Google Page Experience Algorithm Update 2021
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a complex subject, particularly because it is a fast-paced area under constant development. In mid-June 2021, Google finally confirmed that it has started to roll out its latest – and long anticipated – page experience update.
The roll out won’t be particularly speedy but it is expected that it will be fully complete by late august 2021. Google said that the roll out could be viewed in a similar way to adding seasoning to your food. That isn’t something you do all at once, it’s a gradual process that ultimately enhances the flavour without spoiling the overall dish.
What Do We Know About the Google Algorithm Update?
The Google algorithm update was first announced by the search giant in November 2020 and it has taken care to release enough information to ensure site owners and developers could adequately prepare for the changes that were on the horizon. The good news is that there aren’t any unwelcome surprises here, as Google isn’t throwing any previously unrevealed features at us. So, essentially, we know what we’re dealing with which is always good!
Let’s look a little further at the specifics of this algorithmic update.
What is Page Experience for SEO?
This particular Google algorithm update is specifically focused on enhancing page experience to ensure that all users are presented with the best possible browsing experience. There are several distinct elements that, together, contribute to page experience and Google looks at each one to determine a webpage’s overall score. Site owners can see their scores in the Google Search Console – just look for the brand-new page experience report.
Essentially all this means that page experience for SEO has never been quite as important as it is right now. The signals that will contribute to page experience include:
– Core Web Vitals (we’ll explain these in other posts)
– HTTPS usage (essential now)
– Non-intrusive interstitials (those annoying pop-ups)
Interestingly, the Top Stories carousel is already utilising the new update, which means that AMP (accelerated mobile pages) is no longer required to appear in this key search feature. Additionally, if you do experience any rapid spikes or drops in traffic, Google has specifically said that these should settle down as the rollout process continues.
Now, if you’re not prepared for this new update, don’t panic! Here are a few tips to keep in mind to ensure that your site is properly optimised for page experience.
Reserve Embed Loading Space
Unexpected page shifts that occur as content is loading can be enormously frustrating for users as they try to click on buttons that move! This can be minimised by reserving space for embedded content to load into.
Too many sites simply aren’t really optimised to deliver a positive mobile browsing experience. Your users should be able to engage with your site on their preferred device without needing to zoom in or scroll sideways.
Conduct a Security Audit
Google wants to know that all sites in its results pages are safe and secure. Conducting a comprehensive audit will flag any phishing, malware or other issues that may be putting your users’ security at risk.
Optimising for this page update might sound like a daunting task but improving the on-site experience you are providing to your visitors will have lasting benefits for your business.