Google this month announced two notable updates for November 2023: a core update and an update to the reviews system in Google Search.
The core update, which began rolling out on November 2, is the fourth major core update of 2023. Core updates are designed to improve the relevance and quality of the web pages shown for search queries. Google said that this core update "involves an improvement to a different core system than last month."
The update to the reviews system is expected to start rolling out this week. This update will mark a point when Google will no longer be giving periodic notifications of improvements to the reviews system, as they will be happening at a regular and ongoing pace.
Google also took the opportunity to answer some common questions about updates, such as why they do them, how often they happen, and what creators should do if there is an update.
Google says it updates its search ranking systems to improve the quality of the results that it shows to users. Over time, the web changes, and Google's algorithms need to be updated to reflect those changes.
Google updates its search ranking systems thousands of times per year. However, most of these updates are relatively small and make incremental changes. Google only shares about updates that it thinks are notable.
For most creators, there is nothing to do if there is an update. Google says content creators seeing a change in traffic after an update should look closely at the guidance that Google provides for that specific update.
If the traffic drops after a spam update, it may be because Google has determined that a website is spamming or discounting spam links that may have benefited the site.