Summary of Information about the Latest Google SEO Update:
- Google is rolling out an update that includes a new Page Experience factor.
- Website owners need to start addressing issues like page speed, page design, and mobile optimization.
- Site owners and developers can use Google’s Core Web Vitals to measure key metrics, such as visual stability and loading speed.
Google will be rolling out its algorithm update next month, so I wanted to take this opportunity to give you the rundown. While development teams need to begin making adjustments to their websites, the release is not going to start until mid-June with full implementation taking place in August, so there is still time to address any issues that could affect your search rankings.
Here’s what you need to know.
What You Need to Know about the Latest Google SEO Update to Get Your Strategy in Place
What is page experience?
First, let’s define what page experience is. According to Google:
The page experience signal measures aspects of how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page. Optimizing for these factors makes the web more delightful for users across all web browsers and surfaces, and helps sites evolve towards user expectations on mobile. We believe this will contribute to business success on the web as users grow more engaged and can transact with less friction.
To put it in plain English, the page experience update is going to assess how functional your site is and how much users enjoy interacting with it. The algorithm will consider this assessment in how it ranks your website.
That’s pretty important if you want people to see your site.
Steps to start taking now:
I recently sat down with one of my team members, Patrick Hughes—our ZenChange Marketing SEO expert—to discuss what people can do to get their sites ready.
According to Hughes, you can start preparing your site by optimizing the Core Web Vitals that Google will be using to rank your pages. These metrics include First Contentful Paint (FCP), Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS).
To see how your site measures up, visit Google’s PageSpeed Insights and enter your URL.
If your home page is bogged down with large images, your FCP score could be negatively affected.
What should site owners do to fix this? “They need to start using next-generation file formats,” Hughes noted during our talk. These include .jpegx and .webp file formats. If you use the .webp format, just be aware that not all browsers accept it yet.
To our SEO whiz, it’s all about how fast your site loads: “In the name of the game, the faster your site is, the lower your bounce rate is going to be.” That means more people are going to stick around on your webpages to learn about your brand or even to make a purchase.
The LCP metric measures how long it takes for the largest content element in the viewport to become visible. But don’t be fooled by a high desktop score here. “Google uses mobile-first indexing,” Hughes said, “so this is the score that really should matter if you’re checking the Core Web Vitals of your website.”
LCP by far affects page load speed the most, so pay attention to this score and adjust to see results. You want your site to load within 2.5 seconds. How? Start by optimizing and compressing as much of the content on your site as you can.
What does your Cumulative Layout Shift score mean? “That measures the visual stability of a page that you see,” Hughes said. Sometimes websites utilize images that users can interact with, moving or changing as they hover their cursor over the image. What CLS score does Google like to see? According to our SEO expert, an optimial score is 0.1 or lower.
Page Experience: Don’t Ignore the Latest Google SEO Update
Want to discuss your site’s performance and how you can get ahead of the curve on the latest Google SEO update? Let’s talk.