What you need to know about Google’s Page Experience update

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Google has recently released information about a new page experience metric that they are going to be including in their algorithms from 2021.

This may potentially only be a small update, however, we would like to inform our clients and businesses about this change now, so you can bear it in mind for the future.

Read below to find out how this may affect your business in 2021.

What are Core Web Vitals?

To be able to understand a little more, we need to dive a little deeper into core web vitals.

Core web vitals include metrics such as:

  • User metrics
  • Page load times
  • Page interactivity

You can now split the core web vitals into three areas.

Although there are many more ranking/algorithm factors, the three listed below are key to improving the page experience.

These are:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
  • First Input Delay (FID)
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

Let’s look at them in more detail.

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) measures the loading performance.

It looks at how long it takes to load the largest content element in a user’s viewport (when everything becomes visible on your screen on a desktop or mobile.)

According to Google, a decent LCP should be within the region of 2.5 seconds. Anything over 4 seconds requires looking into, to make improvements.

Common issues include:

  • Slow servers
  • CSS or JavaScript issues
  • Application issues or resources to your websites, and Google Fonts or font awesome

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) optimal performance metric

First Input Delay (FID) measures interactivity with your website.

When a webpage loads, this is the first user interaction, compared to when the browser can respond to that action.

According to Google, a good first input delay should be around 100ms. Anything over 300ms you should be looking into improvements.

First-Input-Delay-FID-optimal-performace-metric

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) measures visual stability.

If an element moves on the page and creates a bad user experience, then the CLS is taken into account. This then increases or decreases the LCS accordingly.

An example of this could be the size of a video or an image (usually missing width and height dimensions) or if a button loads in the top half of the viewport and then moves/jumps to the bottom half. The CLS calculates these errors and adjusts the experience score.

According to Google, good CLS should be anywhere between 0.1 seconds and 0.25 seconds for a decent experience. Anything over this takes longer to load and offers a poor user experience.

Cumulative Layout Shift optimal performance metric

UPDATED 20TH AUGUST 2020 – This week, we have discovered that part of Google’s update will include a ‘fast page’ label that websites will be assigned if they provide a good user experience.

If a website meets the Core Web Vitals benchmarks for LCP, FID and CLS, users will see the badge of honour when they long-press on any link within the Chrome mobile browser for android.

Want to know how your website can be awarded the ‘fast page’ label? Read on…

How will Google Page Experience affect my website?

Your website is an extension of your company. Google is helping you make a good first impression and offer a good user experience with this implementation.

We know there are over 200 ranking algorithms that Google uses, making updates daily, some very small which we never really see and then some of the major ones like The Google Bert update.

Firstly, we advise that you ensure your website is:

  • Mobile-friendly – Is your website responsive?
  • Secure (https enabled) – If you’ve got an online shop and your website is unsecure, it could lead to potential issues
  • Free of any intrusive popup ads that are annoying to the user

With the Google Page Experience update due to roll out in 2021, Google has advised they will offer at least six months’ notice before they implement it into its algorithms, so webmasters have plenty of time to adjust.

What we can do to help

The Marketing People are not here to scaremonger, we are always here to help and offer advice.

We recommend that you run an audit on your website which we can offer free of charge – just click here for the free site audit.

We also recommend to:

  • Keep your website up-to-date – Content is king, so its important that you provide updated, relevant information
  • Blog regularly – Give your visitors regular updates and information that they want to see
  • Make sure the content is relevant to your business/industry
  • Keep building and growing great content

Conclusion

In relation to Google’s Page Experience update, we recommend that you take the following steps, to ensure your business isn’t negatively impacted.

  1. Take advantage of our free website audit. Make sure that you constantly update any issues, using search console and any SEO related software.
  2. Review your Google Analytics and ensure that pages with a high bounce rate are reviewed and content for these pages is checked.
  3. Make sure all your content is up-to-date and relevant.

If you start working towards making these changes now, then these core web vitals should be easy to manage and maintain. It will give you a good platform for its implementation, and a sound base to improve your Google rankings and website.

If you would like to talk to us about implementing these changes to your website, please call on 01543 495752 and we’d be happy to help.

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