2023 was a rather busy year for Google regarding significant updates. The months of September and October have been characterized by increased volatility and algorithm changes aimed at improving the visibility of sites that meet the E-A-T guidelines, with the October 2023 refresh being one of the most significant to date. Google announced the update on October 4th and began its rollout process on the 5th of October, the upgrade taking two weeks and ending on the 19th.
It was the third core update of the year for the American giant and the 7th in total in 2023, leading to a relatively unstable year for SEO strategies. Taking two weeks for its full implementation, the core update ran in parallel with the October 2023 Spam update, which focused on combating content not complying with E-A-T terms, both for English-language sites and those targeting international audiences. The impact of the 2023 core update was significant, leading to increased volatility in SEO metrics and significant losses in visibility for sites in various domains.
Significant algorithm changes have become commonplace for Google in 2023, with the latest such update, in March 2023, affecting sites in all regions and languages, impacting the rankings of domains that did not comply with the E-A-T rules. The March update was followed by the April 2023 review refresh. The latest was an algorithm change focused on product or service reviews. This was succeeded by a new core update in August 2023 and a helpful content update in September aimed at improving the SERP ranking of informational resources.
The volatility seen in programs such as Cognitive SEO, from August until now, has been high across the board, with significant ranking changes for sites previously considered authorities in their field. The fluctuations recorded have been substantial, and it is possible that this October update will not be the last core algorithm upgrade of the year. Google releases, on average, 3-4 core algorithm updates per calendar year, and their impact differs. 2023, so far, has been turbulent, and forecasts indicate that we can expect another important update sometime in December.
Several times a year, Google implements sweeping changes to how its crawlers rank indexed sites. And these changes are called core updates. Such modifications can positively affect indexed site rankings or lead to algorithm penalties for pages that do not respect the guidelines imposed by the E-A-T modules. And in some instances, domain visibility may decrease for no particular reason. 2023, so far, has been a hectic year for the SEO field, with Google implementing a significant number of core and minor algorithm upgrades, which had a considerable impact on the market.
Is this a sign of how the AI revolution significantly affects the SEO world and how Google is starting to face serious competition from other search engines like Bing? Yes, and the consequences for the SEO world are clear. While in an average year, volatility in Mozcast should be somewhere in the 70s, 2023 was characterized by an SEO volatility temperature of just over 100 degrees. Due to core algorithm updates, careful market monitoring will be needed to prevent financial losses. However, the volatility recorded in 2023 is high but not constant, with spikes occurring around the implementation period of the updates and values returning to normal once the rollouts are complete.
The answer to this question can be complex, as the changes brought by the core update of October 2023 have not been announced. In addition, given that its rollout happened at the same time as the October spam update, it is hard to say whether the market modifications were triggered by one or both updates. But, as with other releases, minimizing their negative impact can only be achieved through a strategy that respects the E-A-T requirements. What are they?
A series of guidelines by which Google algorithms rank websites based on their quality of content. E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, and since their implementation in 2014, they have played a significant role in ranking indexed pages, increasing their importance with each update. Failure to follow these guidelines leads to market volatility and SERP drops for sites previously considered market leaders. What does SEO volatility mean? In short, it is a term that refers to fluctuations in search engine rankings.
When we refer to high market volatility, we are talking about a period when many page ranking changes occur. These changes almost always happen after core algorithm updates. The professional services of our staff could be the most efficient way to prevent the volatility of the last few years from significantly affecting your business. Through professional SEO programs, our experts can anticipate the changes Google implements, reduce their impact, and create strategies that will allow your business to benefit from market alterations.
As a co-founder and managing director of GAMIT I am the first contact of our clients. My job includes setting project objectives and offering SEO consulting advice to customers. My professional background and experience working in the SEO industry are essential in developing efficient SEO strategies and designing innovative techniques.