Google Algorithm Update 2020: Page Experience
Google regularly makes changes to its search engine algorithm, which affects the ranking of websites. The search engine giant has been announcing updates over the years, putting emphasis on specific metrics for site ranking.
IG Webs has been in the Huntsville web design and SEO industry for over a decade, and we have seen the tremendous transformation that has taken place in the SEO landscape over the years. We have covered most of the critical updates released by Google over the years.
Google Algorithms: A Flashback
Google has released nine major updates in the past that affected the search engine rankings. The updates included metrics that were used by Google to rank webpages.
The Google Panda algorithm update released in February 2011 penalized sites for duplicate content, keyword stuffing, poor quality content, and user-generated spam. The Google Penguin update released in April 2014 took down sites that used manipulative tactics, such as over optimization of anchor text, and irrelevant, spammy links.
Hummingbird released in August 2013 introduced search intent as a ranking factor. This update allowed webpages to rank for closely matched terms. The Penguin update first released in July 2014 focused on local search results, while the Google Mobile update released in April 2015 emphasized on mobile search ranking factors.
Google considers the RankBrain update released in October 2015 as the third most important update that used machine learning to deliver relevant results. Possum and the unofficial Fred updates released in September 2016 and March 2017, respectively, were minor updates that focused on local search results and quality content.
The Medic update released in August 2018 punished sites that negatively influenced users’ well-being. The update affected sites with insecure payment platforms and un-authoritative sites that offered general advice regarding health and finances that Google rightfully considers dangerous.
The BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) update released in October 2019 introduced a new system for understanding natural language focusing on the context of the search terms. The updates make sense of groups of words to understand what the user wants in order to display relevant search results.
Google Update 2020: Page Experience
Google has been announcing updates every year since 2011. And the coronavirus pandemic has not stopped the search engine giant from releasing another update.
In May 2020, Google announced a new update that placed emphasis on a set of metrics for improving web page experience.
However, website owners would be glad to know that the new update won’t go into effect until 2021. This gives plenty of time to website owners to make changes to their websites and be in the good books of Google when it is finally implemented.
What Is Page Experience, According to Google?
Google has introduced a set of user-centered metric known as the Core Web Vitals that quantifies the main aspects of online user experience.
Each of the metrics focuses on specific parts of a web page experience that collectively affects the search engine ranking.
Core Web Vitals consists of three main metrics that affect the search signals regarding page experience. The signal measures how the webpage is perceived by the online users. You need to optimize the webpage for the vital metrics to rank high on the search results page.
Optimizing for page experience by focusing on Core Web Vitals will result in a positive user experience, which can help improve your website ranking. Focusing on-page experience will result in improved user engagement that can improve the chances of increased dwell time – time spent on browsing the site – and improved web site traffic.
Core Web Vitals measures the dimensions of increased website usability, such as interactivity, load time, and stability of the content. The latest algorithm update combines search signals for page experience from previous updates with new ones.
Google Core Web Vitals
Google will use the Core Web Vitals along with the previous metrics introduced in Google Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, Mobile, and other updates to rank webpages. Some of the metrics have a higher impact, while others have a smaller impact. But when these metrics are combined, a webpage can shoot to the top of the search engine ranking.
Google has identified the three main focal points of search engine rankings, including;
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): The metric refers to the page load performance. Every web page should strive to load 2.5 seconds or faster after a user clicks on the website link.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): The metric measures the visual stability of a site. Web pages should not contain navigation errors and strive to ensure a CLS score of 0.1 or less.
- First Input Delay (FID): The metric measures user engagement. Websites should focus on FID of 100 milliseconds or less.
Apart from the above, webpages should also meet the metrics of previous algorithms that include a mobile optimized, safe browsing, HTTPS, and no intrusive interstitials.
How to Prepare for Google 2020 Update?
Webpage owners have been given until 2021 to optimize their websites based on the metrics identified by Google.
Website owners need to determine if a website is optimized for mobile. It is also important that the site uses a secure HTTPS connection and ensure a safe browsing experience for users. There should also be no intrusive pop-ups or interstitials that creates a negative user experience.
The website should not contain deceptive practices or social engineering to rank high in search engines. Moreover, it should not contain any type of malicious code that would harm a user’s PC. Google has stated that it will give six months’ notice to website users before the implementation of the update.
You need to contact a professional Huntsville website design and SEO company to redesign and update your website content as per the latest Google update. This is critical, otherwise your site will struggle to keep the top position that is vital for organic, free search traffic.
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