A Better Page Experience for A Better Web: Google’s May 2021 Changes
After announcing these changes in 2020, Google is preparing to press go on their new Page Experience update this May. With internal studies and industry research confirming users prefer sites that promote a great page experience, Google is doing what Google does and evolving. As they add new signals into its algorithm, Google plans on making the web better for its users (a.k.a. the entire world). If Google, the monopoly of Search, care this much about your website’s page experience, your business must too!
Google’s May change is taunted to shake up the world of search. Will your business be better off or worse because of this update? What does this update consist of? How can your business prepare for this change? Come along with Start Digital as we go on a merry old stroll through the winding path of Google’s Search algorithm changes.
Google’s Algorithm – A Background Lesson
All search engines from DuckDuckGo to Google use bots (not to be confused with actual Will Smith type robots) to crawl all pages on the world wide web. As these bots crawl, they collect information about each page and index them. After being indexed, each engine uses its unique algorithm to analyse these pages against hundreds of ranking factors and signals. Here is when engines such as Google determine if, and where, your business will rank for all relevant search queries.
Currently, Google’s algorithm contains a couple of hundred factors and signals. Many of these aspects are known, while many more are unknown, and this algorithm is constantly being changed. Come May 2021, Google is going to expand on its existing Page Experience element.
Page Experience: Elaborated
Google’s update will see three (3) Core Web Vitals added to its Search algorithm. Using Loading, Interactivity and Visual Stability, Google will gather greater insights into the quality of experience on each webpage. Google has expressed its intention to add new signals yearly. Constant changes will enable Google to better align with evolving user expectations and increase the number of digital aspects which they can measure. Google’s Page Experience change is not a one-off thing. The search algorithm is constantly evolving and being refined to meet with the ever-changing demands of its users.
Core Web Vitals
So, what are Loading, Interactivity and Visual Stability specifically? Don’t get too comfortable, this is good bedtime reading.
Will be tested with the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) signal. Google will use this signal to measure how long it takes the main content on your website to load.
Will be tested with the First Input Delay (FID) signal. Google will use this signal to shine a light on how long it takes for a user to be able to do what you want them to do on a site such as clicking a link.
Will be tested with Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) metrics. Google will measure your site’s visual ability and quantify how many unexpected layout shifts such as pop-ups are on the site.
Combing Core Web Vitals with existing Search signals such as mobile-friendliness and HTTPS-security, which are already being used to evaluate a Page Experience, this new roll-out is going to shake up a lot of situations and current rankings. A great page experience encourages a website visitor to do more and engage more deeply – this might involve submitting a contact form, calling the office, or acting on a call-to-action button. On the other hand, a poor page experience may turn users away, so they leave the site.
Content Is Still King
Of course, in today’s digital and uber-competitive society, all businesses (should) want their website to look like a diamond and perform like Usain Bolt. Google’s upcoming changes reinforce the need for that, but don’t neglect your site’s content. You’ve heard it said before – content is (still) king!
Google has specified that all components of a site’s page experience are important. However, they will continue to prioritise pages with the best overall content, even if elements of page experience are standard. Your business’ best plan to conquer the world of search in 2021 (and beyond) is to strive for excellence in both page experience and content elements.
Get Prepared & Partnered
Any business that doesn’t (or won’t) take into account these new changes from Google may be in serious trouble. While this is only one factor amongst hundreds, Page Experience is going to play a big influence on where your business ranks for every keyword moving forward.
If you’re like most individuals, you don’t have a clue as to what needs to be done. You’re lost for how to ensure your site’s Page Experience and Content is maximised. Good thing, you know Start Digital and we’re here to help!
With a dedicated and experienced team, Start Digital is a leading SEO agency in Perth, WA. Staying up to date with Google and the latest trends in the world of consumers and digital, our agency will help your business move to the top of Google’s SERPs. Contact Start Digital at 1300 170 908 or online to get started!