The king of search results, Google, has announced a Page Experience update which will be rolled out in 2021. Being the premier platform for all searches, Google is always evolving and updating its algorithm to better suit its users. And the latest update plans to do just that.
What it means that if your webpage does not meet Google new criteria for a good user experience page, your ranking is likely to suffer. To make sure you are still accessible on Google, be sure to optimise your website as per the latest update or seek out the help of an SEO agency for the same.
What is page experience?
According to Google, page experience is a set of signals that measure how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page beyond its pure information value. Simply put, it will evaluate a user’s experience on the website beyond just the content offered.
The evaluation is determined based on ‘Core Web Vitals’ – a set of metrics that measure real-world user experience for loading performance, interactivity, and visual stability of the page. In addition, factors such as optimisation for mobile, safety of the website, HTTPS, and intrusive interstitial guidelines. If these terms confound you, don’t worry. Partner with the best SEO service to ensure you are ready when the update is implemented.
What this update means
While the page experience update will be a part of Google’s ranking for search results, it will not be the only criteria. Google will still prioritise valuable content over page experience. However, when it comes to choosing between sites with similar content, page experience will play a determining factor in which site gets ranked and which doesn’t.
Google has offered the following signals that need to be implemented for delivering a good page experience.
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): Measures loading performance. To provide a good user experience, sites should strive to have LCP occur within the first 2.5 seconds of the page starting to load.
First Input Delay (FID): Measures interactivity. To provide a good user experience, sites should strive to have an FID of less than 100 milliseconds.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): Measures visual stability. To provide a good user experience, sites should strive to have a CLS score of less than 0.1.
The company has also shared certain tools that can help you measure and monitor Core Web Vitals listed above.
Google has made mobile-friendliness an important criterion. While most organisations have optimised their content for mobiles, a lot are still far behind. If you are a new company chances are you may just need some reorganisation to optimise your site. However, if you are using an outdated platform, you may need to rebuild your website. To ensure your efforts are channelled in the right direction, it is best to partner with the leading SEO companies.
Safety is going to become a bigger priority in the update with Google weeding out pages that may contain malicious (for example, malware) or deceptive (for example, social engineering) content. This may also be extended to sites that use clickbait strategies to get traffic. Googles update is likely to track them faster and even penalise them.
HTTPS is a way of stating the page is secure and often shows a lock symbol next to the website address. A secure connection is the most basic and essential factor that all websites should provide customers. This basically ensures that all transactions and communication is encrypted and cannot be hacked by a third party. After the update, sites that are not secure may lose out massively on this search giant.
No intrusive interstitials
Nothing is more irritating for a user trying to read content on the website only to find it blocked with pop-ups and intrusive ads. Google’s page experience update will factor how easily can users access the content. If you place huge banners on your content for sign-up and registrations or display too many ads that impact user experience, Google is likely to make a note of it. To ensure you still get ranked it may be advisable to cancel those pesky pop-ups.
While this new update sounds like a big deal, in most cases for an optimised website, they are small additions that boost user experience. Further, Google has clearly stated that these changes are not going to be implemented anytime soon. Based on the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, the search giant will release a 6-month notice before the changes are implemented. Further, the site also mentioned that the page experience signals are likely to be updated on an annual basis.
To ensure you are at the top of your game and giving your users a great experience, start optimising your website now. Research and analyse factors where you may be lacking and look at how you can create a better and more informative website. Remember, content is still king. If you need help, connect with an SEO agency today.