Marketers Share Their Observations about the November Core Update
It’s official: Google’s November core algorithm update has recently finished after Cyber Monday shopping day, and several SEO marketing agencies have shared their observations so far. SEO marketing experts who witnessed an increase or decrease in their search rankings should not anticipate any additional adjustments until the next algorithm update launch.
Google said in a tweet that the November 2021 Core Update would take between one and two weeks to fully roll out, just like any other update.
Any impact on traffic patterns that one may observe around the time of the update isn’t related to it. Fluctuations in rankings could be coincidences, which have a slim chance of happening. The latest changes may be considered permanent, and SEOs should only expect the daily ups and downs in their search rankings.
In the past, the search engine’s index was kept for a month at a time. Now, it is more responsive and dynamic to content and links. However, the underlying processes remain the same.
The November 2021 Algorithm Update
Many SEO marketers noticed that the November core algorithm update didn’t take a huge toll on their search rankings. One SEO in Japan observed that the new update had less of an impact on their rankings than other core updates. It felt no different from the daily fluctuations that SEOs usually experience.
On 16 November, the day before the update, another SEO noticed the wild fluctuations in Google’s Knowledge Graph. No one knows if it was related to the November update. Moreover, there was a “deepening” of the Knowledge Graph. In example, the queries returned 6 per cent more results, which was a huge deal since that number hasn’t changed for at least two years.
Another search marketer shared their observations about the update. They said there’s no common theme yet, and no sudden recurring symptom or problem happened in the SEO community. Throughout the weeks preceding the update, smaller site owners only experienced restricted crawling, and sites with lower crawl priorities noticed that they had a lower chance of getting their content indexed. Somehow, this is a growing concern in the search marketing community as Google is indexing less content.
Some SEO marketing agencies saw mixed results, with rankings going up and down. They quickly accepted that there will always be winners and losers after an algorithm update from Google. The only best thing to do now is to keep improving the websites, especially the ones that have been negatively affected.
Overall, most search marketers feel that the November 2021 algorithm update had a negligible impact on their SEO.
The Possibility of an Infrastructure Update
This update was considered by many in the search business to be a fairly minor one. It is fascinating because it may signify a shift in the algorithm’s architecture where it does the same thing but faster and more efficiently.
Before the November 2021 algorithm update, Google released a spam update that took away the negative influences to the search index, making it purer and with less spam.
FLAN Machine Learning Research Paper
It’s particularly interesting because Google AI has published work on new machine learning algorithms that do not specialise in multitasking well. Such algorithms are a huge shift from past models that excelled at just one thing and relied on multiple models to multitask.
One such model is FLAN, a research paper introduced in October. It focuses on the natural language training on completing various tasks and generalising the method to apply to other several tasks.
Pathways, Google’s New AI Architecture
The core algorithm update in November began on the 17th and lasted nearly two weeks on 30 November. If Google comes up with a more efficient method of doing its current tasks, it would have to purge spam from its ranks with a spam update before launching the new architecture gradually across the whole system.
Not long after, Google announced Pathways, a new AI architecture that appears to do a lot of tasks that FLAN claims to do. Perhaps this new AI architecture is no pure coincidence.
The Google Pathways announcement said that machine learning systems usually overspecialise at one task at a time, even though they could do multiple tasks excellently. Pathways, a new AI architecture, can handle many tasks in one go. It learns new tasks faster and reflects better insights. It allows one to train a model to do a wide variety of tasks.
The Pathways article, which was released in October 2021, talks about things they will implement in the future rather than things they have already introduced. Given that the mid-November 2021 core algorithm upgrade contains no mention of Pathways, it’s quite conceivable that it wasn’t implemented at that time.
November Update Similar to the Hummingbird Update
An SEO commented that the November 2021 core algorithm update resembled the Hummingbird update, an infrastructure update. The update was live for a couple of months before announcing it, and no one noticed. Since the update had a gentle impact on the search results, the possibility of it being an infrastructure-related update makes more sense.
Many experts in the SEO community felt that the core update this November was strange. One SEO felt that Google focused on authorship signals while another saw extreme volatility in the Knowledge Graph. An SEO felt as if Google made changes on the infrastructure, given that this update had a quieter nature, especially on social media. It only suggests that the update’s impact was not widely felt compared to Google’s regular major updates.
Lastly, Google wrote a research paper and an article that both signal improvements to Google’s algorithms. These improvements can boost Google’s question-answering tasks and improve the search engine’s ability to find relevant answers to more complicated questions.
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