There are signs that a new Google algorithm update scheduled for June 2021 is already being rolled out, according to digital marketing provider, Localsearch. The update will affect all websites, and Adam Boote, Director of Digital and Growth at Localsearch is concerned that the fast track will leave small businesses unprepared for the changes.
New ranking algorithm
The update is known as the Google Page Experience Update and will involve major changes to how webpage rankings are determined in the search results. The update is designed to improve the web browsing experience and will consider the usability of a website and its effectiveness in providing the best possible answer to a query. It will be based on three main factors; the speed the webpage takes to load, the layout of the webpage, and how relevant the page’s content is to the original search.
For small businesses to maintain traffic flow to their site, they will be required to optimise the quality of their webpage and ensure an easy-to-use platform for their customers.
Mr Boote warns, “The Google update is coming, and it will impact every website, either positively or negatively. What businesses do in the coming weeks will be important for how your website performs when the update fully rolls out and becomes the norm.”
Core Web Vitals
The new set of factors Google will consider in the ranking are known as Core Web Vitals and are currently used by Google Chrome. There are three main measurements. The first of these, Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), measures the time it takes for the largest visible item on the screen to appear for users. Businesses should aim for no more than 2.5 seconds; anything greater than 4 seconds poses the risk of losing visibility in the search results to faster websites. However, Google has said sites that best match the user’s purpose for visiting the page will not be penalised if the speed requirement is not met.
The second measure of Core Web Vitals is First Input Display (FID). This considers the time taken for the browser to respond after being clicked by the user.
The third and final is Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) which measures the stability of the webpage’s layout. Businesses should aim to avoid fonts, images, or any form of content from shifting position on the page after it has loaded.
Read More: Core Web Vitals report
Mr Boote says, “SEO really needs to concentrate on improving page content site-wide with keeping the intent of the user in mind – reducing load speed, ensuring the website is mobile friendly and matching user intent with user experience”
Mr Boote advises businesses to use these coming weeks to prepare for the update for a better chance of ranking well on Google.