Google announced on the 3rd November 2021 a new search algorithm update called the “November 2021 Spam Update”.
As part of their ongoing effort to improve the quality of search results, Google has announced that the latest algorithm update is scheduled to roll out over the next week.
The announcement follows a busy last month in the search results with unconfirmed algorithm shifts occurring on the 10th, 16th, 23rd, and 26th of October.
Google took to twitter through the Google Search Liaison Account to make the algorithm update announcement:
“As part of our regular work to improve results, we’ve released a spam update to our systems. This November 2021 spam update should be fully rolled out within a week. We encourage sites to follow our best practices for Search.”
Update: Google released the third Broad Core Update for the year on November 18th 2021.
As part of our regular work to improve results, we’ve released a spam update to our systems. This November 2021 spam update should be fully rolled out within a week. We encourage sites to follow our best practices for Search: https://t.co/jK3ArQmTqT
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) November 3, 2021
The latest spam update follows on from the one that occurred on the 26th July 2021 and caused widespread ranking changes across almost every industry.
Does This Update Target Link Spam or Content Spam?
The first Google Algorithm Update for November 2021 occurred on the 3rd November with the Google Spam Algorithm Update that caused large fluctuations in search results and chatter in the SEO community. From what we can see, the industries that were most impacted by the 3rd of November Algorithm Update at this stage were News, Games, Sports, Gaming, and Arts & Entertainment.
Google has not confirmed whether the latest update is targeting content spam or link spam. As always, Google have provided a link to their Webmaster Guidelines that provide an outline for best practices when optimising a site for search.
We first noticed changes to the Google search rankings on the morning of 3rd of November with the Semrush sensor confirming a sizable update was going through with an industry wide fluctuation average of 6.7/10. Given how rarely Google announces updates to the search ranking algorithm, it was unsurprising to see third party tools confirm the fluctuations across a range on industries.
We should get a clearer picture over the coming week when we begin to see trends and which websites have been affected by the latest update.
Google Continues to Refine its Algorithm
We first noticed this in September 2021, and reiterated the point at the beginning of October, but we believe that Google is continuing to refine the changes that were made with the Link Spam Update that rolled out at the end of July 2021.
One of the most prominent things that we have noticed over the last two months has been Google swaying between link quality and link quantity when ranking websites.
*Data Courtesy of Ahrefs
Google is (of course) getting much better at determining which websites are using low-quality, short sighted link building tactics and adjusting rankings accordingly. However, we are also noticing a number of websites that are slipping through the cracks (and performing very well) with high-quantity, low-quality link building strategies. We expect that the November Spam Algorithm Update will catch out some of these sites.
What Does The November Spam Update Mean for my Website?
If your website has been negatively affected, the best advice that we can provide is to wait until the update finishes rolling out. Often, the changes and SERP movement will be most prominent over the first few days which is why it is important to see where things end up before making any major changes.
If you are noticing large shifts in your website traffic, you may have been impacted by the November 2021 spam update. As always, spam updates are designed to weed out low quality websites that are violating Google’s best practice guidelines.
Google’s Algorithm Updates 2021
At Safari Digital SEO Agency, we work across dozens of different and unique industries which means that we begin to see changes as they happen with client websites. Here is what we have observed over the last quarter.
- Google broad core update– June 2nd
- Google page experience update – 15th June
- Google broad core update – July 1st
- Google link spam update – 26th July
- Google September Algorithm Update (unconfirmed)
- Google October Algorithm Update (unconfirmed)
- November 2021 Broad Core Update
- Unconfirmed December 2021 Google Algorithm Update
Different clients in different industries provide unique insights into what is and is not working with. We also see a broad scope of strategies from different companies.
Wait! Hold tight until the algorithm update has finished rolling out before making any drastic changes to your on-site content or off-site strategy. If your website has been consistently affected by the algorithm updates over the last quarter, it may be time to speak with an SEO Company that can provide more guidance.