October 2023 has been a whirlwind month for digital marketers and website owners alike, with Google rolling out two significant updates back-to-back: the spam update and the core update. These changes have sent waves through the SEO community, causing notable fluctuations in search rankings and website visibility. Let’s dive into what’s been happening and how it might affect your online presence.
The October 2023 Spam Update: A Cleanup Operation
The spam update, which began on October 4th, targeted cloaking, hacked content, auto-generated content, and scraped spam. Google’s crackdown on spam is a move to improve the quality of search results and penalise those who violate their policies. If your website employs none of these spam techniques, you’re in the clear, but if it does, it’s time for a clean-up to align with Google’s spam policies.
The October 2023 Core Update: A Quest for Relevance
Following closely on the heels of the spam update, the core update started rolling out on October 5th. Unlike the spam update, the core update is not a disciplinary measure but a refinement of Google’s ranking processes. It aims to enhance the relevance and quality of search results by rewarding sites that offer genuine value to users. This update caused significant ranking volatility, which has kept the SEO community on its toes.
Impact and Insights: What Webmasters Are Saying
The SEO landscape is abuzz with reports of ranking upheavals. Many webmasters have observed their pages disappearing from Google’s index, significant traffic drops, and a frustrating game of hide and seek with their content’s visibility. Despite the turmoil, some have seen silver linings, with recoveries from previous penalties and unexpected traffic boosts.
The Overlap Confusion: Core vs. Spam
Google’s recent release of two updates at the same time has caused some confusion. It can be tricky to figure out how these updates affect your website, but Google’s guidance is straightforward: If you’ve made changes that have nothing to do with spammy tactics, it’s probably because of the core update. On the other hand, if your website engages in spammy practices, you should pay close attention to how the spam update might be impacting your search visibility.
Best Practices Moving Forward
In the wake of these updates, it’s more crucial than ever to focus on creating high-quality, user-centric content. Steer clear of spam tactics and invest in the kind of helpful, informative content that Google’s algorithms are designed to reward. Remember, SEO is a long-term game, and adherence to best practices will help weather the storms of future updates. Google’s algorithms will continue to evolve, and so should our strategies for staying visible and relevant in an ever-changing digital landscape.
Rest assured, if your SEO is managed by Concept Designs & Marketing, we make sure we are up-to-date with the latest Google updates and implement adjustments as needed. If you are unsure how your SEO is performing and how Google sees your website, reach out to us. We can run an audit on your website to see if any of the Google changes and updates are impacting your current rankings. Call 02 7227 5025.