to be alerted, and view historical information.

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
ORG

better, we don’t want to hold that back.

We do try to avoid having updates during the

late-November
DATE

to

mid-December
DATE

period when possible. But it’s not always possible. If we have updates that can improve

Search
ORG

, that have been developed over the course of

several months
DATE

, we release them when they’re ready.

We put all possible changes to

Search
ORG

through a rigorous evaluation process to analyze metrics and decide whether to implement a proposed change. Learn more about this process here on the How

Search Works
ORG

site.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to post in

the Google Search Central Community
ORG

, to discuss with other experts.