Latest Google Shenanigans, 2021
I get the exasperation. The saying goes that the only two real certainties are death and taxes, but that no longer holds true if you want to win at the Google’s game of chess. There are death, taxes, AND Google Algorithm updates. As a professional digital marketer, even I am challenged with this added absolute in life.
In our increasingly impatient world, the speed and ease in which consumers receive their information about a business or service makes ranking on page 1 a major priority. It’s vital to have consumers find what they’re looking for quickly, and with satisfaction. That’s what page rank is all about. When a business stays closely connected to the latest Google updates or hires an honest agency to do it for them, they will continue to maintain their high-ranking position.
But sometimes Google just goes all out, like it did when it announced the most recent Google Page Experience update. With all of the media hype about it, you’d think the end of the world was coming. We’re happy to announce that not only is StraightFire still alive and well, but we will continue to keep all of our SEO clients positioned on page 1 of Google throughout 2021.
More good news — the update is rolling out slowly and your traffic probably hasn’t gone down, yet. The roll out started in mid-June and isn’t expected to finish until August. Here’s what you need to know about it.
User Experience (UX) Matters
We’ve always known that UX is an important part of making an effective and profitable website. However, it wasn’t a specific ranking factor before. In a sense, user experience affected time-on-page, which boosted your ranking.
But now website UX is even more important — and Google has hinted that they’ll create a visual badge for websites that have an excellent user experience. At the same time, they’ll be removing the AMP badge because the user experience is now considered more important.
There are several elements of the new user experience ranking:
• Core Web Vitals
• Safe browsing & HTTPS
Let’s look at each one.
Core Web Vitals
The Core Web Vitals report measures the speed of your website and focuses on three things: loading, interactivity, and visual stability.
Load times have a huge impact on whether a user sticks around. According to Google’s own research, as load times increase from 1 second to 3 seconds, the probability of a bounce increases 32%. From 1 second to 10 seconds, the probability of a bounce increases 123%.
Loading is based on how quickly the main content of your website loads. Interactivity tracks when there’s a click or a tap and how quickly your page processes the interaction. Finally, visual stability is about avoiding unexpected movement of page content.
Having a mobile-friendly website has been an important ranking factor for quite some time. Now Google has upped the ante by including it in the Page Experience matrix.
A majority of website traffic now comes from mobile devices, so there’s no excuse not to have your website optimized for smaller screens. Choose high-quality design and make sure page elements and your menu are visible and easy to navigate even on a cell phone screen.
Safe Browsing and HTTPS
Both safe browsing and HTTPS have also been ranking factors for a while. They’re both about security, and no one wants to visit an unsafe website! You’ll need to ensure your website doesn’t have malware, phishing content, and more. Remember that hackers may access your website and plant this software, so it pays to be vigilant.
Oh, there’s another certainty of life. Hackers.
Are You Ready For the New Google Page Experience?
The good news is that business owners with high-quality websites that we have designed for them are already optimized for all of Google’s new page experience. The only thing they might need to learn is how to use the new tool to test their core web vitals. The websites that Google ranks at the top, are the ones users love the most. The stronger the UX, the more clicks, the higher the position.
If you’ve let your website go for years and have put off checking the speed, running heat maps and analytics, or updating to mobile friendliness, it’s vital that you get a refresh over the next few months so you stay on top of the game. Or maybe you’re looking for a totally new re-boot website with excellent UX. It will not only improve your ranking, it will improve your conversion rates and profitability as well.
Contact StraightFire for a quote today.