It took almost the full 14 days, but the Google October 2023 core update is now officially done rolling out. The October 2023 core update started rolling out on October 5, 2023, at 11:54 AM ET and was completed on October 19, 2023, at 11:08 AM ET.
Keep in mind that Google just this morning finished rolling out the October 2023 spam update, which started several hours before the core update was released and finished several hours after the core update finished.
Here is a screenshot of the status page showing when this update started and ended:
And here are the posts on X with those announcements:
The rollout was complete as of October 19, 2023.
— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) October 19, 2023
This core update was a pretty big one, it devastated a significant number of SEOs and websites. I cannot say enough how big of an impact this update had within the SEO community and probably wider.
As a reminder, the October 2023 core update was announced on October 5th but we didn’t see significant movement until October 9th and much larger movement October 10th. Then this past weekend we saw even more volatility and sites being hit – it was just massive.
Here are the most important things that we know right now in short form:
Name: Google October 2023 Broad Core Update
Launched: October 5, 2023 at around 12 pm ET
Rollout: Completed on October 19, 2023 at around 11am 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.
One thing that was bugging me is that Google stopped using the term “broad,” as in “broad core update” and is now calling them “core updates.” I asked why and was told, “No particular reason. Core seems to cover these types of updates enough.” We did ask Google about broad vs not broad core updates before.
No particular reason. Core seems to cover these types of updates enough.
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) October 19, 2023
When we asked why Google overlapped two updates, Google’s Search Liaison said on X, “Normally, we do try to keep updates like these apart, but it’s not always possible. But anyone trying to understand changes, it’s pretty straight-forward. If you don’t spam, and see changes, then it might be the core update. If you do spam and see changes, it’s probably the spam update. In particular, We released a spam update yesterday. Sites that don’t spam shouldn’t see changes because of this. We released a core update. That’s different from a spam update. It’s a general improvement in how we rank. Many sites will see no changes because of this, and it has nothing to do with spam.”
Here is what the automated tracking tools show for this October 2023 Broad Core update over the two-week or so period.
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.
September 2019 Core Update: September 24, 2019
As I said above, Google has been busy with pushing out search updates. Google is currently rolling out the October 2023 spam update.
We had an unconfirmed update that felt big, around October 1st. Google did not confirm this update, but some are speculating it is either a tremor from the helpful content update or an early spam update consequence.
Plus, to add to all of this, Google had a massive indexing issue on October 5. Good luck debugging and analyzing all of this at the same time.
I hope you all did well with this update and only saw positive changes.
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