Did you know that Google will release a new algorithm update now in May 2021? How does this affect your website? In this blog post, we will go through how this update will affect your website as well as how to prepare.
In order for your website to rank higher on Google Search, you need to follow rules specified by Google. Examples of Google rules that should be followed include the following: mobile-friendly website, has an active SSL protocol, and HTTPS.
In the new update, Google will add a new set of rules called Core Web Vitals. Together with the previous rules and Core Web Vitals, these form a new ranking factor called page experience.
Page experience means how visitors interact when they visit your website and how good or bad the website is experienced by the visitor.
What is Core Web Vitals?
According to the image above, you can see that Core Web Vitals is divided into the following 3 sections:
- LCP – Loading (Largest Contentful Paint)
- FID – Interactivity (First Input Delay)
- CLS – Visual stability (Cumulative Layout Shift)
Each part has an important function for how the page experience is experienced for the visitor. Below we will explain a little deeper what each section means.
LCP – Loading (Largest Contentful Paint)
This measures how quickly your main content (e.g text and images) is loaded on your website. Which according to the rules must be loaded in a maximum of 2.5 seconds.
FID - Interactivity (First Input Delay)
Interactivity is the time from when a visitor makes the first interaction (eg click on a link) until the browser has loaded the "interaction". This should happen before 100 milliseconds have passed.
CLS – Visual stability (Cumulative Layout Shift)
Have you experienced e.g. that the button on the website moves away when you try to click on it? In May Google will start measuring this accurately. This means that if you have a factor higher than 0.1, this will affect your ranking and visibility negatively on Google.
Why is Google releasing an update like this?
According to Google, this is about helping Google users find the most relevant information that the user is looking for. Google wants to do this by highlighting the websites that can offer a good user experience.
What characterizes a bad user experience of a website?
Before we go into how to prepare for this update, it is important to know what characterizes a bad user experience of a website.
- Slow loading of the website: most of us know how frustrating it can be with a website that loads and loads, seconds feel like an eternity. Usually, this results in visitors quickly jumping off your website and choosing to switch to a better functioning website.
- Bad website structure and design: does it feel like an impossibility to find information on a website? This is a very common problem. Therefore, you should make sure that the navigation on the website is logical and that the design maintains a good standard.
- Lack of commitment: visitors of your website want to feel engaged by your content. A common scenario is that many websites are very "sales-focused". Therefore, your content should be focused on, among other things, empathy to contribute with a greater commitment.
How can you prepare for the coming release?
Be sure to do a technical analysis of your website. One tip is to use the Google PageSpeed Insights tool, which indicates how fast your website is loading. Also, make sure your website is mobile-friendly, which can be done in Google's "Mobile-friendly test" tool.
Another good tip is to also use the Google Search Console. With this tool, you can easily check how the overall user experience of your website and how it's experienced by Google, e.g. you can use the tool to see if there are any technical problems regarding the website's structure and design.
Do you feel you need help preparing for the update? We at Growth Corner help you analyze and make sure that the website meets all of Google's requirements!