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Google August 2023 Core Update

The Google August 2023 Core Update was announced on August 22, 2023, and concluded its rollout on September 7, 2023, lasting 16 days and 3 hours. This update represented Google’s ongoing efforts to refine its search algorithms to ensure the delivery of high-quality and reliable search results across various sectors.

Impact on Content and SEO

  • AI-Generated Content: Google’s algorithms faced challenges with the surge in content created by generative AI tools, such as ChatGPT. Despite controversies, Google clarified that its algorithms do not differentiate between human-written and AI-generated content, focusing instead on the quality of the content. However, using AI to manipulate rankings is against Google’s spam policies.
  • E-E-A-T Sites: Sites demonstrating expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-E-A-T) saw rewards, including Reddit, WebMD, and various government and educational institutions. Conversely, sites relying heavily on AI-generated text, those lacking in firsthand review experience, and music and lyrics sites experienced declines.

Sector-Specific Impacts

  • Health Websites: WebMD emerged as a significant winner with over 20% organic growth.
  • Government and Education: Government and authoritative sites, along with education sites, saw substantial increases in visibility.
  • News Category: There was a general decline in the news category, impacting major publishers.
  • User-Generated Content: Reddit notably achieved the greatest SEO visibility in its history.

Key Takeaways for Website Owners

  • Focus on Quality: Google advises site owners to concentrate on producing quality content to respond to search ranking fluctuations effectively.
  • Website Audits: Conducting audits to understand the impact on specific pages and searches is recommended for those experiencing a dip in rankings.
  • Patience with Improvements: Improving a website may not lead to immediate changes in rankings, underscoring the importance of patience and ongoing optimisation efforts.


The August 2023 Core Update underscores Google’s commitment to combating low-quality and artificial content while promoting sites that offer genuine value. The update had variable impacts across different sectors, with significant emphasis on the quality and authenticity of content over the method of its creation. For website owners, the message remains consistent: focus on producing high-quality, E-E-A-T content to maintain and improve search visibility in Google’s ever-evolving search landscape.

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