Google updates its algorithm constantly. There are daily changes made to the algorithm that most people have no idea about.
But from time to time, there are some big updates that have the potential of having massive effects over the ranks in search engine result pages. And the page experience update is one of these types of updates.
It is essential for every webmaster to have at least some basic ideas about the changes made to the algorithms of Google and other search engines.
Why? To avoid any unpleasant surprises and understand if they need to make changes and what exactly they have to do.
- 1. How Will the Search Results Be Affected by the Google Page Experience Update?
- 2. Is the Google Page Experience Update More Important Than Other Ranking Signals?
- 3. How Will Your Website Be Affected by the Google Page Experience Update and How Should You Prepare?
- 4. In Conclusion, the Major Updates Are Not Impossible to Cope With
In the last years, all the big updates made by Google follow the trend of increasing the importance of the user experience. And that includes the announced page experience update.
The biggest concern that online business owners that use SEO as a marketing method have is how will their site be affected? Well, the answer is it depends. If you have an online business and your SEO efforts paid enough attention to the user experience that your website provides, then you will not be affected negatively.
Your website may even see significant improvements. But the same principle applies if your SEO efforts didn’t take the user experiencing the consideration. And you may need the help of a bespoke SEO company.
1. How Will the Search Results Be Affected by the Google Page Experience Update?
Below you can find some useful information about the possible effects that the update could have on your website. You could also use a Google rank checker to see the effects on your ranks.
• Mobile. As seen in the past years, more and more people choose to use their mobile devices on Google. More than half of the searches made are from smartphones and other mobile devices. As a result of this increase, Google updated its algorithm accordingly. Giving more and more importance to the page experience of the mobile users. And with this update, the trend will continue. And if your website is not optimized for mobile devices, then your ranks will be penalized accordingly.
• Desktop. The user experience is already an extremely important part of SEO. And if any factors do not meet the requirements, then your website will be dragged down in the search results. The loading speed of the website is the biggest factor. And with the announced update, its importance will rise even more. Also, there will be new factors introduced, and the already implemented ones will be refined.
• Schedule. The update will be implemented between June and August 2021. So, you still have time to optimize your website or collaborate with a reliable SEO agency that can help you do it. Also, keep in mind that Google makes hundreds of updates every year. But most of them are small and have very limited effects on the ranks. So, after the big update, there will be many others that will optimize the changes based on the results brought by the update.
2. Is the Google Page Experience Update More Important Than Other Ranking Signals?
The first thing that you must know about SEO is the fact that it’s a very large and complex field. There are hundreds of factors that Google’s algorithm takes into consideration to decide the ranks of a website. And although some of the factors are more important than others, all of them have a certain level of importance. As a result, you should never focus on a single part of SEO. Make sure that the technical and off-site SEO parts are taken care of as well.
The best method is to cover all the SEO needs of your website. The exact changes that the Google page experience update will make are not known. So, it is impossible to say exactly how important the factors will be in deciding the ranks of a website. But you should still learn the know information about them to prepare for every scenario that may happen:
Top 3 Factors introduced In the New Update
It is estimated that new online businesses should pay more attention than everyone else to these factors.
• Largest Contentful Paint (LCP). This factor has the purpose of measuring the loading speed of the largest element on a page. The measurement takes place when the page start loading. So, it measures how much will your website’s visitors have to wait for each page to load. The recommended loading period mentioned in the announcement is 2.5 seconds. If the period is larger than that, then you should optimize your website accordingly.
• First input delay (FID). The purpose of this factor is to measure the response of the interaction between the user and the website. For example, the time between the press of a button and the response of the website. The recommended period is 0.1 seconds or 100 milliseconds. And if the response is bigger than 0.3 seconds, then the response is deemed poss.
• Cumulative layout shifts (CLS). As the name implies, this factor takes into consideration the overall visual changes of the page. A good example of this factor is a pop-up that you may have on your website. What is different about this factor is that there is no unit for the score. But it can be calculated, and 0.1 is the standard of a good score.
Keep in mind that even if you start focusing on these factors, it will take time to see results.
3. How Will Your Website Be Affected by the Google Page Experience Update and How Should You Prepare?
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, your website will surely be affected by the Google page experience update. But the effects depend on the SEO efforts that were done in the past. If you are not sure about the SEO state of your website, you should follow the advice mentioned below. By doing that, you can make sure that your website and business do not suffer any losses for the upcoming Google update.
• Find a reliable SEO agency. The first thing you should do is find a reliable SEO agency. There are many options on the market. So, you must do thorough research before you make a decision. And unlike the past, there are some additional factors that you should check while researching an agency.
How Can an SEO Agency Help Your Website’s Situation?
• Check if the agency understands the importance of user experience. Besides the standard research, you also need to make sure that the SEO agency understands the importance of user experience and understands the trend that Google imposed in SEO. You should avoid any agency that ignores the users and focuses solely on other factors that will only increase the ranks. Even more so if they ignore updates such as the Penguin update and this one.
• Make sure the agency is prepared for the update. You should also make sure that the agency is prepared for the update. And there are 2 methods that you can use to check both factors. The first one is to directly contact the agency and get the information directly from them. And the second alternative is to check its website and see if there are any articles or information about user experience and the upcoming Google update.
Contact Gamit for a complete SEO quote!
As you can see, this major update follows the trend of the recent ones as well. As a result, you now know that your SEO efforts need to focus on the user experience and the satisfaction of the visitors that your website will have.
If you are up to date with the changes in the recent couple of years, then this change should not have a negative impact on your business. If it does, then you may need to use the methods mentioned in this article to find a reliable agency that can help you optimize your site properly.
About the Author
I am responsible for data analysis of the completed projects to identify the main factors which contribute to the Google ranking improvement process. Together with my brother skills and my detailed analysis, we can assure all our customers that our services are bulletproof and that you will always get the desired results.
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BERT is the abbreviation of Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers. It started as a Natural Language Processing pre-trainer that Google introduced and out-sourced in November 2018. It had been used for training a question answering system in matters of minutes or hours.
But in October this year, Google implemented it into Search. saying “ By applying BERT models to both ranking and featured snippets in Search, we’re able to do a much better job helping you find useful information. In fact, when it comes to ranking results, BERT will help Search better understand one in 10 searches in the U.S. in English, and we’ll bring this to more languages and locales over time.”
2. Google’s Announced Updates in 2019
Google makes an unknown number of updates every year but they will announce only those that have visible aftereffects and webmasters must make modifications or new optimizations to their site. In the year 2019 there were 5 such events (not including bug repairs):
March 2019 Core Update
It was the first broad core update of the year but Google didn’t offer much information about what changes it made to the algorithm. It only emphasized the importance that content has for calculating the ranks.
June 2019 Core Update
The second one offered a low amount, but important information, Google advised site owners to strive for better content because this is what users want. So, the trend will go on.
June 2019 Site Diversity Update.
This happened soon after the last core update. Google limited the number of possible top results that a site can have for a single search to 2. This was done to diversify the results shown as requested through the feedback it got from searches.
September 2019 Core Update
The last core update of the year follows the trend of improving the relevance of content analysis that the algorithm makes. It looks like a precursory action for the big change Google made by introducing BERT in the search algorithm.
October 2019 BERT Update
By adapting one of its biggest breakthroughs in NLP and implementing it in Search, Google wants to improve the quality of the result SERPs provide. It mentioned that this update will affect one in ten searches in the U.S. alone.
The trend Google follows can be clearly seen from the updates it made this year, so if you want to improve your site’s rankings the strategy you must use for SEO should be focused on high-quality content. And it must be informative, engaging and easy to understand.
3. The Misinterpretations
As mentioned in searchenginejournal.com: “There is a great deal of confusion and link baiting surrounding BERT”. Mentioned in the same article are some examples of myths that some professionals misinterpreted and you shouldn’t let them influence your SEO strategy. The most misleading one being that you should optimize your site for long-tail queries and doing this may be detrimental to your ranking.
Instead, you should focus on the quality of your content, as mentioned in the same source “BERT is about Google understanding what user’s mean and THEN being able to connect that to more specific information that already exists on your website.” That is why the more you try to optimize for long-tail queries the more damage you may cause to your site’s ranking.
Another misinterpretation revealed in the article mentions that E-A-T (the algorithm that evaluates a site’s expertise, authority, and trustworthiness) and BERT influence each other. They are 2 separate algorithms that have different roles, BUT they are the components of a multi-layered system that decide the rankings. And although they don’t interact with each other, both of them influence the rank given to your site by the system.
4. The Effects BERT Left on the SERPs
Because, now, the algorithm Google uses can understand much better what users are searching for, the results it shows are more relevant. They are no longer based only on keywords. Through BERT, Search’s algorithm understands better the meaning of a query and in this way, it’s able to optimize the results it shows much better than before.
The biggest effects shown are on the sites the focused too much on optimization made to influence the algorithm and less on the user experience. The reverse of the equation also got significant ranking changes.
This happens, mainly, because, despite Google’s ideal to show results based only on user experience, the technology didn’t reach a high enough level to allow it and the algorithm can be influenced through different factors, in this way a site can get high rankings even though it’s less helpful than those in lower positions.
But, with the introduction of BERT, Google’s ideal is closer than ever and the influence of optimization for algorithms took a big dive, making space for those sites that truly made their sites with the goal of helping their visitors.
Most sites were already optimized for visitors. That is why they were affected very little. It’s not so easy to mislead such a complex algorithm, add to that the fact that it’s not rewarding in the long term because Search’s algorithm constantly evolves and it leads to a low number of such cases. That’s why such a major update only affected the rankings so little and only one out of ten queries were majorly affected.
5. What should you do from now on?
By following the trend of the updates, it is plain to see what Google wants from your site. And the best thing you can do for your rankings it’s to listen and go along with the trend. It’s not a good idea to try and manipulate the results by optimizing your site just for the algorithm. In the short term you may have positive results doing that, but once a major update such as BERT hits your site it will sink and it will be very hard for you to bring it back.
The best thing you can do is to focus on user experience. You can do that through many techniques, but the one that Google empathizes right now is content because a majority of people that search something online want to find information and if your site offers that then it will be rewarded with a better ranking.
Good content will also increase the trust users have in your brand, that’s why it would be best to build your site’s content or hire professionals like us to write SEO content for you. The quality of the articles we will deliver to you will be at the same level as this one.
Contact Gamit for a complete SEO quote!
6. About the Author
I am the co-founder and managing director of Gamit. My technical background in routing protocols (with a PhD in engineering obtained at the University of Leeds – UK) helps me really understand the SEO strategies which are needed to obtain and maintain a website on the first page of Google for its main keywords. My main role in the company is to research, analyze and test innovative ways on how to help websites get top Google ranks using only white hat SEO techniques.
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