Last May, Google released the details regarding its page experience signals being incorporated in search rankings. In November, the search giant confirmed that the Page Experience update will be launched in May, 2021.
For all those who haven’t been able to keep up, here’s a comprehensive overview:
Page Experience Update
We’re all aware of Google’s determination to provide a sublime user experience before anything else. Throughout the past decade, it has released guidelines and instructions directing webmasters to look towards UX/UI as primary ranking factors.
The previous updates, namely BERT, catered to search intent and have incorporated natural language processing to enhance the engine’s linguistic understanding. This prompted webmasters to consider the value of their content and their audience’s search intents.
Whereas, the upcoming Page Experience update will focus on everything surrounding the content, i.e. the overall experience. The roots of this update trace back to the time Google announced that mobile-friendliness is a ranking factor.
Since more than 57% of all traffic is accessing the internet through a smartphone, the search giant knew the trend would only grow. Therefore, to get ahead of the possible problems that were to occur, Google started directing webmasters to improve their website’s experience from the perspective of the user. Particularly referring to mobile traffic, the search engine introduced Core Web Vitals that are also a part of the Page Experience Update.
Here’s a brief introduction to CWV and all the other signals that are going to be influencing your rankings:
Core Web Vitals
The three main vitals that will be considered by the search engine include:
- Loading or largest contentful paint (LCP)
- Interactivity or first input delay (FID)
- Visual Stability or cumulative layout shift (CLS)
There is a lot you can do to improve your page’s performance. Google’s very own Page Speed Insights is a commendable platform to test your site’s performance.
When it comes to the first input delay (FID) and cumulative layout shift (CLS), you’ll need to offer a great layout that prompts clear action after a sufficient explanation of what the webpage is about. The ideal time should be near 100ms. Whereas, having a bloated interface that confuses the user is likely to be penalised by the search engine. As per the Page Experience update, maintaining a CLS of 0.1 is crucial for any website that hopes to rank.
After the CWV, Google again stresses the importance of sites being mobile-friendly to be considered worthy of the top position.
A mobile-friendly website satisfies all of the CWV factors, provides a comfortable design and neatly displays all the relevant information that’s exhaustive and detailed. Of course, that’s assuming that the content is to the point, credible, authoritative and written with enough expertise to generate trust.
Mobile-friendliness also comprises structure and navigation experience. If users can’t find the content they’re coming back for or have trouble finding it in the first place, you can expect a penalty. Moreover, this is also a good chance to work on internally linking web pages of your site to keep your traffic engaged. To test your site for the Page Experience update, try using the Mobile-Friendly test recommended by Google.
With all the cyberthreats out there, it’s only logical that Google offers no compromise on security. Some of the most common threats to websites include spammy content, DDoS attacks, brute force, XSS cross-site scripting, SQL injections, etc.
Safe browsing from the perspective of the user also includes malware or malicious content. This also includes social engineering and content designed to exploit situations such as the COVID-19 crisis. The company worked to remove billions of ads due to their false content.
As always, Google Page Experience update also focuses on the search engine providers’ long-term vision of a complete, secure and faster web experience. However, instead of leaving things to be developed, Google went ahead and worked with as many businesses and companies online as possible to promote HTTPS.
Incorporating HTTPS means you get state of the art features such as web push notifications, credit card autofill, HTML5 geolocation API. Although the usual trend is to use non-HTTP scripts, there is a significant risk in this as they are too powerful.
No Intrusive Interstitials
Like all the others, penalising intrusive interstitials is one of the top priorities in the Page Experience update. From this May, we can expect any website that has intrusive marketing elements bloating the interface and compromising user experience to face penalties.
Intrusive interstitials refer to the ad content on web pages that compromises the user experience. If an ad keeps users from viewing content and, resultantly, they leave your website, you can expect your rankings to drop. This demise will be much more catastrophic than your usual bounce rate effects.
To summarise what we have discussed:
- Google’s Page Experience Update launches this May and will incorporate new signals to ranking algorithms.
- These signals will include the Core Web Vitals (CWV), Mobile Friendliness, Safe Browsing, HTTPS, Intrusive Interstitials.
- Core Web Vitals include your loading or largest contentful paint (LCP), Interactivity or first input delay (FID) and Visual Stability or cumulative layout shift (CLS).
- Mobile optimisation is of more significance than anything else as it’s become the main source of analytical data of user experience.
- Having malicious, harmful or false content or having security risks that can put the user’s experience at risk will result in penalties.
- HTTPS is the word of the wise. It’s the inevitable future that’s now become the moment’s necessity.
- Webpages with intrusive interstitials, i.e. ads and marketing elements that comprise user experience will face serious penalties.
Every update of the search engine algorithms is crucial for businesses hoping to rank on top of the SERPs. We all can appreciate the significance as well as the magnitude of the work involved. Simply put, it requires the services of experts in the field. And this is where experts at Zoom Digital have got you covered. Our team consists of skilled marketers and creative innovators who design strategies that guarantee results.
Feel free to get in touch with us for more information.