Google has moved the Google Page Experience algorithm update from May to mid-June 2021. Website owners can expect to see some changes in how their sites are ranked in Google search results. It’s going to be important to understand when these changes are coming and what effect they might have on website rankings. A range of modifications is to be expected.
These include assessing a variety of signals, such as mobile-friendliness, site speed, security, HTTPS usage, and more to determine where to rank a page or site in a Google ranking. For any individual or business using search engine optimization (SEO) as part of their marketing, it’s imperative to understand the upcoming update and prepare for it.
What Is the Google Page Experience Update?
Google’s latest search algorithm is called the Page Experience update, and it is a major update compared to many of the other regular updates that Google does. Because of this, the company first announced it as early as May 2020, which gave more notice than usual of the upcoming modifications. What the new page experience update is going to do is make revisions to some of the most important page experience signals such as Core Web Vitals metrics and the Google search Top Stories carousel feature.
How Often Does Google Change Its Algorithm?
Google’s ranking system relies on its array of proprietary algorithms to determine where pages fall on the search engine result page. These mathematical relationships allow the search engine to rank internet pages based on a range of metrics. Once an internet user types in a search query, Google’s algorithms allow it to find and return the most relevant results each time with the appropriate ranking.
With so many variables at play, the company must strive to ensure that its search engine provides accurate results for each query as well as a good user experience. This is made possible by continuously looking for opportunities for improvement in how ranking is calculated and search query results are displayed. These tweaks and refinement are implemented through regular Google algorithm updates. Many of these are minor and don’t make the news headlines. Some estimates put the annual Google search algorithm update figure at around 500 times a year.
The page experience update coming soon is much more significant, as you are soon going to see. Every individual or business with a website is going to want to pay attention to the rollout of the new algorithm update. With so much organic and paid traffic coming from SEO and other digital marketing strategies, any changes to the Google algorithm are going to have a bearing on site rankings and, as a result, website traffic.
Timeline for the Page Experience Rollout
The Google algorithm update was initially supposed to launch in May 2021. Recently, Google has announced that they plan to delay the update for another month and launch it in mid-June 2021 instead. One of the reasons for this delay is to give site owners an extra month to get ready for the changes, as these are going to impact where each site appears in the relevant Google search results.
It is not going to be until August 2021, however, when the full impact of the Page Experience update is going to be in place. This gradual rollout provides a window period to monitor what the effect of the changes is going to be.
The Page Experience Update Details
What can site owners expect from the changes, and how can they prepare? There’s no need to worry about what’s to come. The changes are numerous, but they are not expected to drastically change where your pages rank. As long as you understand the updates, and make an effort to meet all the criteria, you can expect your site rankings to keep up with the new algorithm.
As mentioned earlier, the page experience updates coming soon are going to be looking at such as Core Web Vitals and the Top Stories feature on the Google website search results. Here are a few more details on each of these.
Understanding Core Web Vitals
Core Web Vitals are page experience metrics. They indicate the speed of a web page, which goes towards creating a good page experience for all users. With the page experience changes due, each of them is going to become a Google search ranking factor.
By understanding and optimizing these metrics, a site owner can improve how users perceive the experience of interacting with the web page of the brand or business. There are three page experience metrics in the Core Web Vitals report, and you can find out what each one means below.
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
This metric is a measure of how fast a page loads to allow the website visitor to see what is displayed on the screen. The faster the load time, the better the user experience.
First Input Delay (FID)
This page experience metric is a measure of the speed with which the visitor interacts with the page. A click of a button is an example of such an interaction.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
The CLS measures how quickly a web page is visually stable. The sooner your page visitor can get a clear visual of what is on the page, the happier the person is going to be. It only takes a few extra seconds of delay for a hurried visitor to get impatient and potentially leave your page or site altogether.
If you want to get an indication of your website’s performance as far as these three-speed signals go, Google has a free tool known as PageSpeed Insights that you can take advantage of. You can check the speed metrics of each page individually. Another free tool from Google that might be very handy is the Search Console. With this tool, you can pick up on other technical issues that your site might have apart from speed issues.
Additional Page Experience Signals
Google plans to combine other page experience signals with the three explained above to give a new and improved Page Experience report. This report is available in the Google search Console.
Here are some of the other page experience signal metrics to familiarize yourself with:
- Mobile usability- With a growing number of users making their mobile devices the primary way they search the internet, the importance of mobile-friendly web pages cannot be overstated. For a URL to score a “Good” status for this page experience signal, it must not have any mobile usability errors.
- Security- Any sites with outstanding security issues are not eligible for “Good” page experience status for any of their URLs. Without the assurance of safe browsing, it’s unlikely that your website can provide a good user experience.
- HTTPS- For your website to qualify for “Good” status, it must also be served over HTTPS.
- Ad user experience- While advertising is a necessary and valuable part of digital marketing, if it comes across as intrusive and distracting, this can override having great page experience sessions for your website visitors. Google can flag a page for a bad ad experience, and this automatically disqualifies all the other website pages from having a good user experience.
Once each page experience signal above is evaluated, the Page Experience report can be generated. This report measures the percentage of URLs on a website that provide a good user experience. This information is invaluable, and site owners can use the insights as an indicator of opportunities for improvement to their sites and pages.
Another update that comes with the above is in Google’s Search Performance report, which you can also find in the Search Console. You are going to be able to filter the data for pages that offer a good user experience.
As far as Google News goes, you can expect a couple of changes. One of these is the expansion of non-AMP content usage across news.google.com and mobile apps. Currently, AMP badges indicate AMP content. With the changes coming from mid-June 2021, Google plans to remove these badges.
The Top Stories in a Google Search is to be updated so that it shows all news content meeting the requirements of Google’s news policies. One other change on the cards is the use of visual indicators to highlight pages in the search results that offer a good user experience. These sites and pages would have met the criteria for a solid page experience.
There are quite a few changes that you can expect to see with the Google page experience update starting in mid-June 2021. Site owners can prepare themselves by familiarizing themselves with the current Google algorithms and how these are going to change. Armed with this information and the free tools that Google offers to evaluate the performance of your sites, you can build a better website that ticks the boxes as far as the key components of page experience go.
With a range of improvements in your site design, SEO, and digital marketing, you can make progress with signals such as mobile friendliness, site trustworthiness, site speed, and eventually, ranking. While your pages aren’t going to make higher rankings overnight, if you prepare now and follow what the rollout of the new page experience Google is doing, you can stay ahead of the game.
If you need assistance with preparing your website for the Google Page Experience Algorithm Update contact us today! 303-952-4900 or vist our website at GetFoundFast.com