Here we go again, couldn’t be worse timing for all those ecommerce SMEs and brands, that Google decides to roll out a core update to its algorithm on 17th November 2021. Its a broad core update that Google had announced, something the SEO industry had been waiting for, but ultimately we thought they would wait until the New Year to release – but alas no. SEOs inhouse, agencies and freelance SEOs are now monitoring their clients sites to see what impact it has had – Happy Christmas Google!

With Thanksgiving in the US just around the corner, Black Friday on November 26 and of course the now famous Cyber Monday the timing of it has come as a surprise – especially to those brands hoping to see a seasonal spike in sales. There will be the usual “roll out” taking 1-14 days for it to affect sites – but SEOs around the globe will be fixed to their reporting, analytics and SEO platforms waiting with baited breath!

Anyone seeing the affects quickly (as usual with Google) shouldn’t jump to the immediate conclusion that its due to the November Core Update hose who are seeing changes in their rankings already should not jump to the conclusion that this is directly related to the November 2021 Core Update:

John Mueller called out one Twitter user on November 17th, who had mentioned that they had seen big changes in his rankings – as John mentioned that it should “normally” take a week or so, although he also didn’t rule it out completely either.

John Mueller had mentioned previously in 2020 about major Core Algorithm updates, being rolled out so close to major online/ecommerce expected peaks (Christmas is the biggest obviously), and it was interpreted as “there may not be one this (2021) year and we may see it earlier next year – mentioning that Google doesn’t want to be super disruptive, but hey, Google just thought, lets roll it on out…. *sigh*.

Here’s what he said:

“I think it’s always tricky towards end of the year, because everyone’s a little bit jittery, and probably this year more than ever. So, there’s a little bit of trickiness involved with … well … we’d like to make improvements in Search. And we think our users deserve, kind of, to see those improvements in Search, but at the same time we don’t want it to be super disruptive. So, I don’t know what will happen there. It’s possible at some point … maybe we’ll still have an update. I don’t know what the timing would be there, because essentially all timing is bad when it comes to the last quarter of the year.”

As with all Major Core Updates, we will have to monitor the results, to see how it affects different sites across different verticals – Sistrix have already done a great job on analysing those biggest winners and losers within 2 days of the roll out – and not surprising its those sites with large traffic volumes, but we have been monitoring some of our clients sites and found that one in particular had a huge drop, for 2 days, but then bounced back a little better and is continuing to improve.

As per usual, within any of the Core Updates – there is nothing to mention via Google themselves how or what it is targeting, apart from improving their users experience when it comes to search, with no “reason/rationale” of why your site may see a drop – so for now… its a case of eyes glued to analytics, SEO platforms and await more analysis of how it has affected our client base.

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