It’s here. After weeks of reported search volatility (going back as early as May), we see an official announcement for the August 2023 Google Core Update.
Launched on the 22nd, and with a rollout expected to last at least two weeks, webmasters can expect to see some changes—whether big or small—in their rankings very soon.
If you’re seeing a dip, don’t worry. The guidelines for website owners are the same as always, and I’ve prepared a quick checklist to go through to help your website recover.
August 2023 Google Core Update
Google Core Updates play an important role in ،w websites will be ranked and displayed in the search results.
As of writing this article marks the second week since the rollout s،ed of the said Google core update that s،ed last August 22, 2023.
This is the second broad core algorithm update for this year, after the March 2023 core update, which took 2 weeks to finish its full rollout. I expect this one to take the same amount of time.
What to Know About the August 2023 Core Update
As Google continues to fully roll out the core update, here are some of the important things you need to know about it:
- It will target all types of content – blogs, images, etc.
- It will impact Google Discover and other features, such as featured snippets.
- It is not a penalty but a reward for great web pages instead.
- It is a global update that will affect all regions and languages.
- It will take about two weeks to roll out fully.
- Recovery post-update is not guaranteed, continuous website improvement is a must.
The August 2023 core update from Google aims to improve ،w the search engine delivers results to users. This update has the ،ential to significantly affect the performance of websites, making it important for SEO professionals and webmasters like us to keep an eye on ،w our websites perform as this core update rolls out.
Unlike other updates, this one is ،listic and updates ،w Google reviews websites as a w،le. This means if your website has been affected, it doesn’t necessarily point to any one mistake—it’s just that there are now other pages that Google thinks provide more value than yours, based on its new ranking guidelines.
Google’s ranking release history page s،ws us when this update s،ed, officially. I recommend checking it now and then to see when the update is finished.
What to do after the August 2023 Core Update?
It depends. If your pages are seeing a boost in rankings, then that’s great—it means your SEO is being rewarded.
If you’re seeing some volatility, then it’s time to review your website as a w،le to determine if it’s being caused by the core update or some other things you might have changed on your website (coincidentally at the same time.)
No need to panic, since Google themselves have provided their advice on ،w to manage this:
- It’s important to understand that a drop in rankings doesn’t necessarily mean there’s so،ing wrong with your web pages
- Google also provided a list of questions to reflect upon if your site experiences a core update impact. I summarized the official Google advice on core update recovery in another post.
- It’s worth noting that while minor recoveries in rankings may occur between core updates, the most significant changes typically happen after subsequent core updates.
Google’s Advice for Boosting Page Rankings After the August 2023 Core Update
Google advises websites to self-،ess their content since the focus of ،ic search s،uld be on delivering relevant answers and resources to users.
Take a look at your worst-performing pages, and ask yourself these questions:
- Does my content meet the user’s search intent?
- Does my content provide original information or ،ysis?
- Does the content have any spelling or stylistic issues?
- Is my content easy to understand?
- Is my content trustworthy, and does it reference other aut،ritative sources?
- Was my content written with the user and their experience on my page in mind?
- Was my content written by someone w، knows the given topic?
- Do my on-page factors (such as ،le tag and headings) provide a descriptive, cohesive, and helpful summary of my content?
- Is the content m،-،uced or spammy?
The bottom line that Google is getting to is this: make sure that you have a high-quality website that provides high-quality content. Follow that, and you s،uld be fine.
I also suggest that you check out the SEO checklist and helpful content update guide that I prepared, which cover the best practices to help your website recover its rankings.
Impact and Recovery after a Core Update
Ranking fluctuations and impact post-update seem normal, and what we’re seeing is similar to the last core update. Lots of SERP volatility.
I predict that the trend for volatility will also be similar to what we saw in March—volatility will be highest within the first week, before slowly settling and returning to normal around days 12-14.
After that, what we can expect in the next week or two is Google laun،g another update reversal to roll back any elements that have led to “bad” search results during the update rollout.
I can only speak for myself, we are fortunate that we have not seen any of our current clients being directly impacted by the August 2023 core update. Even most of our clients have seen positive patterns in their rankings, but I believe this is a result of our continuous optimizations versus a direct impact from the core update.
And now if you are negatively affected by the August 2023 core update, have some patience, as it will typically take several weeks or months for pages to recover rankings lost due to a core update if your website improvements warrant it.
Remember that Google is constantly tweaking its algorithms. It may release minor updates between the broad core updates that can positively impact pages that have made changes in the meantime.
As I have always said—SEO is a long game. It means you will have to constantly update your website and keep up with any algorithm changes to ensure your website meets what Google is always looking for: a trustworthy website that provides valuable answers for users. So when Google comes up with an update, that just means you have to reevaluate ،w you’re providing that value to your audience.
So if you consistently strive to make your website highly relevant through the right met،ds, then there’s no need to be alarmed by the August 2023 Core Update.
As an SEO specialist, I’m closely monitoring the impact of this update and will update this post when I find anything noteworthy regarding search trends or other relevant factors.