| 3 min
March 31st, 2021
We all know that Google likes to have the best index possible. To do that they update the algorithm that powers the index regularly. The major updates tend to be the more famous ones, like Panda, Penguin, BERT, and more. Alongside these bigger updates, there are a huge number of smaller updates. Some think the number could be as high as 500-600 updates a year. Many of these are just smaller tweaks to help refine the bigger update so don’t really cause too much fuss but it does show that Google always has its eye on your site.
One thing that Google does normally do is give web owners plenty of notice. The next update is due to come into play in May 2021. The next update, named ‘page experience’, focuses on…you guessed it, page experience. So let us take a look at a few of the points that play into page experience in more detail.
The Page Experience update
Site speed has always been an important factor when it comes to how a site performs. Most users would expect a page to load in less than 5 seconds and if it doesn’t they hit back and look for the next site. If your site loads in 3 seconds you still have around a 30% chance that they will bounce. That means if your page isn’t at least showing them something is going on like a loading image you have a good chance of losing a potential client. There are a number of ways you can increase your page speed times from minifying code, reducing redirects and optimising images. Speaking to a web developer will give you a better idea of what can be done to improve your site.
Site stability/layout shift
Another point Google is hoping to address is Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). This is making sure that all of the elements on your site stay where they are when you load a page. I’m sure many of us have gone through trying to click a link, only for a banner to load in and force that link down, so now you are on a different page than you wanted. That is not a good user experience, as it causes frustration and some users may opt to not use your site if it keeps happening.
At the end of March Google announced that it had moved every site on to mobile-first indexing. This has been a long time coming as the mobile-first index was announced back in July 2019. That means if you have any content or images that only appear on the desktop version of your site, they can and most likely will be dropped. With nearly 2 years to have gotten your mobile site in order, this shouldn’t cause anyone too much of an issue.
As with all Google updates, they focus on helping the user find what they are looking for, and the only way you can do that is by having a well presented, easy to use site that gives a user what they need. If they are having to fight through popups, moving content or endless waiting between pages, that isn’t a good experience for them, so why would they want to stay, let alone come back if they do request a service. If you have any of these kinds of issues, it might be time to rework your site. If you need any help refreshing your site or want to consult us about other aspects of your digital marketing, please get in touch today.