SEO News You Can Use: How Is Google's November 2021 Core Update Affecting Rankings So Far? |

SEO News You Can Use: How Is Google’s November 2021 Core Update Affecting Rankings So Far?

SEO News You Can Use

More than a week has passed since the Google November 2021 Core Update rolled out and left SEOs feeling blindsided and antsy. You’d assume, following the collective panic it caused, a lot has happened between then and now. “Expect widely noticeable effects in your rankings,” they said. 

Well, according to recent findings, yes and no. 

Immediately after the rollout, Search Engine Land (SEL) and several data companies, including Semrush, went on to track the results this update would have on various sectors, and the findings were interesting. SEL’s data report showed that search positions experienced major fluctuations in the first 24 hours and then slowed down considerably. 

Semrush saw a dramatic uptick in activity from November 17-19, scoring Very High on its volatility scale. After that, things pretty much returned to their “normal” rate of fluctuations. But all things considered, the data provider is convinced that the November update still caused a ripple – and for good reason. Its report showed the recent core update was 12 percent more volatile than the July 2021 Core Update on desktop search results and 23 percent more volatile on mobile search results. And it appears that the health sector was hit by the November update the most, seeing 41 percent more volatility on mobile and desktop results compared to its activity caused by the July update.

But what about the SEOs who did not feel the effect of the broad core update? Last Monday, just days after the rollout, SEO expert Marie Haynes took to Twitter to get a feel of how it was affecting SEOs. Her Twitter poll garnered 632 responses, and 48 percent of those said they were not seeing significant changes so far. Twenty-one percent said they saw dips in rankings of the URLs they were handling, 19 percent saw improvements and 11 percent said they were seeing “other results.”

If you feel like you’re getting mixed signals, that’s because we’re still a week and a half into the rollout, and there could still be a lot lurking beyond the horizon. Also, keep in mind that the poll is a week old. Who knows, those who claimed to be not affected could have a completely different answer today. 

If you’re part of the 21 percent who have been hit by the core update, experts advise re-examining your website as a whole. Since broad core updates target overall quality issues, it never hurts to have a bird’s-eye view of your site, pinpoint areas that need improvements and go from there. Although, don’t expect to recover your previous position until the next core update rollout.

As far as the November one is concerned, one can hope things will stabilize into the new week. And who knows? We just might survive the holiday shopping frenzy.

More SEO News You Can Use

Google Search Console Gets a Fresh Look: Last Monday, Google began rolling out a new design for Google Search Console (GSC), giving it a “cleaner,” more user-friendly look. The interface update aims to improve accessibility and user experience (UX) for everyone involved. The GSC team announced on Twitter to anticipate small changes in the next few months as its team works towards these improvements. While the news has generated a lot of positive buzz in the community, some SEOs say changes in the functionality remain to be seen. But what do you think? 

Google Now Requires Logos To Look Good on White Backgrounds: Recently, Google’s guidelines on logo schema markup were updated to include one more property: “Make sure the image looks how you intend it to look on a purely white background,” the guideline states. The newly added requirement sounds simple enough, but not following through means there’s a chance your logo won’t be displayed in the search results. The takeaway: If your logo is mostly white or gray, or it loses its visual essence when paired with a white background, it may be time for a redesign.

More Companies Join Facebook in the Metaverse: As if we’re not shaken by the prospect of Facebook’s migration enough, more brands have expressed plans to build their own virtual reality (VR). In case you missed it, metaverse refers to a virtual universe that can be accessed by VR tech, changing the way people interact, work and shop. Months after Facebook’s gradual introduction of the metaverse, other big names have announced plans to follow suit. These include Chinese social media giant Tencent, video game platform Roblox, Nikeland, Dyson and Microsoft. Amazon is another powerhouse that’s expected to join in. And yes, we know what you’re thinking: “What about Google?” The search engine giant has yet to share with us any concrete plans, but CEO Sundar Pichai did say in an interview he’s always been “excited” about the future of immersive computing. So take from that what you will.

There Is No Ideal Title Tag Length: Does the number of characters in title tags matter? Maybe for readability, yes. But not so much for your SEO rankings, said Google’s John Mueller in a Google SEO Office-hours hangout. Mueller’s statement was in response to someone asking whether 65+ characters were too long for a title tag. He added that the length is purely an editorial prerogative and won’t have any ranking-related effects. As long as title tags are relevant to the search query, comprehensive and to the point, the length should be low on your list of concerns.

And There’s (Still) No Ideal Blog Post Length, Either: As for blog post length? There’s been some recent talk on the perfect length for a piece of content. Spoiler alert: there is none. We go back to Mueller and his seemingly dismissive treatment of length perse. On a 2018 Twitter thread, he wrote, “word count is not indicative of quality.” And has that changed since? Not really. Google has always been loud about its push for quality, and Google’s Martin Splitt supports this by saying that the word count on a page doesn’t affect rankability. So, what’s the target for content writers, if not length? Provide the most valuable and most optimized version of your content that matches user intent. Quality over quantity, always.

Editor’s Note: “SEO News You Can Use” is a weekly blog post posted every Monday morning only on, rounding up all the top SEO news from around the world. Our goal is to make a one-stop-shop for everyone looking for SEO news, education and for hiring an SEO expert with our comprehensive SEO agency directory.

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