Google has this week confirmed that a new core algorithm update has been deployed. It is the third such update this year and started to roll out on Wednesday 17th November, just over a week before the critical Black Friday shopping period for online retailers.

An update posted to the search engine’s Twitter page at 3.56pm confirmed, “The November 2021 Core Update is now rolling out live. As is typical with these updates, it will typically take about one to two weeks to fully roll out.”

Should you be concerned?

Many have questioned the timing of the core update, saying that it could have momentous implications for retailers as they gear up for the busy festive season. If rankings are unexpectedly hit, there could be real world business consequences, with traffic drops and fewer sales at what is the most important time of the year for most businesses. With many retailers confirming that the bulk of their yearly sales come at this time of the year, there is a lot of concern that the update could be more harm than good.

What does Google say?

While many question why Google has chosen to release the third core update of the year this week, when it has previously tried to avoid critical periods, the search engine says it’s not the case that people need to panic. Danny Sullivan was initially dismissive of timing concerns, writing on Twitter, “…We had an update last year later in the season. Years and years ago, there was this thing about trying not to do updates around this time. I don’t think we’ve said anything like that recently, like you suggest. And also, it’s really not what most need to worry about…”

Should you expect to see a change in your rankings?

Google says that the knowledge that a core update is deploying should not lead you into a pit of despair. He advises that if you already follow best practise and don’t indulge in black hat SEO, there’s no real need to panic, saying “The reality is core updates make no huge change for most. People shouldn’t be panicking; maybe more tweets reassuring people would be more helpful than the virtual red alert. Guidance about core updates hasn’t changed. Been doing best practices out there for ages, should be good.”

What if you do see a drop?

Google’s long standing advice is not to panic and act rashly if you see a drop in search visibility following an algorithm update. It says that updates are more about Google’s systems than penalising specific pages, so it could be that there isn’t anything wrong with your site if rankings fall.

If you do notice a substantial loss in site traffic and visibility, the best approach is to take a methodical approach to your site and benchmark against competitors, looking at where they may be stronger than you. It could be that their content is more authorative, detailed and helpful than your own. This page offers a list of questions and comparisons you can make.

If you are concerned that your site has been unduly impacted ahead of the Christmas shopping period, speak to Adrac today to explore how we can help.

Author Rebecca

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