Google’s New Algorithm 2021: Page Experience

Estimated reading time
2 minutes

In 2021 Google will be rolling out one of the biggest algorithm updates in a long time.

Due to the coronavirus, they have pushed this back, however, what is interesting is they have given details and dates of what’s happening….which is unusual.

So what is the Page Experience update and how can you prepare for it?

Page Experience – Let’s build the future of the web

In Google’s words

“At Google Search our mission is to help users find the most relevant and quality sites on the web. The goal with these updates is to highlight the best experiences and ensure that users can find the information they’re looking for.”

In other words, they are looking for how usable your website is.

This is what it looks like

Googles Page Experience Graphic

The key things they are looking for are……..

Web Vitals
Essential metrics for a healthy site.

Accessible to all
Build a site that works for all of your users.

Fast load times
Techniques for improving site performance.

  1. LCP — Largest Contentful Paint, which deals with the loading speed of the largest single object on the page.
  2. FID — First Input Delay, which means the reaction time of the page to the first user input after (whether they click, tap, or press any keys).
  3. CLS — Cumulative Layout Shift — this is the measure of how much the content of the page jumps while loading content, mostly visual content, after opening.

This isn’t really news to us, we knew users wanted a better user experience, here is a blog we wrote in 2018. 10 reasons customers will leave a website in less than 10 seconds.

Why is Google making this update?

Well, the old school strategy of SEO was to create as many links to your website as possible so to Google, you would look popular. However, this doesn’t mean a great experience for the user.

The clear message is that if you want to keep ranking well in Google you need to make sure you are always creating a better page experience.

Optimising for quality of user experience is key to the long-term success of any website.

#1. Keeping your website healthy, safe and secure

Your website, like your computer, needs constant patching with updates. Every website is vulnerable to attack—not just those handling sensitive data. Google has provided a number of tools over the years to measure and report on performance.

At pop, we use these monthly to see what needs updating and we have tools to check security 24 hours a day. We make sure website updates are implemented within 24hours of release. For every metric, we are trying to ensure our clients are hitting the recommended target for most of your users. Example of one of our clients below……

Web Apps Graphic

#2.Accessible to all

This is and has been important to us at Pop. In 2021 it’s going to become a bigger part of our checks. This is why we’ve hooked up with Caren and her team at KreativeInc to work on this. To explain further, here’s an informative video from Victor Tsaran, a Technical Program Manager at Google.

#3.Faster loading times

This is something clients ask us about a lot. When moving to our services clients regularly see over 100% improvement in load time, 100% reduction in size. Generally, we are looking for differences in browsers. Here’s an example of something that would be looked into, why Chrome is performing worse.

browser graphic

 

Optimising your design

Human focused performance metrics are a critical tool in understanding and improving the experience of your site so you know what a real human is doing. We use a wide range of tools to get feedback on designs. By analyzing these we can find out if the user is having a good experience and where people are having issues.

Heat Map Graphic

Conclusion

User experience is going to become more and more important. Give your users some love and you won’t need pop up newsletters to get them back, they will just come.

Links for further reading

https://searchengineland.com/google-page-experience-update-to-launch-in-may-2021-343581

https://developers.google.com/search/blog/2020/11/timing-for-page-experience

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