Google roll out core update: expect ranking fluctuations

The Google logo is under construction on a conveyor belt with a sign that reads 'core update'

Yesterday, 5th October 2023, Google rolled out its latest core update.

This update, known as the “October 2023 Core Update” is the third of its type this year, with Google releasing similar core updates in March and August. This follows two other updates in September and early October designed to increase the visibility of helpful content and to punish spam respectively.

The rollout is expected to take two weeks, but given experience of past updates, we should expect there to be several weeks of fluctuations in rankings as the algorithm adjusts and webmasters make hasty changes to try and compensate.

What is a Google Core Update?

A core update is a significant update to the algorithm, designed to improve the overall quality of search results and tackle any widespread gaming of the rankings using new weightings and ranking factors. These updates often take weeks to bed in, and sometimes include refreshes of smaller updates to tackle anything that has been missed before.

How to tell if you’re affected

Patience is key, and any immediate reduction in visibility may not be permanent as the rollout will take at least two weeks.

If you lose visibility following the core update, or suspect you’ve been penalised then reviewing your site against Google’s EEAT guidelines, and checking for link spam are two courses of action to consider.

Book a Free Acquisitions Workshop

If you don’t know where to start after being affected by the latest Google updates, book in for a Free Acquisitions Workshop, where you will receive expert advice, a personalised action plan targeting areas of concern, and free resources to keep your strategy fresh. 


James Newhouse

Agency Lead

James has worked in digital marketing since 2009. He has led successful technical, link building, digital PR and content teams, and shared SEO advice in national outlets like The Telegraph. There’s not a lot he doesn’t know about SEO strategy, having worked across most enterprise verticals including household name ecommerce giants and international law firms. In his spare time, you’ll find him fixing rusty old Land Rovers or playing tabletop board games with friends.

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