Google’s November 2023 Core Update Revealed

Google’s November 2023 Core Update

Here at Direct Submit, as most SEO Agencies do, we follow a number of SEO experts and blogs. Makes a lot of sense as it is a great way to keep an eye on the general direction SEO is moving in, plus we regularly access some great stories and updates about SEO. One such expert we regularly follow is a guy called Adam Clarke, who has recently posted the following on his SEO blog.

Google’s November 2023 Core Update Revealed
Google’s November 2023 core update, announced on November 2nd, was expected to bring a whirlwind of changes over two weeks. This update, hot on the heels of the October 2023 update, and the November 2023 reviews update, is focusing on improving different core systems within Google’s complex ranking algorithm.

In this update, we saw some websites ascend to SEO stardom, while others take a tumble. Big brands definitely weren’t spared, with websites like, and seeing search visibility gains of 21%, 15% and 10% respectively. Websites that experienced losses include,, and, losing -11%, -11% and -10% in search visibility respectively.

Analyzing the impact

This core update distinctly favoured websites that embraced clear, user-friendly designs, especially on mobile devices. We’re seeing a celebration of simplicity and functionality across websites that gained traffic. Conversely, websites that neglect the basics of user experience, content quality and brand transparency are feeling the pinch. Let’s have a closer look at the winners and losers of this update.


>>> Crystal clear homepages – websites that effectively communicate their purpose and the company behind them are reaping rewards.
>>> Simplistic mobile navigation – user-friendly mobile interfaces are getting a big thumbs-up from Google.
>>> Informative footers – shopping sites that include essential information like returns, contact, and help in the footer are winning.
>>> Accessible content – content that is immediately visible and accessible on mobile devices scores high.
>>> Text-rich websites – those rich in HTML text content, as opposed to being image-heavy, are seeing a boost.


>>> Content-poor pages – pages lacking in real text content are facing setbacks.
>>> Opaque branding – websites that fail to provide clear information about their backing organization are losing out.
>>> Clunky mobile experience – difficult-to-navigate mobile sites and those with overlapping and clashing design elements are taking a hit.
>>> Invasive and difficult cookie notices – sites with overbearing cookie notices, especially those obscuring navigational content, are being penalized.
>>> Ad-heavy layouts – websites where ads dominate the landscape, particularly above the fold, are not faring well.

Best practices and action steps
If your site felt the impact of the November 2023 Core Update, don’t despair!

Here are some actionable steps to help you align with Google’s latest standards:

>>> Conduct a site audit – review your site’s traffic since November 2nd. Identify pages that have suffered and scrutinize their content and layout.
>>> Embrace mobile-friendliness – ensure your mobile site is a breeze to navigate and that important content is easily accessible—regardless if the user accepts your cookie notices or not.
>>> Improve content quality – focus on enriching your site with text-based content that adds real value to your visitors.
>>> Streamline user experience – cut down on intrusive ads and popups, and ensure cookie notices are non-intrusive and user-friendly.
>>> Be transparent – clearly display legal and privacy policies, and make sure your website clearly states the company behind it.

Remember, Google’s core updates are not about penalties, but about pushing the web towards becoming more user-friendly, content-rich, and transparent. Embrace these changes as opportunities for growth and improvement. By staying on top of core updates such as these, you can keep your website sailing smoothly through the choppy conditions that occur during updates, and decrease your chances of running into problems when Google releases its next update.

For a deeper dive into Google’s core updates and how they impact your site, check out the official guidance below:

Google’s Search’s core updates and your website – Google Search Central