It’s not a new thing, Google updating its search engine algorithms. Google usually doesn’t announce their “Newest Update,” but search engine enthusiasts can generally pick it.
It has always been evident that Google’s vision is to enhance the user experience. They announced it during the May 2020 update, and they will roll out yet another update in 2021.
The May 2021 update will be called the “Page-Experience” update. If you haven’t read Google’s announcement, Click here to read it.
This article will summarise what you need to do to prepare your website for the new update. Following these tips will give you the maximum advantage from the upcoming core update and you’ll be able to increase website’s traffic.
Core Web Vitals Will Be Becoming Ranking Factor
If the new update were a lock, “Core Web Vitals” is the key to that lock!
Before starting anything, Let me give you a short and simple introduction to “Core Web Vitals.”
Core Web Vitals are Google’s metrics related to the Speed, Responsiveness, and Visual Stability of a website. Google calculates all these metrics and gives the website or a web-page a score depending on how the website or web page’s performance is.
The Philosophy behind ‘Core Web Vital’
Google’s algorithm tries to replicate user’s experiences with the help of these scores. The philosophy behind such metrics is that users always get a flawless experience while surfing the web. If a website loads faster and is visually stable, users will like these websites, and Google will be happy to rank such websites higher in the SERP (Search Engine Results Pages).
Factors affecting Core Web Vital Score
Core Web Vitals are specific factors that Google considers to be important in a webpage’s overall experience. Three user interaction measurements make up Core Web Vitals:
- Largest Contentful Paint
- First Input Delay
- Cumulative Layout Shift
I know these terms are tongue twisters, but trust me, it doesn’t have to be rocket science either. I will explain to you each of these terms and how you can improve these on your website.
1. Largest Contentful Paint
Largest Contentful Paint or LCP is a time metric that shows how long it takes for a website to load from the user’s point of view. In simple language, LCP is the time it takes a website from ‘clicking a link’ to ‘display the actual content’.
LCP is different from other page speed measures; LCP solely focuses on how much time a website will load to show the actual content the user is looking seeking.
2. First Input Delay (FID)
Second on our list of Google’s 3 ‘Core Web Vitals’ is First Input Delay or FID. FID mainly deals with the interaction ability of your webpage. After LPC, your website is ready to display some useful content to the user. FID measures if your website ready to interact with users.
So in simpler terms, FID measures the time it takes for a user to interact with the content on your webpage.
Examples of interactions on the webpage include:
- Interacting with menu options
- Interacting with site navigation
- Interacting with text fields like “Emails” or “Subscription Box.”
- Interacting with “Collapsible Text Content”
FID is a critical factor for evaluating the speed of a webpage because it replicates how a real-life user will interact with a webpage.
Like other metrics, FID also has some criteria depending on the score.
- If your webpage’s score is less than 100ms, Then it is considered “Good.”
- If your webpage’s score is between 100-300ms, Then it is considered Okayish but “Needs Improvement.”
- And, If your web page’s score is more than 300ms, Then it is considered “Poor.”
3. Cumulative Layout Shift
Last but not least is Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). CLS measures the visual stability of a webpage. In simpler terms, if a webpage has some movable object, then it’ll take some additional time for a webpage to become visually stable.
Such web pages will receive a high CLS score, affecting the ranking of the webpage. If your web page has many moveable elements, It’ll create a problem for users, and it is also a bad UX.
Pop-ups on a website are a classic example of a visually unstable website. See the CLS criteria below.
- If CLS is between 0.0m to 0.1 is considered as “Good.”
- If CLS is between 0.1 to 0.2 is considered as “Needs Improvement.”
- And, CLS is more than 0.3 is considered as “Poor.”
Now let’s discuss how to implement things to ensure that your website can maximise this update.
How to Prepare Your Website for the Google Core Web Vitals Update
Here’s what techniques you can use to help you improve your website’s visibility in the search engines after May 2021 update.
1. Improve your website’s ‘Core Web Vital Score.’
Core Web Vitals are essential metrics for a webpage’s user experience.
While there are many other tools and chrome web extensions, I suggest you check the reports from Google’s ‘Light house’ data. You can check your web page’s or website’s page speed on Google’s ‘PageSpeed Insight.’
After receiving the results, you can read more about site speed optimisation and enhancing the website’s user experience on Google’s web vital portal.
2. Make Your Website Mobile Friendly
Google’s Page Experience update will focus more on the UX of the website. The mobile friendliness of a website will play an important role in deciding the website ranking.
It’s 2021. According to Australian Internet Statistics, mobile users make up 51.98% of webpage views on the internet. Most people are surfing the web on a mobile device. If a website is not mobile-friendly, it’ll be creating a negative impact on your website.
3. Safe Browsing and HTTPS
Privacy and safety are going to be important factors in the new update. If your website isn’t safe, Google will not push your website to a higher ranking.
HTTPS makes sure that user’s data is protected and safe. Websites with HTTPS tend to rank higher, and the conversion rate is higher than usual.
4. No Interstitial Advertisements
To be honest, no one likes pop-up ads. Interstitial pop-ups often make the website visually unstable. Try to avoid such pop-ups because websites with pop-ups could face a ranking drop.
The Final Take Away
As a platform, Google’s main objective is to make a platform where user experience is valued the most. Google wants relevant information to its users.
In this attempt to provide relevant and user-valued content, Google is all set to roll out its new update. The new ‘Page Experience Update’ will evaluate web pages and their user experience based on scores “Core Web Vitals.”
Core Web Vitals are some important metrics on which Google will evaluate a website. As a website owner, I would recommend you improve your vital web score.