In this episode of SEO 101, we take a quick break from the learning series and delve into Google’s October and November 2023 core updates, share insights on handling ranking fluctuations, and explore Google’s groundbreaking Gemini 1.0. We also cover essential SEO news, including the return of “how-to” rich results and Google’s response to Canadian legislation. Tune in for all the latest updates!

Show Notes:

  • Google’s October 2023 Core Update ran from Oct 5-19, and the November Core Update ran from Nov 2-28. If your website is affected by these updates, consider the following:
    1. Your ranking drop may not be due to your own content, but your competitors doing better.
    2. Ensure your content is high-quality, original, comprehensive, and insightful.
    3. Pay attention to headlines and page titles to make them descriptive.
    4. Check for factual errors, correct grammar, and spelling in your content.
    5. Focus on providing a positive user experience.
  • Google released the October 2023 SPAM Update, which aimed to reduce visible spam in search results in multiple languages, including Turkish, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Hindi, Chinese, and others. It targeted cloaking, hacked, auto-generated, and scraped spam.
  • The November 2023 Reviews Update started on November 8 and ended on December 7. It overlapped with the Core Update. High-quality reviews should include unique first-hand information, test results or evidence, personal experiences, original media (video/images), and links to other useful resources.
  • Google introduced Gemini 1.0, a large language model, with three levels: Ultra, Pro, and Nano. Google Bard is now powered by a fine-tuned version of Gemini Pro. Google DeepMind reported that Gemini outperformed GPT-3.5 for six of eight industry benchmarks. Gemini has improved Bard by offering more control of hallucinations, more multimodality, and integration with assistive capabilities. Google’s Pixel 8 Pro phone now incorporates AI via Gemini Nano.
  • Google officially discontinued the Mobile Usability Report, Mobile-Friendly Test tool, and Mobile-Friendly Test API, redirecting users to Litehouse for mobile-friendly testing.
  • Google expanded support for Organization Markup, allowing for the inclusion of contact information and other business identifiers. This markup can contribute to rich result enhancements and help searchers find organization details more easily.
  • Google reintroduced “how-to” rich results in its search results after temporarily removing them from mobile and desktop results.
  • Google will pay Canadian publishers $73 million per year to keep news links in its search results, in response to Canada’s new law, Bill C-18, which requires tech companies to pay for news content.
  • Google may be implementing a new ranking factor for local pack listings that considers whether a local business is open or closed when determining its rank in search results.
  • A comment from a listener mentioned the usefulness of the podcast notes in finding specific articles, highlighting the value of show notes as a resource.


Google November 2023 Core Update – Details on Google’s November 2023 Core Update, including its rollout period from Nov 2-28.
October SPAM Update– Insights into the October 2023 SPAM Update, targeting various languages and spam types.
November 2023 Reviews Update– Information about the November 2023 Reviews Update that started on November 8 and ended on December 7, including its overlap with the core update.
Google Gemini 1.0 – Details about Google’s Gemini 1.0, a versatile language model, and its impact on various applications.
Google Bard Powered by Gemini – Information about Google Bard being powered by a fine-tuned version of Gemini Pro, enhancing reasoning and understanding.
Google Drops Mobile Usability Report – News regarding Google discontinuing the Mobile Usability Report, Mobile-Friendly Test tool, and Mobile-Friendly Test API.
Google Organization Markup – Insights into Google’s expanded support for Organization Markup, including its benefits and importance.
Return of How-To Rich Results – Information about the return of “how-to” rich results in Google’s search results.
Google Pays Canadian Publishers – Details on Google’s agreement to pay Canadian publishers $73 million per year to keep news links in search results in response to Bill C-18.
Google Local Ranking Factor  – Insights into a potential new local ranking factor, considering whether businesses are open or closed.