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Google October 2023 Core Update

The Google October 2023 Core Update was one of the several core updates that Google rolled out in 2023, following the core updates in March, August, and preceding another in November. This update, which began on October 5, 2023, was part of a “sea of volatility” in the SEO landscape, closely following the September 2023 Helpful Content Update and overlapping with the October 2023 Spam Update.

Key Details

  • Launch Date: The update started rolling out on October 5, 2023, with an anticipated rollout duration of one to two weeks.
  • Impact: The update aimed to enhance search quality and reduce the prevalence of low-quality, spammy content in search results. It affected all regions and languages globally and had a wide-reaching impact typical of core updates.
  • Volatility: The October 2023 Core Update saw a return to the usual trajectory of core updates with a fairly typical spike in rank volatility. Semrush Sensor showed peak volatility on October 10, with a secondary spike toward the end of the update.
  • Relation to Previous Updates: There was speculation about whether the October update aimed to reverse some of the August 2023 Core Update’s implementations. However, it was noted that reversals of ranking fortunes are common with all official updates, and it’s not uncommon for a site or page to be rewarded by one type of update but affected negatively by another.

Additional Insights

  • Average Ranking Shifts: The average number of positions gained or lost during the October 2023 Core Update was roughly 2.5 positions, similar to the August 2023 Core Update.
  • Content Quality and Spam: Running concurrently with the core update was Google’s October 2023 Spam Update, aimed at combating spam content across multiple languages to elevate the quality of search results.
  • User Experience and E-A-T: Factors such as content quality, user experience, and E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) continue to play a pivotal role in determining website rankings.


The October 2023 Core Update reflects Google’s ongoing efforts to prioritise high-quality content and improve the user search experience. Despite the volatility and ranking fluctuations that accompany such updates, the emphasis remains on providing valuable information, ensuring a seamless user experience, and demonstrating expertise and trustworthiness in content. As with all Google updates, websites are encouraged to adhere to Google’s guidelines and continuously improve their SEO strategies to maintain or improve their search rankings.

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