The Google Core Update was launched on April 22 and is considered complete as of September 7. One of the most important changes in July 2023 was the broad update of the core algorithm. This update did not target specific pages or websites, but rather improved Google’s overall ranking systems. The updates and changes Google made to its algorithm from Q3 2023 that are different from Q1 2023 are as follows:
Content recency has moved up from the „Other“ category, which makes up <1% of the algorithm, to the sixth largest factor in the algorithm at 6%. Pages that have been updated in the last year show an average of 4.6 positions in de SERPs compared to pages that have not been updated. In the first quarter, trustworthiness was added as a new factor in the Google algorithm and now makes up 5%. Google advises to cite academic sources when possible and avoid unproven claims to optimize for this factor.
Backlinks have slightly decreased in value in Q3 2023 (15% → 14%), but remain the third most important factor in Google’s algorithm. This change is relatively minor and is simply the result of the emergence of Freshness and Trustworthiness as new factors.
User engagement lost slightly in value (12 % → 11 %), but remains the fifth most important factor in Google’s algorithm in Q3 2023, on par with the core factors.
Niche expertise remained constant at 14%, continuing to highlight the importance of Hub and Spoke SEO, one of the most important SEO strategies to emerge in the last decade.
Hub and Spoke SEO is the practice of creating parent pages that target important keywords and link to a series of secondary pages that target closely related sc.h keywords
Keywords in meta titles remain at 15% in Q3 2023, with Google relaxing its definition of what constitutes words a bit in Q1 2023. While the difference between „buy webcam“ and „buy webcams“ used to be clear, it is less clear now. Regardless of its weight in the algorithm, this factor remains a requirement for good rankings.
Internal links remained at 3% in Q3 2023, after giving up some of their share to trustworthiness in Q1 2023. Google Trust is still passed between pages on your site, but it is a less important signal to Google than it was in previous years.
Keywords in header tags and keywords in the URL were removed as a factor and included in the group of 22 factors, which together make up only 1% of the algorithm.
The current high volatility score indicates that Google’s recent algorithm updates have had a significant impact on a wide range of industries. This underscores the importance of staying abreast of these changes and adjusting one’s SEO strategies accordingly.