In 2021, the Google algorithm is changing. Get ahead of the game by clicking here to learn about the Google analytics updates.
On May 28th of 2020, Google issued an announcement that stated that it will be launching an adjustment to its algorithm in the year 2021. The company is shifting its search algorithm to become more user-based. This means that websites will need to do more to make the user experience more enjoyable.
This update will affect how your website(s) rank on Google search, so you need to know what Google is changing and how you need to need to adjust to those changes.
To learn more about the adjustment to Google Analytics, keep reading. We have everything you need to know about The Google Page Experience Update.
Introducing The Google Page Experience Update
Google’s update requires that a well-ranking page has a great page experience. The search engine wants good websites to rank higher on its search engine.
“Good” websites give their visitors good experiences. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it is completely optimized. It simply means that visitors enjoy going to your site and have a good experience when doing so.
But, what exactly is a page experience and how can you make a good one?
Defining Page Experience
Overall, a page experience is a summary of the actions that occur when a searcher is visiting your website. For Google, these actions are important when determining how to rank sites on its search engine.
There are many ways that Google is going to rank sites according to this experience. The site can’t ask every single searcher about every single site that they visit, but they can monitor some great annoyances that searchers may experience when visiting sites through Google.
Google has listed a few of what I believe are many different factors that it will be taking into account. Let’s look through some of those criteria and how you can adjust your website to the change if needed.
Google wants to make sure that its users aren’t sitting around and waiting for your page to load. If your page has a long loading time, you should get this fixed as soon as possible.
As I said, Google wants to make sure that its users are getting answers to their inquiries fast. Therefore, it will rank websites that take longer to load lower on its ranking list.
Make sure that you’re optimizing your webpage for faster loading time. This could save you a spot near the top of Google’s results list.
Several internet searchers are using Google from their phones and other mobile devices. To accommodate for this massive chunk of users, Google is calling for sites across the web to make sure that they’re providing mobile-friendly pages.
Being able to visit clean, mobile pages makes the searching process much easier for users. Therefore, Google will be more likely to list your website higher in the search results. It doesn’t want its customers to get caught in horrible formatting when they’re searching.
You should ensure that your website and its pages are mobile-friendly for your visitors. Besides being great for the new algorithm, mobile-friendly pages will bring more visitors to your site in general. It’s simply more attractive and more convenient for your visitors.
Running on HTTPS
For most of you, HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is an obvious website need. However, not all websites are following this form of security. HTTPS is essential for any website.
Google cares about promoting websites that run on HTTPS because it is the most secure way for search engine users to browse the internet. Google values its users’ security and wants to make sure that it is supplying websites that are secure.
If you care about your Google ranking, you should make sure that your website runs through HTTPS. In fact, you should have this regardless because it protects your viewers.
Google doesn’t want its searchers to be bombarded by advertisements when they go to recommended sites. As a searcher on Google yourself, you may have noticed that some sites that you’re sent to have a massive amount of ads.
As a searcher, it can be annoying to get results with advertisements jammed around the answer that you’re searching for. This can make the process of searching for answers more difficult than it should be. This is not to mention that the advertisements are rarely enjoyable.
In order to keep its searchers happy, Google will keep oversaturated websites out of the higher results. They don’t want their users to become overwhelmed when they’re searching through a site.
Many viewers have problems with content jumping all over the page while they’re trying to press buttons. You have probably experienced the same problem as you’ve visited websites.
Jumping content is never helpful. It’s definitely never convenient.
Your users want to be able to look around and scroll through your website without any problems. Jumping content can cause your users to press incorrect buttons which will only frustrate them.
Visitors will be quick to jump off of your website if your content isn’t set correctly. Make sure to fix this so that your visitors are happy. In turn, Google may rank your web pages higher.
Discussing Core Web Vitals for Google Analytics
Google uses three core web vitals to measure a website’s rank on the search engine. These are important for any website owner to understand and manage. The three core web vitals are as follows:
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
- First Input Delay (FID)
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
In order for you to understand exactly how Google looks at each individual website, we should review each metric. Each one measures a different, important aspect of ranking on Google’s search engine.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
Cumulative layout shift refers to and measures the layout of a website’s pages. As I mentioned, Google wants to make sure that your website has a clean, easy-to-read layout that is accessible on mobile devices.
This also looks at how many advertisements consume your webpages. You don’t want your visitors to be distracted by too many of those just like Google doesn’t want its users to be sent to sites that do that.
You want a lower cumulative layout shift as long as it doesn’t compromise your website’s content. Just keep in mind that simpler is better. You never want to overwhelm your visitors nor underwhelm them.
First Input Delay (FID)
First input delay refers to and measures how many elements of the website are interacting with one another. This looks at how advertisements may or may not be popping up around your website.
Pop-ups will hurt your website’s ranking on Google. Your visitors don’t want annoying pop-ups, so Google doesn’t want to promote websites that have them. FID also looks at whether or not content is jumping around the screen. If too many things are happening at once, this could happen.
Jumping content can cause your visitors to press on incorrect buttons, making their website experience less than pleasurable.
Make sure that your first input delay isn’t too high. Otherwise, it could tell Google that your website is throwing too many things at your visitors at once. Overkill could cause your website to fall in rankings.
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
The largest contentful paint refers to and measures how fast your website loads. Faster loading time is more preferable.
Google wants to promote fast websites to its users. The search engine wants to provide questions and solutions as quickly as possible. Therefore, your website needs to have a faster loading time.
Your website’s loading time should be less than 2.5 seconds. Keep in mind that this time applies to the majority of content on your website. Some features can take longer, but you should be careful to keep your website as efficient as possible.
Other Factors to Take Into Consideration
As you’re transforming your website in preparation for The Google Page Experience Update, there are just a few more things that you should take into consideration.
Google will take into account the structure and workings of your website. It will also use the three metrics I discussed in order to rank websites.
However, you should also understand how these three elements work together to determine your placing, and when you should worry about getting your website finalized for the new update.
We’ll also talk about the number one thing that you should be concerned with when you’re polishing your web pages.
The Complete Page Experience
Now that you know the three web core vitals, you need to understand how those work together.
Google scores your web page’s cumulative layout shift, first input delay, and largest contentful paint. These factors are all taken into consideration at differing levels of importance.
Along with these, Google takes into account whether or not your website is mobile-friendly, has safe browsing, works on HTTPS, and has any pop-ups. There is only one new factor here: safe browsing.
Safe browsing refers to making sure that your website doesn’t have any harmful links that could create hazardous malware on your computer. Google values this because it ensures that its visitors are getting the best experience possible.
There’s a pattern: Google values its searchers. You have to value them too. If you show that you value your viewers through how you construct your website, your website will rank higher.
Google Listing Timeline
As we’ve been discussing the changes with the Google algorithm, you’ve probably been wondering when you should worry about having your website finalized with these new changes.
Google has not announced a release date for The Google Page Experience Update yet. However, they have announced that they will give a six-month warning.
This announcement comes during the coronavirus pandemic. This is relevant as Google wants to give website designers a chance to fix any unaligned website details before the new update goes into place.
The update will come in 2021 at the earliest. However, this doesn’t mean that you should wait to start optimizing your website now.
All of Google’s ranking criteria are important to apply to your website now. If you take these criteria into account, you’ll only be building a better website for your viewers. Whether Google counts it or not, pop-ups and crowded advertisements are not attractive.
What to Worry About Now
Though it is changing the algorithm, Google has made one thing very clear: content still matters. In fact, your website’s content is the number one factor that will consider where your site will rank on Google’s page.
If you’re worried about where you’re currently ranking on Google, you need to focus on content first and foremost. If you try to meet other expectations before improving your content, you won’t improve your rating like you want to.
Make sure that you’re creating consistent, quality content. This will bring more and more visitors in and improve your web authority.
Google will rank pages with great content higher than pages with poor content even if the page with poor content has followed every other feature perfectly. Keep this in mind when you’re refreshing your web pages.
You should also make sure that you’re optimizing your web pages. You need to target keywords so that Google knows how and where to rank you for certain searches.
Optimizing your content includes improving your pictures, videos, and other media. These are also worthy of optimizing. The more that you improve your content (both written and seen), the more likely that your site will rank higher.
Mastering Google Analytics
Overall, ranking higher on Google hasn’t changed too much. Google is simply asking for websites to make their pages more visitor-friendly.
Remember that Google doesn’t want to rank websites that give its users a poor experience. With this in mind, you should be placing advertisements and pop-ups carefully.
However, content comes first. Never compromise good content to follow other standards.
If you need help following The Google Page Experience Update and the rest of Google Analytics, we’re here to help. At Sarkar SEO, we can help you work on optimizing your website to be the best it can be.
If you have any questions about our services, feel free to contact us.