Even minor updates to Google’s search engine algorithm is enough to garnish the interest of website developers around the world. So when the prospect of major changes, like those in the upcoming Google Page Experience update start getting wind, it should grab the attention of any developer, business owner or marketer who cares about maintaining website optimization and high digital visibility.
The Basics of the Page Experience Update
With decades of development and teams of engineers behind it, Google’s search engine algorithm is an incredibly complex formula to grasp in its entirety. However, even those with little technical savvy can understand the basic intention and direction of this upcoming update.
The purpose of the Google Page Experience update is to make a website’s user experience (UX) a significant factor in its search ranking. Previously, user experience was measured indirectly based on users’ browsing habits on a site with a heavy emphasis on how long they stayed before bouncing off. The new update will take a more direct approach by assessing things like site load time, responsiveness to input and layout.
Consider Your Core Web Vitals
Google’s algorithm considers a ton of different aspects, features and statistics when ranking sites on its search engine results page (SERP). Many areas of website optimization will still be relevant going forwards, like content quality and index-friendly organization. However, this new update will definitely bring a few often-neglected “core web vitals” to the forefront.
Load Times: Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) is a metric that gauges the time it takes for the content on a page to fully load. Page load times over 2 or 3 seconds could have a negative impact on a site’s search engine performance.
Interactivity: Few things frustrate users more than waiting for slow sites to respond to their input. First input delay (FID) is a measurement of the lag between when a user interacts with a site such as clicking a button to how long it takes the site to process that request. Sites should have a near-instant response time of 100 milliseconds or less to avoid penalties for poor user experience.
Visual Stability: Cumulative layout shift (CLS) describes the amount of shifting and automatic readjustment of a webpage while its elements load. Too much shifting when users interact with a page destabilizes the visual experience, which can be confusing, frustrating and unappealing. Aim for a CLS score of 0.1 or lower to avoid future negative impacts.
Mobile-Friendly Design: Responsiveness and compatibility for mobile devices has been an increasingly important SEO factor for websites over the last few years. However, this aspect will likely hold more weight following the new Google update, which means site developers need to take the time to deliberately design and test their websites’ page experience for mobile users.
Prepare Your Site for the Google Page Experience Update
In a break from tradition, Google announced this significant update to their search engine algorithm well ahead of its planned implementation. The planned launch in June 2021 and progressive rollout continuing through August 2021 means there will be multiple stages rather than one massive transition. Optimizing your website ahead of time is critical to avoid losing the traction you’ve gained on your site’s SEO rankings.
As experienced website design and development professionals, the team at Comit Developers is excited to help businesses and professionals leverage this new update as an opportunity to improve their online presence. Contact us today for expert help on preparing your website for the Google Page Experience rollout this year!