Google is all about new updates and algorithms as it will decide what changes your site may need. On May 28, 2020, Google announced another update called the Page Experience Update, with a gradual rollout date starting in mid-June 2021.
Google algorithm updates are something that makes Webmasters and SEOers worry, especially due to the quickness and, sometimes, lack of alert or detailed information. But this time, Google has announced a new update that’s well in advance, giving webmasters and marketers enough time to plan for it. Means site owners have a few more weeks until you begin seeing the rollout of this algorithm update, which means there’s still time to evaluate and make helpful changes to your site.
You might be thinking that what is the Page Experience Update and how do you prepare for it? So, in this blog post, we’ll explain everything you need to know. Let’s get started!
What is the Page Experience Update?
The page experience update is nothing but the update to change Google’s ranking algorithm that will launch throughout summer 2021. The rollout will start in mid-June and is expected to be completed by the end of August.
The update enhances the importance of excellent UI on websites by incorporating 3 signals into its algorithm that correlate to UX:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – Perceived loading speed
- First Input Delay (FID) – Responsiveness and interactivity
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) – Visual stability
The combination of these three is called Core Web Vitals. The Google page experience update measures the overall experience that a user has while interacting with a web page. The update is to make sure an improved user-friendliness to all websites.
Load time, interactivity, and the stability of content are the dimensions of web usability and that’s measured by Google. Content remains the key factor for ranking, but in cases where multiple pages have similar content, Page Experience becomes much more important for visibility in Search.
Hence, to avail the benefits of your content marketing efforts and obtain a higher ranking in search results, you must optimize your website for the Google Page Experience Update.
What Are Core Web Vitals?
We have seen the three core web vitals of update such as LCP, FID, and CLS, all of which relate to how quickly a page load.
Largest Contentful Paint
This is the first core vital that attempts to measure how quickly the main content of a page loads. To define which component of a page is the main component, this metric focuses on the following:
- <img> elements.
- <image> elements inside an <svg> element.
- <video> elements.
- An element with a background image loaded via the url() function.
- Block-level elements containing text nodes or other inline-level text elements children.
The list is small on purpose and Google is keeping pretty simple for their starting users. The vital identifies the largest of the above factors on the page, then calculates how quickly the element in question loads relative to when the page initially begins loading. You should aim to have an LCP of under 2.5 seconds.
- First Input Delay
This attempt is all about how much time a user takes an action on page like clicking a link to when the site is actually able to start processing that event. The metric is very specific, and is only related to:
- The first input from a user
- The delay in event processing
Events from discrete actions like clicks or taps: scrolling and zooming don’t count toward FID. You should have an FID of less than 100 milliseconds.
Cumulative Layout Shift
The third and last element is used to improve the user experience. If you’ve ever tried to click a button or link on a webpage, only to have the content shift just enough to cause you to accidentally click something unexpected, you’ll understand why CLS is important.
A layout shift score is measured by multiplying the impact fraction of a frame by the distance fraction of the frame. CLS measures the total of all layout scores across the page. Your CLS score is less than 0.1 second.
How to Optimize Your Website for the New Page Experience Update?
Now you know what Google’s new page experience update is and its core components, let’s walk through how to prepare your site for it. There are 7 signals Google uses to evaluate the experience of a webpage.
- No intrusive interstitials
The first three are the core web vitals which we have already explained. So, here are the rest of 4 signals:
The mobile-friendly signal is already the ranking factor since 2018 and if mobile-friendly pages look good and work properly on mobile devices. This means they automatically adjust to the device’s specific characteristics, and they’re easy to read and engage, with, without having to zoom in, scroll left and right, etc.
If you are running an eCommerce store, then it is better if you migrate your website to a mobile-friendly eCommerce solution like Magento that supports a WebP. Apart from making your website responsive, there are certain things that you should focus on to enhance the page experience of your mobile site. Google has highlighted these points in their what makes a google mobile site page, which includes,
- Keep menus short and organized
- Make sure that your logo takes your users to the homepage
- Make it easy for mobile visitors
- Make sure that your images and text are responsive
- Keep the CTA button above the fold
When it comes to ranking factors, safe-browsing is on the list since 2007. The pages aren’t malicious or deceptive. Well, malicious content is dangerous for the user to interact with, such as malware. Deceptive content is intended to trick users into taking such actions with an untrustworthy source.
This is a ranking factor since 2014. The site is served over the more secure HTTPS instead of HTTP. All sited today should be on HTTPS, if your site is not, here’s a guide for updating it.
This is a ranking factor since 2017. These are the web pages that are shown before or after the expected content loads and can prevent the user from accessing the content easily. They can take many forms, including pop-ups that cover the content, boxes that must be dismissed before accessing content, and more.
All in all, Google’s Page Experience update will be launched in June, giving you good time to prepare for it. Follow above steps to optimize your website for the new algorithm update to stay ahead of your competitors and continue providing value for your site visitors.