Google Algorithm Change Coming

Google Page Experience signals will now become an integral part of Google Search Ranking and Google Algorithms. Even if you’re not entirely sure what that means (yet), it will bring critical changes to how your marketing efforts work out. Whether these changes are good or bad depends on how smart your page design is- and it’s time to get ready now, before you lose out. That’s why Zebra 360 Digital Marketing Agency has the facts you need to make sure your page is ready for 21st May 2021.

What even are Page Experience Signals?

Announced almost a year ago, this algorithm change will bring ‘page experience signals’ into consideration of your Google Search Ranking. But what do these signals do?

It’s a measure of how users interact with the webpage. Strictly speaking, it adds a set of metrics (known as Core Web Vitals) to existing things you should already have working for your webpages.

So what are Core Web Vitals?

Google’s ongoing drive is to provide users with the most relevant, well-optimized, and functional sites for each search string. People won’t wait 2 minutes for a page to load in the 2020s- and Google wants to reflect that. So it’s not just about what information you offer, but about how well you offer it, too.

Core Web Vitals brings in some new stats. If you’re already using the Google Search Console, fortunately, you’ll be able to easily access most of the stats you need to evaluate your readiness.

What are those? New stats now considered will include:

  • LCP/Largest Contentful Paint: The time it takes to load your biggest chunk of content. This needs to be below 2.5 seconds.
  • First Input Delay: When a user touches your page, be it clicking a link or tapping a button, how fast is the response? Keep this under 100 milliseconds.
  • CLS/Cumulative Layout Shift: As page elements load, they can shift the layout- leading to your customer chasing the button they need around the page. CLS measures this, and needs to score under 0.1

Do my existing metrics still matter?

Yes! Several key metrics will remain with the new algorithm, including:

  • Mobile friendliness: Quick to load and easy to read on mobile devices becomes even more important as we swing to accessing the net from non-PC devices.
  • Browsing safety: Security issues and protection of personal information needs to remain strong, including malware, deceptive pages, and strange or harmful downloads. 
  • HTTPS: Secured connections also build trust, and are particularly important for ecommerce shops and similar businesses.
  • Intrusive Interstitial compliance: This is fancy terminology for ‘popups and nag screens are annoying, avoid them’ 

All of these remain key areas of focus, alongside the new additions for the Page Experience update.

Do I really need to care?

Again, this is a big Yes. Never underestimate what even small changes in the Google algorithm can do to your rankings. Failure to comply with Google’s asks means your site will disappear from prominence- and that means clients won’t find you.

What do I need to do?

If you have someone in charge of your metrics, like Zebra 360 Digital Marketing Agency, then it’s merely a matter of letting them work their magic. If not, then it’s time to dust everything off and:

  • Perform a site audit, focusing on the parameters we looked at above. 
  • Fix the issues you find for existing metrics
  • Put a plan in place to tackle the new variables being added to the Page Experience update

It sounds super easy put like that, of course- but then again, it really is just a process of methodically working through site errors and areas in which you could improve performance and doing exactly that. And remember- the Zebra 360 Social Media Marketing Agency team is alway here to help you make the best of your marketing efforts and boost your ROI, including through web design and SEO.