If you haven’t heard by now, Google announced late last year that it is rolling out a major algorithm update in May. This is particularly unusual since Google rarely gives advance notice of a core algorithm update.
Dubbed “The Page Experience Update” by the SEO industry, this update will allow Google to factor in page experience when calculating rankings. Google has been moving more and more in this direction over the past few years, but this new update is more intensive and is part of a new core algorithm, rather than small tweaks to an older algorithm. Needless to say, some businesses are panicking and we’re hearing about it. Thankfully, there is little reason to worry, especially if you’re currently running SEO services with SharpNet.
When describing SEO, we often split it up into two categories: content and technical. Content optimization involves the written content on your website and the meta information for each page. Technical SEO is the identification of website infrastructure issues that could lead to poor performance in Google’s organic search.
When reviewing the information that Google released on their Page Experience Update, and being “ahead of the curve,” we found that through our Technical SEO services, we are already addressing the new Core Web Vitals that Google will start factoring into rankings. Google has released a ton of information over the years on what constitutes quality user experience on websites, and we’ve adopted this information into our processes to increase rankings.
Here are some of the user experience elements that we analyze on websites when our clients start SEO services:
- Mobile Friendliness
- Website Speed
- 404 Errors
- SSL Encryption
- Intrusive Pop-Ups
- Broken Design Elements
- Broken Menu Links
- Indexed Junk Pages
The list goes on. Overall, we try to approach the website from the user’s perspective, and if we see any glaring user experience issues, we notify the client immediately. While we can’t always fix these issues, our experts can identify the major problems and consult clients on the best solutions.
If you do your own research into the Page Experience Update, you’ll find that most of the technical issues we already address are at the core of this major Google update. This means if you’ve already taken steps to fix the technical issues we’ve presented you, there’s no need to be too concerned about what will happen to your rankings in May.
What’s the Big Deal with the Core Website Vitals Then?
When Google decided to factor user experience into rankings, it needed a way to assign a numerical value to common user experience issues. This is where the Core Web Vitals come in.
A great example of this is “Cumulative Layout Shift” which is a way to measure how often website elements jump around when using the website. The best way to explain this is through a visual. Watch the animation below:
That would drive you crazy, right? You’re trying to click a button on a website, and suddenly, an element jumps in, shifts the layout, and you accidentally click the wrong button. This is exactly what Google wants you to address to improve your website. Google wants to show its search users the websites that they will enjoy using, and problems such as Cumulative Layout Shift create bad experiences for those users.
So What Do I Do Now?
In preparation for the coming update, we would recommend evaluating the current user experience of your website. Do you see anything that might frustrate users? Is there any broken functionality on your website? Is it as aesthetically pleasing as your competitor’s websites? Addressing these issues now could help prepare your website for this shift in Google’s ranking algorithm.
Ultimately, we can’t know exactly what will change until it happens, so we’re left waiting to see how this all plays out. Part of the SEO process is adapting to algorithm changes, and our experts have seen numerous algorithm changes over the years. We’ll be monitoring the SERPs closely over the coming months and adjusting our processes as necessary.
If you do experience ranking loss due to user experience, having SEO experts on your side will allow you to address the issue quickly and recover your rankings. Our team can answer your questions and address your concerns about this upcoming change, so feel free to reach out to us by phone or email. We’ll be here if you need us!