What Is Google's 2023 Core Update And How Does It Affect My Website?

Staying up to date with Google's constant algorithms isn’t easy, but is crucial for anyone with an online presence. So it’s worth taking note of a fairly sizeable event in Google’s annual goalpost-shifting schedule.

As of November 7, 2023, Google officially confirmed the completion of its 2023 Core Update. This update has had a far-reaching impact on search rankings across various sectors, making it vital for website owners and digital marketers to consider its implications.

A Year of Updates

In addition to the August update, there were two review updates earlier in the year, one in February and another in April. These updates were both aligned with Google's commitment to enhancing the search experience for users, by ensuring that the most relevant and high-quality content appears at the top of search results – no forced SEO or spam.

Indexing CSV Files

One notable change with the August core update is Google's indexing of CSV files. This means that a wider range of content is now accessible to users through Google Search. This update showcases Google's dedication to continually improving its search capabilities, ensuring that users can find the most relevant information, regardless of the file format it's stored in.

Understanding Core Updates

Google once again felt it important to clarify that pages impacted by core updates are not necessarily flawed. Core updates are designed to refine its algorithms and enhance the overall assessment of content quality.

This means that if your website experienced fluctuations in search rankings due to this update, it doesn't necessarily mean that your content is subpar. Instead, Google's algorithms are adapting to better serve users by prioritising high-quality, relevant content.

The Importance of Quality Content

As always, Google emphasised the significance of quality content. Whether your website has been positively or negatively affected by the August 2023 Core Update, focusing on delivering valuable and informative content to your audience remains the key to maintaining and improving your search rankings.

Quality content not only satisfies Google's algorithms but also keeps your visitors engaged and coming back for more.

Conducting an SEO Audit

If your website has been impacted by the core update and you're looking to regain lost ground, it's essential to consider conducting an SEO audit. An SEO audit is a comprehensive assessment of your website's performance, identifying areas that may be causing fluctuations in search rankings.

Here's a brief step-by-step guide on what you’ll need to do:

  1. Keyword Analysis: Evaluate your current keyword strategy and identify high-performing and underperforming keywords.
  2. Content Review: Examine the quality and relevance of your website's content. Update or refresh outdated content and fill gaps in your content strategy.
  3. Technical SEO: Check for technical issues such as broken links, page load speed, mobile-friendliness and XML sitemaps. Address any issues to improve user experience and search performance.
  4. Backlink Audit: Assess the quality and relevance of your backlinks. Disavow toxic or irrelevant links that could negatively impact your rankings.
  5. Competitor Analysis: Analyse your competitors' websites to identify opportunities for improvement in your own strategy.
  6. On-Page SEO: Optimise on-page elements such as title tags, meta descriptions and headers for your target keywords.
  7. User Experience (UX): Evaluate the overall user experience on your website. Ensure that it is easy to navigate, with clear calls to action and a mobile-responsive design.
  8. Local SEO (if applicable): If your business has a local presence, ensure that your Google My Business listing is up-to-date and optimised for local search.

For the best results and to save yourself a serious amount of hassle, it's highly recommended to have an established SEO agency conduct an in-depth audit on your behalf.