Here’s What You Should Know About Google’s Page Experience Algorithm Update
Set to be rolled out in May 2021, Google’s Page Experience algorithm update will use its new Core Web Vitals, as well as some other ranking signals, to calculate overall page experience and factor that into its search engine rankings.
With a new year comes necessary changes -- especially online. As our digitally-driven world continues to evolve, Google constantly makes adjustments to its algorithm to ensure that web visitors can easily access the information they need most. And while this is good news for users, it can present a challenge for business owners.
That’s because algorithm changes typically mean search ranking changes. After the Google algorithm is updated, you might start to see shifts in how your site shows up in search. And if your site doesn’t offer the caliber of experience Google wants to see, your rankings might suffer as a result.
On the other hand, making desirable upgrades to your site can allow you to improve your rankings after an update occurs. And since we know that Google is planning to release its Page Experience algorithm update this year, that provides you with a growth opportunity. Let’s get into what we can expect to see with this update and how you can prepare your site for what’s to come.
Google’s Page Experience Update: The Basics
You might not realize it, but Google updates its search algorithm thousands of times every year. In many cases, you might not know about an update until you see your site rankings change. And while it’s rare that we’re told about an algorithm update in advance, Google actually gave us plenty of warning when its Page Experience update was announced.
Set to be rolled out in May 2021, Google’s Page Experience algorithm update centers around rewarding sites that provide a positive user experience with their webpages. Google will use its new Core Web Vitals, as well as some other ranking signals, to calculate overall page experience and factor that into its search engine rankings.
Adhering to Google’s best practices and ensuring that your site provides a superior experience for visitors can help protect your site from penalization. While page experience isn’t the only thing that Google considers when ranking websites, it can tip the scales in your favor if a ranking position comes down to your site and another that offers equal content quality.
Since we are in the rare position of knowing what Google wants to see -- and knowing when this update will roll out -- it makes sense that site owners would want to protect their rankings. The best way to do that is by being proactive. You’ll want to discuss the details of your site with your SEO company or web developer now so that you’ll be ahead of the curve by May.
Preparing Your Site For Google’s Algorithm Update
Essentially, Google wants to make sure that sites load quickly and consistently on all devices, offer substantial security, and allow users to easily access information. But you might be wondering about the specific factors that Google wants to see. Here are just a few ways you can prepare your site for the Page Experience update:
Focus on Core Web Vitals
Google’s Core Web Vitals include Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). These concepts measure the time it takes for the largest piece of content to load on a page, delays that don’t allow a user to click on a page right away, and any unexpected jumps or shifts in a page’s layout (respectively). It’s recommended that a page’s LCP should be less than 2.5 seconds, that its FID score is under 100 milliseconds, and that its CLS score is less than 0.1 to appease Google.
Eliminate Page Errors and Obtrusive Pop-Ups In addition to adhering to guidelines for Google’s Core Web Vitals, you should also take steps to eliminate any broken links or navigation errors on your website. It’s impossible to provide a great page experience if the page doesn’t exist, after all. You’ll also want to get rid of any interstitial ads on your site that could keep a user from interacting with your webpage. While some interstitials are okay by Google’s standards, you should be certain that they don’t interfere with page experience.
Ensure Mobile-Friendliness and Site Security With more than half of all web traffic coming from mobile devices, it’s more important than ever to have a website that’s mobile-friendly. Responsive design is often best here, as it will automatically adjust based on the device being used to view your site. In addition, you can’t forget about site security. Your web pages should offer secure browsing with an HTTPS certificate to prioritize protection for both users and your own business.
Change is inevitable online, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be proactive. Now that you know what to expect with Google’s Page Experience algorithm update, you can move forward and prepare your site with confidence.