While there’s an assortment of benefits to Google’s May 2021 SEO update, you may have noticed that the latest algorithm change has affected your page rankings. Since Google is now highlighting search results that possess great page experiences, your business needs to improve on signals such as page load times, mobile-friendliness, HTTPS setups, and more to ensure that you remain easy to spot on the search rankings. Here’s a breakdown of the 2021 SEO update along with some practical tips that you can take to stay on top. 

What is the Google Page Experience Update and how is it measured?

Google will now evaluate website pages based on a set of signals—page loading times, the mobile-friendliness of the website, whether the site runs on HTTPS, if it has intrusive interstitials, and if content jumps between page loads. All of the above factors affect the page experience and are considered to be refining metrics that impact the website speed and usability for users. These refinements are referred to as Core Web Vitals. 

Google’s Core Web Vitals are explained below:

  • Loading times: The Google Page Experience update measures the perceived load time of your website’s pages and ranks it based on how quickly the main website content becomes available. 
  • The interactivity through smart devices: Just like the load time is important, so is how quick the website allows interactions, including between pages on a smart device. 
  • If the website is visually stable: While a website may load content quickly, is the content loading properly? First impressions are a huge factor in the May 2021 SEO update and visual stability is just as important as improving page speed. 

If your website isn’t optimized for one or more of the above Core Web Vitals, we recommend that you speak with an experienced SEO Specialist to ensure that your efforts are making a positive impact on your organic search results. 

There are now visual indicators highlighting the user experience in Google search results

Now that Google’s Page Experience update is live, you will notice that there are visual indicators in the search results informing searchers if specific websites offer great experiences. These visual indicators act as a reward to the websites that have taken the time to improve their page experiences leading to the update. Any business website that has met all of the Google Page Experience criteria will receive an indicator next to the snippet of context to show that they offer users quality web experiences. 

What can you do right now to improve your page experience?

If you haven’t prepared your website for the new ranking factors, it’s an excellent time to improve web performance in the following areas:

Do you possess all the fundamentals to receive Google’s visual indicator? If not, what efforts are on your upcoming to-do list?

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