The announcement. Google announced this rollout on the Google Search Central Twitter account, not the Search Liaison account, which it has done for all other previous announcements on core updates.
Rollout started at about 11am ET. Google updated us that the rollout has begun at about 11am ET. Google said “The November 2021 Core Update is now rolling out live. As is typical with these updates, it will typically take about one to two weeks to fully roll out.”
Timing before holidays. It is a bit shocking to see Google rollout this update before, and likely during (assuming this is a normal two week rollout), the biggest online holiday shopping season. Black Friday and Cyber Monday is less than two weeks away and Google is rolling out this update starting today.
Previously Google took breaks before the holiday shopping season, it was Google’s gift to webmasters said former Googler Matt Cutts.
Danny Sullivan of Google responded to the timing of this update on Twitter:
Previous core updates. The most recent previous core update was the July 2021 core update and before that it was the June 2021 core update and that update was slow to roll out but a big one. Then we had the December 2020 core update ands the December update was very big, bigger than the May 2020 core update, and that update was also big and broad and took a couple of weeks to fully roll out. Before that was the January 2020 core update, we had some analysis on that update over here. The one prior to that was the September 2019 core update. That update felt weaker to many SEOs and webmasters, as many said it didn’t have as big of an impact as previous core updates. Google also released an update in November, but that one was specific to local rankings. You can read more about past Google updates over here.
What to do if you are hit. Google has given advice on what to consider if you are negatively impacted by a core update in the past. There aren’t specific actions to take to recover, and in fact, a negative rankings impact may not signal anything is wrong with your pages. However, Google has offered a list of questions to consider if your site is hit by a core update. Google did say you can see a bit of a recovery between core updates but the biggest change you would see would be after another core update.
Why we care. Whenever Google updates its search ranking algorithms, it means that your site can do better or worse in the search results. Knowing when Google makes these updates gives us something to point to in order to understand if it was something you changed on your web site or something Google changed with its ranking algorithm. Today, we know Google will be releasing a core ranking update, so keep an eye on your analytics and rankings over the next couple of weeks.