Google’s Page Experience Update – The Explicit Algorithm Guide- July 18, 2020 - Views: 1541
Google had always been on the front line in considering and optimizing the user experience. It would not be wrong to say that Google actually cares about the experience a user must have on the web.
There are many user-experience metrics that are currently a part of Google’s algorithms. The page experience update is the next level of user-experience tracking that Google will use to determine how user-friendly is a web page.
On 28th May 2020, Google announced this upcoming update. If you think your web pages are not up to the mark with Google’s guidelines regarding the page experience, then you have to worry about this upcoming SEO latest update.
Worrying won’t solve your problem, but working on fixing it will. Google has given us time to get ready for this Google SEO update as this is not rolling out in upcoming days; instead, it will be rolling out in 2021.
Yes, there is still time for it.
But let’s just think about why Google gave so much time and notified us far before launching an update. Beware! it could be a major thing that will probably fluctuate a lot of rankings throughout all niches across the whole web.
Let us understand what page experience actually is.
Here is everything you need to know about new Page Experience Signals.
What is Page Experience?
If you are reading this Google SEO update, you are probably either an SEO professional or a startup owner who has just built a website and are curious to know how Google determines page experience. Well, whatever the case may be, you definitely want a guide to page experience by Google. But let me tell you one thing, it won’t be as easy as it might seem if you are wandering to do it yourself. If you have a standard WordPress website, you will struggle to improve page experience unless you have some technical knowledge.
Google had already defined some of the basic page experience metrics long back which include usage of an SSL on website, mobile-friendliness, intrusive interstitial ads penalization and several others.
Now let’s dive into the new Page Experience Signals that Google would be considering for web page rankings in the SERPs.
Web Vitals are the metrics that are helpful in defining the quality of a web page. It does not matter if you are a business owner, developer or a marketer, you will always have to look for the quality of web pages if you really want your business to be visible on Google. Google provides an amalgamate guide to work and improve web vital metrics. There is a lot more to learn about it, here is what you need to know.
Core Web Vitals
If you are a regular user of Google Search Console previously Google Webmasters, you definitely would have seen a new section at the left which says “Core Web Vitals”. In order to understand what core web vitals are, we have to look at each metric in depth. Below are the new metrics that Google will be considering:
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
It is a metric used by Google to measure loading performance. It is the time taken to display the content that is available above the fold. In simple terms, the time taken by a web page to load the content area that is in the visible section of a browser that appears without a scroll. It should ideally be less than 2.5 seconds according to the guidelines.
First Input Delay (FID)
First Input delay is the measure of interactivity. The time taken to display the first element to the user while loading a web page is known as First Input Delay. An ideal number for it is less than 100 millisecond as per Google’s guidelines.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
Cumulative Layout Shift is a measure of visual stability. As we know that crawlers read the code from top to bottom, the styling of the elements present above the fold must be placed at a higher position to stay on the front line.
These are just the new factors that Google will be considering for page experience.
What About Other Page Experience Factors That Matter?
Other page experience factors matter too. These are just additions to the previous ones. Let’s have a look at other factors that still play a vital role in enhancing the page experience. Here is how Google shows it.
Since the launch of “Mobilegeddon” or “Mobile-First Indexing” algorithm update which was long back in April 2015, Google continuously stayed focused on and preferred websites that are mobile-friendly over non-mobile-friendly ones. Google updated itself with the advent of new technologies. Google knew that with time, people will prefer everything on mobile devices so it was important to keep the web mobile-friendly too.
Google made SSL as a ranking factor for all websites in 2014. Though it was not a huge boost that websites got by implementing SSL, we will not talk about the degree of boost it gave anyhow. In 2017, Google Chrome started giving warnings for websites that do not have a valid SSL installed. SSL is a sign of encrypted information being transferred to and forth. It was earlier important to use an SSL for transactional pages only but later, Google made it mandatory for all.
Intrusive interstitials are basically pop-ups that cover the whole page on mobile devices without a Call-to-action and are hard to close due to lack of mobile responsiveness. These kinds of pop-ups hinder the actual page view thereby leaving no option for the user except to close the page. Intrusive Interstitials build a bad user experience so it is always a good idea to look for an alternative option if you need to notify a user. One can use soft pop-ups instead of this which are easy to close and do not alter the page experience. Here is an example of intrusive interstitial.
Now we know what Google has added up in user experience. Is there anything else we need to know?
Yes, there are a few more things that Google announced.
Google SEO Updates Say That Content Was And Will Always be The King
Content had always been an important ranking factor. This is the basic that everyone learns as a beginner in SEO. The fact is: this will always apply even in the future.
Unique and researched content in what Google will always prefer. There are several factors that define the quality of content, it’s not just the content length. According to Google, the content must be an answer to the searched user query. It must also satisfy the intent of the user. And last but not the least, content must have detailed information about the topic. Spun content should be a big “No” if you really understand the meaning of quality content.
How to Appear in Google’s Top Stories
As per Google’s guidelines, here are the things that need to be kept in mind to appear in top stories.
Freshness of Content
The content must be freshly written and not just a rewritten copy of some other article already written and readily available on the web. Uniqueness is the key.
AMP is no more mandatory
AMP was previously a must to secure a spot in “Top Stories”, but now it is not. The only thing important is the mobile responsiveness and usability. The web page must be easy to use. Although it is not mandatory anymore, I suggest using AMP will be a good idea to score nicely in user experience.
Page Loading Speed
The page Loading speed can be determined by using the Google Page Insights tool or any other tool available out there. It is an important factor that adds to user experience so one must always take care of it.
Must Adhere to Google News Guidelines
It is important to adhere to the guidelines that have been provided by Google to be positioned in the Google news section. This is because we already know that the Top Stories section is quite similar to Google News. And most of the features of websites appear in Top Stories and Google News match a lot. You can read about Google News Guidelines to learn more about it.
Note: There are no specific guidelines given by Google to appear in Top Stories. These are just based on observations and analysis.
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