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Google has announced a major update to its algorithm for May of 2021: the Google Page Experience. You don’t have to be an internet professional to know that Google regularly changes its algorithm, whether to make minor modifications or major overhauls. Google’s algorithm is in constant evolution, so if you want to appear in the search results, it’s essential that you stay informed of any changes and adapt accordingly.

It’s difficult to understand the various processes and mathematical formulas that Google applies to web pages and their content in order to determine their classification and their ranking in the search engine results. And it’s sometimes even more difficult to keep up with all the changes!

Search engine optimization (SEO), an important element in the world of digital marketing, must also be in constant evolution, as it must adapt to Google’s numerous updates. In fact, if you want your website (or certain specific pages) to appear at the top of the search results for a certain keyword, the site must respond optimally to Google’s ranking algorithms.

If you have a website and you’ve worked hard on your SEO in order to appear at the top of the Google search results for certain keywords, here’s an overview of the May 2021 update to Google’s algorithms, as well as the elements to consider from now on if you want your website to continue being well ranked so that you don’t end up losing sales.

 

What does the Google Page Experience update entail?

The goal of this major search engine update is to offer a better user experience by including the user-friendliness of webpages as an SEO criterion. In other words, the quality of the user experience on your website will now influence its ranking in Google’s search results. Other indicators that Google will take into account include the website’s mobile-friendliness, secure browsing and secure connection (HTTPS protocol).

In order to verify, qualify and compare aspects of the user experience, Google will employ performance metrics called Core Web Vitals.

 

Core Web Vitals

These three metrics make it possible to gauge the performance of a page on your website in relation to real-life user data. They’ll determine whether the page is in good condition, needs improvement or is in poor condition. The three metrics included in Core Web Vitals are as follows:

 

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

This refers to the time the browser requires to load the largest graphic element on the user’s screen, in other words, the frame displayed on the user’s device (rather than the overall site). The values measured by the search engine are classified as follows:

  • Good: less de 2.5 seconds
  • Needs improvement: between 2.5 and 4 seconds
  • Poor: more than 4 seconds
  • First Input Delay (FID)

This value measures how long it takes before the browser responds to a user’s first interaction on the page he or she is visiting, starting from the moment the user clicks on the URL of the page in question. In other words, it measures the page’s interactivity. How long does it take the page to react when a user interacts with it? The time to respond to an action is classified as follows:

  • Good: less de 100 milliseconds
  • Needs improvement: between 100 and 300 milliseconds
  • Poor: more than 300 milliseconds

 

  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) 

This criterion measures how long it takes for all of the elements (for example, the links or sections of text) in the content blocks of complex pages to reach their final location without changing their position. In other words, this metric indicates the visual stability of your website. The cumulative lag in the page layout is measured as follows:

  • Good: less de 100 milliseconds
  • Needs improvement: between 100 and 250 milliseconds
  • Poor: more than 250 milliseconds

 

How to measure and improve your user experience

You can measure the Core Web Vitals of the different pages of your website using various options, including the following:

 

How to improve your Core Web Vitals

There are several efficient ways to improve your Core Web Vitals. In fact, there’s no one general solution, as every website and online store has its own complexities and must be optimized differently depending on its performance. For guidance, you can always use the Page Speed Insights recommendations for improvement. The main levers for optimization include improving server response times, load times for resources (images, CSS, fonts, etc.) and execution times for JavaScript or third-party code, reserving space for possible advertising, using a secure connection and availing of an appropriate host, among others.

 

Do you want your website to remain at the top of Google’s search results after May of 2021? Do you want to improve your Core Web Vitals? The professionals at BJMédia are digital marketing specialists who can create a high-quality SEO strategy that’s tailored to your needs.

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