After announcing the changes back in 2020, Google finally unrolled its highly anticipated Page Experience changes on the 2nd of June 2021. Well, kind of. Some of Google’s planned improvements weren’t ready in time and will be pushed out in a broad core algorithm update that’s scheduled for July 2021. According to the search giants, their ‘Page Experience’ update won’t be fully unveiled until later this year. (Watch this space – things can change in the blink of an eye when it comes to the world of search!)
So what are Core Web Vitals? Why does this update matter to your business? Could it be that Google’s changes have already affected your organisation? Come along on a magical journey as we transverse through Google’s recent Core Web Vitals update.
Google’s Algorithm – A Background Lesson
All search engines from Bing, DuckDuckGo to Google use bots to crawl all pages on the internet. As these bots crawl, they collect information about each page and index them. After being indexed, each engine uses its unique algorithm and ranking factors to determine which page will take which position on their search engine results page (SERPs).
Google, like every other search engine, is in the business of delivering the right answer (web page) at the right time (search query) hence are continually evolving. Adding new Core Web Vital signals into its algorithm is Google’s attempt to make the web better for all by aligning with the practices of the world – afterall people prefer sites that offer a greater page experience.
Page Experience: Elaborated
Google has added three (3) Core Web Vitals signals to its existing algorithm, which including Page Experience signals such as mobile-friendliness and HTTPS security. Since the 2nd of June, Google has been using Loading, Interactivity and Visual Stability metrics to collect more accurate and meaningful insights into the quality of each webpage’s experience.
Core Web Vitals
If you’re like most people, the terms Loading, Interactivity and Visual Stability mean very little. Here’s what each of these signals focuses on and ways your website can be optimised for all.
Loading is tested with the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) signal. Google is using this signal to measure how long it takes the main content on your website to, you guessed it, load. Changes such as using responsive design and next-gen image formats will help improve a site’s LCP.
Is tested with Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) metrics. Google is measuring your site’s visual ability and numbering how many unexpected layout shifts occur. Being intentional about layout shifts and providing relevant elements with ample space will help increase your visual stability.
Google Search Console
Over the last few months, Google has made several changes to its Search Console platform. (GSC is a powerful tool for businesses interested in their organic situation and more significantly, optimisation. If your business is yet to start utilising Search Console, sign up for the platform here.) Of all the changes the two that are most important to your business right now is found under the Page Experience and Core Web Vitals components.
Currently, this metric only focuses on reporting page experiences for Mobiles. Google’s metric offers the percentage of mobile URLs with a “Good status” in Core Web Vitals and no mobile usability issues.
Core Web Vitals
Offers insight into the poor, needing improvement and good URLs on Desktop and Mobile based on Core Web Vitals.
Combining both factors alongside other Google Search Console features and tools provides meaningful insight into a business’ organic landscape. A business can use these tools to determine just how optimised their site is in Google’s eyes. Furthermore, to undercover opportunities for content development, targeting alongside performance.
Are You Feeling the Aftereffects?
With all algorithm changes, Google sets the stage for winners and losers. Has your business noticed a seemingly random change in traffic and visibility over the last few weeks? You may unfortunately be in the latter category. But, it’s not all doom and gloom. Changes in rankings and visibility due to Core Web Vitals and Page Experience updates don’t need to be a permanent thing. Add some time to your optimisation and you’ll not only be back at your previous SERP positions but pushing even higher in no time!
A Chance to Capitalise On
Whether your business has been doing SEO for years or today is the first day you’ve heard about the acronym, Core Web Vitals offers it the opportunity to achieve greater visibility than before. (Unless your business already ranks 1st for every single relevant keyword in your industry, that is.) With the top spot on Page 1 of Google receiving almost 40% of all relevant traffic, this update is yet another organic chance for your business to capitalise on.
With a dedicated and experienced team, Start Digital is a leading SEO agency in Perth. Our data-driven and holistic methodologies have enabled Start to develop proven organic strategies which help all of our clients move to the top of Google’s SERPs. Contact Start Digital at 1300 170 908 or online to get started!