Navigating Google’s Late 2023 Updates: A Guide for Newsrooms

November 30, 2023

You aren’t alone in trying to keep up with all the recent updates Google is rolling out. Don't worry, we'll get through this together. It has become increasingly important for news publishers to optimize their SEO. You can read our guide on SEO for Newsrooms to learn more. With the majority of users consuming news stories online, the competition is fierce. Publishers must stay updated on Google algorithm changes to optimize content visibility and outperform competitors. 

Here is a guide to help you understand each update and find resources to continue learning. 

August Broad Core Update: August 22nd - September 7th

Diving into the August Core Update, many sites saw a huge amount of ranking volatility throughout the rollout of this update. The industry that seemed to have been impacted the most by this was the health/medical industry. If you didn’t see any immediate impacts, keep in mind that additional fluctuations are expected after the update is completed. 

September Helpful Content Update: September 14th - September 28th

This update is important for publishers as it has affected this industry more than other types of sites. Users have noticed that this update has affected websites with bad user experiences while also spotlighting specific types of advertisements. Sites with full-screen ads before the page loads and videos that autoplay and/or follow the user as they scroll are noticing a negative impact. As always, paying attention to user experience on your entire website, not just individual pages, is essential. 

Google also added a new user agent token, Google-Extended, which gives web publishers control over their site's involvement in improving Bard and other AI generative APIs. 

October Core Update: October 5th - October 19th 

The main focus for this core update was to reward high-quality content and penalize low-quality spammy sites. It was very common to see fluctuations in rankings and traffic drops during this update. 

What should you do if you are negatively affected by this update?

Reviewing your website for high-quality content and user experience can help your website recover. As a news publisher, the E-E-A-T system will be your best friend. Take the time to ensure your content adheres to these guidelines, and give your website a better chance of outranking competitors. 

October Spam Update: October 4th - October 19th

Google launched this update after users reported spammy search results when searching in their native language, although this should improve results for all locations and languages. This update targeted content that was misleading, copied, spam, or auto-generated content. Spam updates can include a link spam update which will remove any spammy links and the effects those links had. To avoid being affected by spam updates, check your website regularly and make sure it is up to code with Google's recommendations. 

November Core Update: November 2nd - November 28th

Google announced the November core update began on November 2nd and was completed on November 28th.

November Quality Rater Guidelines: November 16th 

Although these guidelines do not have a direct impact on search engine rankings, they are crucial for Google to assess the effectiveness of their search ranking systems. Google has added additional guidance and examples to their Search Quality Rater Guidelines, and they have also removed any outdated information. 

November Reviews Update: November 8th 

Google announced a reviews update on November 8th. The updates will no longer be announced separately, instead, they will be updated continuously.


It is crucial for publishers to adapt their SEO strategies to keep up with Google’s algorithm updates, as these can directly affect your search visibility and website visitors. To continue your research and understanding of these updates, here is a list of additional resources:

These recent updates can be a lot to wrap your head around, and we know some new changes could be right around the corner. Find out how Green Hearted can help you stay up-to-date with SEO strategies today. 

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