Google’s New Algorithm Update: What You Need to Know
Written by 5ivecanons Staff
We all know how important first impressions are, and if we have a good experience with someone, we like them and want to hang out more. The same goes for websites. And last year, Google gave us a heads up that the new page experience algorithm update will rank websites higher that they believe people love.
Do people love your website? Does it have good page experience? Let’s run some reports together and find out.
Let’s break down the page experience algorithm update
Essentially, Google is telling us that if your website is easy to navigate, and they believe people like using it, it will rank higher. We’re talking about users moving around your site with little to no friction and engaging with the content – clicking buttons, buttons working, valuable content behind the click, load speed, and more. Content will still be a very large part of your ranking, but page experience will start to take the wheel this June.
The thought is, the more time on your site, with the more actions taken, and the fewest number of road blocks, the more users like your site, and the more ranking juice it’ll receive. Makes sense to us.
This will be very helpful for businesses that don’t have big brands or household names. You will now have a chance to compete on Google with your top competitors based on page experience. It’s a no brainer. Let’s get to work.
Core Web Vitals + Existing Page Experience Signals = Search Signals for Page Expereince
Core Web Vitals (new algorithm signals)
- Speed up load time – If you website is slow to load, it will increase your bounce rate while decreasing your user experience and ranking. Use this page speed tool to see how fast your page is loading and highlight issues the site may have. While Google’s magic number is loading under three seconds, we see websites ranking on the first page of google loading under two seconds.
- First Input Delay (FID) – Here is our first impression. This is the delay between your first interaction with a site (a click on the site) and how long it takes the site to respond and provide the content behind the click. We want to have a First Input Delay of 100 milliseconds or less.
- Decrease layout shifts – Google will be looking for what they call cumulative layout shifts. These are shifts in page layout that are not caused by a user. Remember that time you meant to click “continue shopping” but you ended up pushing “place order” because the buttons shifted? That’s a Google ranking “no-no.”
Existing Page Experience Signals
- Responsiveness (or mobile-friendliness) – Mobile searches account for nearly half of the world’s web traffic. It’s about time we get you functioning properly on mobile. It’s a key metric for your google ranking. Test your mobile-friendliness now.
- Protected-browsing – When people are browsing your site, they want to be certain their information is kept private. Adopt HTTPS to ensure this, and in turn, increase your user experience.
- Safe-browsing – Google wants sites to be safe for their users and their computers. Seems simple but you’d be surprised how much malware is out there. Is your site safe?
- Intrusive Interstitials – Don’t let the name fool you into thinking this is complicated. Intrusive interstitials are irrelevant pop-ups that cover the majority of your website content. Google is not wrong to think that users want an uninterrupted experience.
Bonus Optimization Techniques
- Find and fix 404 page errors – A 404 error means the page the viewer is trying to reach on the server does not exist. Continually running into these is a terrible user experience. While 404 page errors don’t directly decrease your ranking, they make it hard for Google to crawl your site, which will decrease your rank.
- Install heatmaps – Install a tool like Crazy Egg or Lucky Orange to see how people are engaging with your website. What buttons are they pushing? How far are they scrolling? Are they clicking icons that don’t lead to any content? After a minimum of 30 days, assess what’s happening and make adjustments based on the data.
- Increase engagement – Create opportunities for people to stay on your site longer by making elements interactive and putting valuable content behind buttons and links.
- Competitor analysis – We encourage you to Google your competitors. Where are they ranking? What are they doing on their website that you can do? Make adjustments to keep you competitive.
The great news is you can check out the Google developer tool you currently use to measure your website’s page experience right now! The reports include the new Core WebVitals!
What we think about the algorithm update.
We love it. Great page experience, in addition to great content, will get people to the information they want and love quickly. Today’s website user expects a good experience, and Google is catching up and requiring it for ranking. With any Google update, expect changes over time as they continue to identify new metrics that can give better insights.
Need help analyzing your website, making adjustments, or just have more questions on the algorithm update? Call our team. We’ll be happy to walk you through the update and answer your questions.