Bring Digital’s Aimee Jones talks us through more algorithmic anarchy in November and what eCommerce brands can expect to see in the SERPs going into 2024.

There have been a LOT of algorithm updates lately. Here’s a quick recap of everything Google has dropped on us SEOs in the last few months:

And in November, Google blessed us with not one but TWO more updates: the November 2023 reviews update, and the November 2023 core update.

Let’s break those down.

The Reviews Update

  • This is the last big Reviews update. Google has stated that future updates will be happening at a regular, ongoing pace.
  • This update is designed to prioritise “high-quality” reviews. Reviews of a high quality are those written by an expert, contain original visuals, and have clear scoring criteria.

Top tip: If your site relies heavily on reviews, audit your review content using Google’s quality rater guidelines. If you’ve seen a loss in organic traffic, consider investing a little more spend in your search ads while you’re improving thin or low-value reviews.

The Core Update

  • This is the fourth core update this year. To put that into perspective, there were only two core updates in 2022. 
  • The November core updates rolled out across the whole month. It started rolling out on 2nd Nov, only 2 weeks after the previous core update.
  • This update has caused some big surges and drops. SEOs have observed a lot of ranking volatility, particularly for sites that engage in lots of sponsored posts or guest posts.

Keep in mind: the Google November 2023 reviews update started on 8th November and is still in progress. So those two updates were happening at the same time, but the impact of each update was experienced at different times by sites.

New structured data for forums

Some fun new bits to highlight! 

There is a piece of new markup that can give forum posts and authors more prominence and SERP features.

Google is introducing this new structured data markup to enhance the visibility of first-hand content from online forums in search results.

The announcement reads:

“This markup works with Google Search features that are designed to show first-person perspectives from social media platforms, forums, and other communities. Implementing this structured data will help ensure what Search shows in these features is as accurate and complete as possible.”

This isn’t unexpected. We saw that the rater guidelines recently changed to add more information about how to rate content in forums.

Here’s what Google said in its recent developer’s blog announcing the forum data markup:

“ProfilePage markup is designed for any site where creators (either people or organizations) share first-hand perspectives. It allows Google Search to better identify information about the creator, such as their name or social handle, profile photo, follower count, or the popularity of their content. Our Perspectives and Discussions and forums features both make use of ProfilePage markup.”

That’s all for now. Join us next time for a review of December and a look ahead to the big things in search in 2024!