There was a time when websites on the first page of Google were dominant simply because they had always been there. The security of their coveted top positions was not granted because of prioritizing design that shined for users on mobile devices, how fast the website loaded, or the relevance and depth of its content. It was simply because they had existed longer than their newer competitors. That time has come to an end with Google’s latest broad Page Experience algorithm update coming later this year.
Google has been rolling out substantial changes to their ranking factors over the last decade, but none have been as comprehensive as the coming core algorithm change. Let’s cover how Google will rank your website in the near future based on the Google Page Experience update.
The Arrival of Core Vitals
The whole purpose of this core algorithm update is to make sure that Google is providing search engine users with the best experience possible when using their search engine. The Google Page Experience algorithm update is built around three main grading points to assess value for users. These are all detailed in their page experience criteria.
These three grading points are called Core Vitals. They are assessed on load-time (LCP), interactivity (FID), and how stable the content on your website loads (CLS). The strength or weakness of your site performance/experience is measured by milliseconds/seconds.
Here are those three in more detail:
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – LCP measures your loading performance. Google’s research has shown that the probability of a bounce increases 32% if a page load time goes from 1 to 3 seconds, 90% if the load times goes from 1 to 5 seconds and so on. With literally only seconds to spare, you can’t afford to have a slow website.
First Input Delay (FID) – FID measures how long it takes for the website to respond once a user clicks on an element. If quite easy to understand how a delay of any kind would lead to a poor experience on-site. This is why it’s incredibly important to prioritize the performance of your website even after it initially loads.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) – CLS measures the visual stability of your website. It is not uncommon for a website to initially load and while you are reading text it suddenly shifts because an image loads above it. This is why it is incredibly important to have all of your page elements load as quickly as possible so that nothing is left to shift your content once a user starts to interact with your website.
Other Factors Within the Google Page Experience Update
Secure Browsing – This has been a ranking factor for quite some time because it is incredibly important to have your website on a secure server with an SSL certificate. This isn’t just important for e-commerce websites anymore but for all websites as security is paramount these days. Your website visitors will be reluctant to continue through to your site if they see it is not secure.
Mobile-Friendly Design – Over 60% of Google’s users are searching on mobile devices*. Mobile-friendly design been a factor for quite some time and has never been more important than right now. All of the Core Vitals we discussed above are measured from both the desktop and mobile user’s experience.
It also takes more work and detail to ensure that your website performance within mobile networks is strong. This is because mobile networks tend to be more unstable than desktop/wifi networks. So, it is incredibly important to make sure that you are in the green for all of the core vitals on both desktop and mobile.
Your Next Steps for Success
This is a time of reckoning for some businesses and a call to victory for others. This is finally the time when the businesses that have hired the right agencies and built the best websites are able to be rewarded for their investment.
This also is really just the tip of the iceberg regarding what is happening right now with Google and the things that you need to be aware of to make sure that you are in good standing to compete in your rankings.
Are you unsure about what side you’re on with this core update? Please feel free to reach out to schedule a free consultation and site audit. We have both the expertise and the passion to navigate these technicalities, and ensure that you are in the most visible position possible for your business.
LET'S MEET VIRTUALLY
MAXIMIZE YOUR VISIBILITY!
Ready for a free website and SEO Audit?
Talk to one of our Google Certified Marketing Specialists and get ahead of this and any other future Google updates!