November 2021 Broad Core Algorithm Update

Google updates Google Search hundreds of times a year to ensure that the Searcher has the best possible experience. The majority of these updates are not noticeable, but they still contribute to the overall user experience. 

Several times per year, Google releases Core Updates which are larger and more noticeable. These sometimes bring disruption to websites as they can decrease or increase in rankings and traffic. This is normal and usually stabilises after a week or two. 


Announced on the 17th November, the November Core Update saw a spike in SERP volatility, much like the spike back in July with the previous Core Update. This time, the spike was larger, with an average of 20% more volatility than in July, however, it levelled out sooner.

There is speculation that the Google Core Updates are becoming less impactful, however it is also possible that the Updates are being streamlined in order to limit disruption.

Both Desktop and Mobile were hit by the Core Update, with Mobile being the most affected. This is a trend we are starting to notice with broad Google algorithm updates, as Mobile becomes more and more of a priority. 


Analysing the top 100 websites which saw the most volatility, the ‘winners’ of the Core Update saw an average position gain of 33, while the ‘losers’ saw an average position loss of 28. While there were many sites which were significantly affected by the Core Update, the average website only saw a shift within around 3 positions. 


As has been the case with the previous Core Updates since 2019, Google’s advice has remained the same. Websites should make sure that their Mobile versions are up to date and running smoothly, alongside ensuring that their content is high quality. 

If your website has been hit by the November Core Update, it may be the time to update your content and make sure that it is high quality and meeting top ranking keywords. Alongside this, when generating new content it is important to make sure that it is high quality, proofread and optimised to improve the chances of it thriving in the many updates Google rolls out in a year.


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