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Google Helpful Content Update, Post Google Core Update Tremors, FAQ Rich Results Drop, Search Console Merchant Center Reports & More

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Google Helpful Content Update, Post Google Core Update Tremors, FAQ Rich Results Drop, Search Console Merchant Center Reports & More


For the original iTunes version, click here.

We got another official Google ranking update, the September 2023 helpful content update. This week, we had our first post-Google core update tremors and fluctuations. After saying they would a month ago, Google also finally dropped the FAQ-rich results snippets. Google also surprised us by saying How-to rich results are not going away just for mobile but also for desktop search. Google Search Console has new helpful Merchant Center reports. Google also said the site names issues have massively dropped. Google said fixing your INP issues won’t improve your rankings. Google said to avoid low-quality content blurbs on your e-commerce category pages. Google said there is no way to prevent search traffic loss on website revamps and you won’t be “back to the same” either. Google said meta descriptions do not matter for search rankings. Google said very few robots.txt files are over 500KB. Google has a new process for Google Business Profile reinstatements. Google Local is testing and showing third-party reviews again. Google is forcing some suspended advertisers to become verified. An advertiser said they lost thousands of dollars due to a Google Ads experiment. Google also promotes its new Search Generative Experience in the traditional search results. Bing Search is testing playable video snippets. Bing Chat is working on custom instructions feature And if you want to help sponsor those vlogs, go to patreon.com/barryschwartz. That was the search news this week at the Search Engine Roundtable.

SPONSOR: Wix – Wix Studio launched some new features at wix.com/studio/features including AI responsive design tools and the ability to manage your CSS in Wix, plus much more, so check it out at wix.com/studio/features.

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Google November 2023 Core Update Fully Rolled Out

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Google Core Update

After just under 26 days, the Google November 2023 core update is finally done rolling out. It took almost two weeks longer to roll out than the average core update and rolled out during the huge shopping days on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, also overlapping the November 2023 reviews update. So it was a big deal.

Google posted the update was done at 11:32 am ET on November 28, 2023, after it started rolling out on November 2, 2023 at 3:09 PM ET.

This is the longest documented core update rollout, the previous longest core update rollout went to the August 2023 core update took 16 days, this one was 10 days longer. It wasn’t as long as most SEOs thought it would take, but it was the longest rollout of a core update. It was not the longest update in general, the December 2022 helpful content update took 38 days to roll out but it was the longest core update roll out in history.

As a reminder, the October 2023 core update started on October 5, 2023 and completed on October 19, 2023, completing two weeks prior to this November core update rolled out.

Google November 2023 Core Update Post

Here are the posts on the release times:

Documented Volatility For November 2023 Core Update

This update kicked off quickly and was super volatile early on. The chatter within the SEO community was pretty heated throughout – even during the Thanksgiving holiday break. The tools themselves seemed to calm down, even with the reviews update rolling out the following week.

There was some additional chatter in the past 24 hours about massive volatility but the tools are not picking that up and the chatter was not that insane.

The tools themselves shows volatility from November 2nd through November 17th or so. More on that later.

Google November 2023 Core Update Quick Facts:

Here are the most important things that we know right now in short form:

  • Name: Google November 2023 Broad Core Update
  • Launched: November 2, 2023 at around 3 pm ET
  • Rollout: Finished on November 28, 2023 at around 11:30 am ET
  • Targets: It looks at all types of content
  • Penalty: It is not a penalty, it promotes or rewards great web pages
  • Global: This is a global update impacting all regions, in all languages.
  • Impact: Google would not tell me what percentage of queries or searches were impacted by this update but so far, this seems to be a typical core update that reaches wide and the impact is fast.
  • Discover: Core updates impact Google Discover and other features, also feature snippets and more.
  • Recover: If you were hit by this, then you will need to look at your content and see if you can do better with Google’s core update advice.
  • Refreshes: Google will do periodic refreshes to this algorithm but may not communicate those updates in the future. Maybe this is what we saw the past couple of weeks or all those unconfirmed Google updates.

Overlapping Updates: November Core & November Reviews Updates

Unlike with the October core update, we had the October 2023 spam update roll out, where Google said if you are not spamming then you weren’t hit by the spam update, you were hit by the core update.

With a reviews update and a core update, that is a bit harder for Google to say. They are similar updates that can impact similar sites. So there was for sure some confusion between the two. It would be hard to know for sure if your site was hit by the November core update versus the November reviews update unless your site got hit in the first batch of the core update volatility before the reviews update touched down.

Google Tracking Tools On November 2023 Core Update:

Here is what the tools showed over the past month or so with this core and reviews update rollout:

Semrush:

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SERPmetrics:

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Advanced Web Rankings:

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Accuranker:

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Mozcast:

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Cognitive SEO (seems stalled):

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Algoroo:

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SimilarWeb:

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SERPstat:

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Wincher:

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Mangools:

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Previous Broad Core Updates

Here is a list of the most recent core updates we’ve seen since Google started to confirm them. Previously we nicknamed them Phantom updates or unconfirmed updates.

How did you all do? Hope it wasn’t too bad?

Forum discussion at X and WebmasterWorld.



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Bing Chat / Microsoft Copilot Balanced Mode Used 70% Of The Time With Creative & Precise Mode At 15% Each

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Bing Robot Doing Math

Mikhail Parakhin from Microsoft shared how often the different modes in Microsoft Copilot, formerly known as Bing Chat, are used. There is Balanced mode, creative mode and precise mode. Balanced mode gets 60-70% of the usages, whereas the other two modes get about 15% each.

Mikhail wrote on X, “Balanced is the most popular, maybe 60-70% of the people (it is the fastest and the default). Creative and Precise are 15%-ish each.”

Bing Chat Copilot Modes

Here are those posts:

Bing Chat Usage Post

I thought creative mode would get more usage than precise mode because of the image generation aspect but I guess I was wrong.

To learn more about these chat modes, read this story.

Forum discussion at X.



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Most SEOs Believe Google’s November Core & Reviews Updates Will Complete In December

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Google Robot Waiting By Computer

The Google November 2023 core update and Google November 2023 reviews update are still both rolling out, and we have no estimated time of when they will finish rolling out. Both are well past their estimated two-week rollout period. I ran a poll yesterday asking SEOs when they think it will be done, and most said in December and not in the next few days left of November.

The poll had just under 600 votes in 24-hours and 79% said the update will be completed in December and 21% said in the last days remaining in November. I posted the poll on X – here it is:

Personally, I thought it would be done by now and I still think it will be done in the next day or so – but I am wrong a lot. 🙂

I do hope it is done today so they can roll out the Christmas holiday update (kidding…).

Forum discussion at X.

Update: I’ll have a story tomorrow but at least one of the updates is done in November:



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