Google’s New Algorithm 2021: Page Experience
Recently, Google made an announcement about a new ranking algorithm. This algorithm has been developed to judge web pages depending on the user’s experience. In other words, if Google thinks that your website users might have a poor experience on your pages, it might decide to bring down those pages in the search rankings. This latest update is known as the “Google Page Experience Update.” It might go live only in 2021.
Google has set specific metrics according to which a user will perceive the experience of any web page. These metrics will be:
- The time taken by the web page to load.
- How mobile-friendly the web page is.
- How it runs on HTTPS.
- The presence of intrusive ads.
- How the web page content jumps around during loading.
Page experience is based on various Google search ranking factors such as the above. The refining metrics based on speed and usability come under Google’s Core Web Vitals.
What exactly are Core Web Vitals?
The Core Web Vitals consist of real-world, user-centered metrics that will provide scores on various aspects of a web page. These will include the following:
- Load time
- Stability of content
There are several factors that influence a user’s page experience. Google will document each of these individual factors. Some of them are:
LCP (or Largest Contentful Paint):
This factor is nothing but measuring the loading performance. In order to offer a good user experience, websites must have their LCPs occur within the first 2.5 seconds of page loading.
FID (or First Input Delay):
This factor estimates the user interactivity. For good user experience, the websites must strive to have an FID of less than 100 milliseconds.
CLS (or Cumulative Layout Shift):
This factor measures visual stability. For good user experience, the websites need to have a CLS score of less than 0.1.
This factor checks if the web page has any malicious or deceptive content. You can check if your website has any of those safe-browsing issues by referring to the Security Issues report.
One can make use of the Mobile-Friendly Test to check and see whether your web page is mobile-friendly.
This factor is related to how the content on a specific web page is easily accessible to the user. Intrusive interstitials can make a web page content far less accessible.
How to prepare for the update?
Google has promised to provide a six-month notice before the “Google Page Experience Update” goes live. As mentioned before, the update will not be going live until 2021. Google is giving all of us time not only because it usually gives a heads up to prepare for any of its updates, but also because of the unstable conditions created by the pandemic.
You can make use of the new Core Web Vitals report in Google Search Console to start your preparations for the update.
According to specific teams in Google, there is not much discussion on how much each of the ranking factors is weighed. Great content will still be a very significant factor. And, great content that comes along with a poor web page experience might still get a top tank in Google search.
Let us now check out more factors that will be considered in the update:
Good-quality content is still supreme:
Google has stated that it will be ranking pages with the best information overall, although some of the aspects of the page experience are subpar. In other words, a good page experience will not be overriding great, relevant content.
AMP and Top Stories:
In your mobile Google search results, AMP will not be essential anymore for inclusion in the Top Stories section. AMP is nothing but Accelerated Mobile Pages. Google will be watching the page experience scores, and this aspect will play a significant role in what type of content appears in the Top Stories section.
However, AMP will still be surfacing in your Google mobile search results in case you have AMP pages. The change that occurs from now on will be that your AMP pages will compete with the other pages for the Top Stories section.
New ranking factors:
Google has defined a set of new ranking factors under the page experience name. So, we have time on our hands until 2021 to prepare for the ranking update. One has to utilize the tools provided by Google to make his/her sites ready for the update.
We have discussed the Google Page Experience Update and seen the various ranking factors that will get a web page to the top in Google search. We have also seen how one can be equipped and ready for the update that will happen in 2021.