Google’s Page Experience Algorithm Update 2021

Google is a pretty big deal. Every day, Google sees over 3.5 billion searches, which is around 40,000 searches a second.
Google’s Page Experience Algorithm Update

Google is a pretty big deal. Every day, Google sees over 3.5 billion searches, which is around 40,000 searches a second. And because Google is very good at what they do, most people find the answer they’re looking for on the first page of results – only 25% of people will go beyond this first page. 

Essentially, if you want your business to succeed, and get a lot of organic traffic, you ideally need your website to rank on the initial search result page. Companies therefore invest a lot of time and effort into improving their SEO, through things like keyword research and backlinks. 

While these things are still incredibly important, Google’s new Page Experience update means that there are other things you need to focus on too, if you want your website to rank highly. The update will initially be introduced in mid June, though small changes will continue until the end of August. Google have decided on a gradual rollout, to ensure they can closely monitor the impact the Page Experience update will have.

So what will this algorithm update really mean? What changes will you need to make to your site in order to maintain, or even improve, your Google ranking?

What is the Page Experience Signal?

Google’s Page Experience signal is the new ranking algorithm that will be utilised for this update, which uses various sub-signals to determine exactly what the name suggests – the overall page experience. This means that before a potential customer even lands on your webpage, user experience will play a big part on your conversion rate. Users may not see your page in the first place, if it’s not ranking highly in Google, let alone have a positive interaction with your site.

Not all of the sub-signals this new algorithm considers are new. You’ll still need to focus on the following aspects of your website, in order to rank in search engines:

  • Mobile Friendliness: Exactly what it sounds like – how your website translates to mobile devices 
  • HTTPS Security: As opposed to HTTP, HTTPS is a more secure network protocol, which uses encrypted data
  • Safe-Browsing: Google checks whether your page contains any harmful content, such as social engineering or malware
  • No Intrusive Interstitials: Interstitials basically make the content on a webpage more difficult to access

Core Web Vitals

The Google Page Experience update will introduce ‘Core Web Vitals’, which are sub-signals which will consider elements of your site that affect user experience. These include:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): While this sounds like it could be about the colour scheme of your website, it’s actually about the loading speed. Your LCP should be 2.5 seconds or faster – anything above 4 seconds is considered to be a poor quality LCP
  • First Input Delay (FID): Your FID is the speed it takes to respond to an action. So if a user clicks on a button on your site, it should take less than 100 milliseconds for the browser to respond. A poor FID is anything over 300 milliseconds
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): This measures the stability of your website. Any unexpected web shifts, for instance, could cause a user to click on something they didn’t intend to. A poor CLS score is considered to be anything over 0.25, while a good score is anything less than 0.1

Google has thankfully included a tool within their Search Console which allows you to measure and track your site’s Core Web Vitals. This new report tells you how your website is currently performing in terms of user experience, and where improvements can be made. 

Is it Important to Prepare for the Page Experience Algorithm Update?

The short answer is yes! A study undertaken in August 2020 showed that less than 15% of websites would meet the new Core Web Vitals assessment criteria. And more recent Searchmetrics data shows that even now, over 90% of sites fail to meet the new guidelines. So if you want to get ahead of the competition, you need to optimise your website before the update is rolled out. That way Google will see that you’re providing a fantastic user experience, and will rank your site higher. 

This could be a straightforward way to improve your SEO, without having to implement endless strategies to see what works. You may not have the tech skills necessary to make the changes yourself, but that’s where The Pineapple Agency can help! When you sign up to our services, we’ll consider your website’s Core Web Vitals as well as other SEO factors like mobile optimisation. 

If you’re interested in a consultation, you can get in touch with us via the contact form below, or simply call us to discuss the services we can offer your business.