Written by Aaron Rains October 17th 2023

September 28th Useful Content UpdateAs Google rolls out two changes simultaneously the October 2023 Core update and the October 2023 spam update and more sites report significant traffic drops.

This Search Engine Roundtable post has almost 700 comments from site owners who are seeing a decrease. There is talk on this page of:

For one user, sales are down 73%; for others, traffic is down 60% or more. Some people are chatting about returns and growth.Some are upset about issues with searches.I will wait to start my study until the updates are done. I’ll put together more of my study of sites affected by the September helpful content update this week.

Some sites that were affected. A few people have asked me if their site was affected this week. Most of the time, the changes I see look like regular changes in traffic. Here is a quick look at some sites that were probably hit.

With the March Core update on March 15, this site lost data. It is even worse since the October 5 core update, but there needs to be a way to tell if the problem is with the <a “href=”https://rainsaaronseo.com/blog-post/understanding-october-2023-spam-update/”>October 5 core update or the October 4 spam update”. Since the site doesn’t break Google’s spam rules, these losses are more due to the core change than the spam update.

Another one like it is this trip site (feel free to cringe at the pun):

But many people will have a hard time figuring out what hit them. Nor how to get better. But this core update does more than what we’re used to seeing.

There are some sites I keep an eye on that are getting better. Most of the time, though, when I look at these sites, the changes I see are because more people visit them to learn about the terrible things happening in the world. If you need more clarification, check how keywords rank. If the number of visitors increases, but the average ranking stays the same, it probably needs to be a core update win.

Please note that I was given analytics for a big site that is seeing huge gains since this core change. That means it’s possible.

I’ve been looking at improvements since Panda came out in 2011. I want to remember a change that affected this many sites simultaneously. A lot of the sites that have lost traffic are ones that I trust as reliable sources of information. These sites are like businesses in the real world. Several eCommerce sites that haven’t been affected by Google changes in the past are down for a long time.

When Google talked about the October core update, it might help Reddit and Quora get back on track. Nope. Instead, THEY KEEP GETTING BIGGER. More than anything else, Quora is growing quickly.
Here are some spikes that were made after the October core update.To repeat it, the core change started to show up yesterday, but it’s much more evident today. I’m letting you know because I’m seeing a lot of progress this morning.

Until Google is done giving out the update, we should also wait to come to any conclusions. This is where they report on it.

It worries me a lot that so many sites report losses and few report gains. This doesn’t feel like the last core version did to me. Although it’s still too early to say, my main idea is that Google is getting rid of content that searchers will only look for once SGE and Bard are used a little or that AI will suggest.