Will your website be affected by Google’s page experience update?

As we all know, it’s important to keep abreast of any platform or website updates when it comes to the visibility of your business online. So, with that in mind — we thought it would be prudent to talk you through one of the most significant ones this year… Google has decided that Core Web Vitals will start to impact ranking. 

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

Beginning May 2021, Google will start to factor in the performance of your Core Web Vitals as part of their general SEO and searchability. So, if yours are poor then your site’s ranking may be affected. This is all part of a broader page experience update from Google that essentially is meant to help serve us the best, most high-quality and relevant content. A great thing for the user but it definitely requires some careful consideration for brands and businesses in need of a website audit. 

WHAT ARE WEB CORE VITALS?

Literally, this refers to: 

  • Loading
  • Interactivity 
  • Visual strength

And for those of us who don’t speak ‘tech’, these are basically functional elements of your website. Related to the time it takes your content to load, the visual quality of it and the interaction experience for users. Since this new update, the health of these elements will contribute to the search signals Google uses to find and serve your page to its own users. 

So to break it own EVEN more, if you’re going to begin considering these factors for your own searchability, ask yourself these questions: 

  1. What is your content load speed? Is it lagging? If so, what could be the cause of that. Perhaps a lot of the backend meta data needs to be cleared and cleaned. 
  2. How quickly are users able to INTERACT with your content? So this is different from the above. When assessing the Core Web Vital of interactivity, rather than asking how quickly content loads on a page, we’re asking how quickly users can interact with that content.  
  3. Have you ever been reading an article only to have an ad or image load above what you’re reading, causing the content to move down on the screen? Even worse, ever go to click a link only to have something load and cause the link to move, meaning you’ve clicked the wrong thing? This is visual INSTABILITY which accounts for poor visual strength. 

WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT IT?

If you’re not lucky enough to have an in-house website wizard like we do (thanks Byron), then the first thing you can do is to find one. You can outsource this to a company with expertise in this specific area. The technical measurability of these elements goes beyond what we’ve outlined above and does genuinely require someone with a specific qualification. So you WILL need an expert to audit your site and make sure it’s running optimally. 

Once your website has been appropriately assessed, you can move onto the fun part of updating it to where need be. The great news is that this is MEANT to be a good thing for everyone, and in reality we should all treat our websites as an evolving entity rather than a job we do once and then leave be. So if anything, this update from Google is a good prompt to get us all to do what we should be doing quite frequently anyway. 

If you’re wondering how your website may fair in terms of SEO after this update, we’re here to help! Get in touch and we can chat about all things website auditing. 

Phoebe Carden

Written by: Phoebe Carden
Published: May 5, 2021

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