What are the early results from Google's November 2021 core algorithm update?

Google’s November 2021 Core Algorithm Update – what are we seeing so far?

It’s officially been a week since Google launched their latest core update on november 17 – the aptly titled “November 2021 Core Update.” As any webmaster should know, when Google pushes a core update the search results can take a pretty wild shift during the roll out. It’s been around four months since the last Google Core Update back in July, so SEOs should’ve been expecting this one – even if the timing of the launch being right before Black Friday may seem a little harsh.

In this blog, we’ll be covering what results we can see so far from this core update.

What do we know about this new update?

As with any core update released by Google, there is very little timing, notice or specific announcements regarding the roll out. In fact, the launch of the update came just a day after John Mueller publicly claimed he doesn’t know if Google will release another core update before the end of the year. Two hours after the announcement, the roll out officially began.

Just as any core update, Google did not detail on exactly what the update is about or what it is specifically looking to target/reward, instead promoting their generic guidance on what to do during a core update.

So, it’s just a normal core update where both nerves and expectations can run high.

Who are the winners?

Although the roll out is still not complete, SISTRIX has managed to identify some clear early winners. The bulk of these websites are informative and reference websites – such as Wikipedia, Brittanica, Thesaurus, Dictionary etc. Amazon and eBay are also both showing big gains from this update.

Who are the losers?

As I previously stated, the update is still rolling out so if your website is one of those that have seen a dip in traffic or rankings, don’t panic – there’s still a chance that your website can come out unscathed by the time the update is finished. However, early indicators are always a good sign to see what the updated algorithms are looking to rank.

According to SISTRIX, some of the biggest losers are social media websites, news publishers and health websites. Some domains of note include Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, Reddit and Google. 

It is refreshing to see Pinterest and Youtube specifically included as the biggest losers from this update, as I’ve read countless online posts from tin-hat webmasters about how Pinterest is constantly undeservingly outranking their website, or Google unfairly promotes YouTube because it is owned by the same company etc.. I wonder if they’ll stick to these claims or find something new to complain about instead of fixing their website?

What are we seeing?

Giving a more local look at the update, we really aren’t seeing any difference in our own rankings or our client rankings. Any ranking changes look like normal volatility so I can’t really attribute them specifically to the update.

The only difference is that one of our clients had some extra locational pages that were previously struggling to rank or index. After this latest update, those struggling pages are now suddenly ranking on the first page for their keywords.

These were relatively low-competition keywords, no linkbuilding – just landing pages and internal links from some blogs. Perhaps the update changes how internal links are weighted? Maybe Google improved their content analysis? Who knows.