Typically, Google releases core algorithm updates every few months or so. In Google’s own words, core updates are, “designed to ensure that overall, Google is delivering on their mission to present relevant and authoritative content to searchers.”
It was announced on November 11, 2020 that in May 2021 Google will release a major core update which has come to be known as the Google Page Experience Update. And to cut a long story short, it has tech-savvy business owners, SEM Experts and agencies a little scared.
What we know about the update is that it will likely put emphasis on what is known as ‘core vitals’; basically the loading time of pages on desktop and mobile.
What are the core web vitals?
Google will prioritise pages with a great page experience, whether implemented using AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) or any other web technology, as Google ranks the results. Google may also add labels in search results that will tell a person search what sort of page experience they can expect in terms of speed. We may see this labelling roll out prior to May 2021, as a test. If testing is successful it will launch in May 2021 alongside the page experience update.
Specifically, those vitals include:
- Largest Contentful Paint: The time it takes for a page’s main content to load. An ideal LCP measurement is 2.5 seconds or faster.
- First Input Delay: The time it takes for a page to become interactive. An ideal measurement is less than 100 ms.
- Cumulative Layout Shift: The amount of unexpected layout shift of visual page content. An ideal measurement is less than 0.1.
This update is focussed on the technical health of your website and the ability to load fast and provide a good user experience rather than it is about content or optimisation of content.
How to improve Google Web Vitals
- Ensure your web vitals are fast loading: that means the visual loading, interactivity, and visual stability of a page as it loads for users.
- Reduce/remove image files: Make sure images are optimised for the web and that unused images are purged.
- Review your website hosting: Ensure that your server is fast and that content is loaded as efficiently as possible based on a users location
- Ensure your site is mobile-friendly: Make sure it is easy to use and navigate on mobile devices and readability of content and whether on-page links are clickable and accessible.
- That your website is safe: That your site has no issues such as malware, phishing and hacked content, to ensure that users can browse safely. You can address this simply by keeping it up to date (CMS, Themes, Plugins) and ensure you have an active SSL Certificate to give an HTTPS URL. A padlock icon will indicate that you have HTTPS.
It is in your best interest to address these factors, even if SEO is not important to you. Google’s own studies show that for pages that meet these thresholds of core web vitals, are likely to reduce visitors abandoning the site by 24%
Where to go from here
The Creative Collective is currently working with our website and SEO clients to address the page experience update and ensure that our clients’ websites are as technically healthy as possible ahead of May. We have prepared a package that will specifically address aspects of the update.
- A technical health audit, reporting back to you on the score/health of your site.
- Installation of a plugin that will address the core web vitals.
- Recommendations (if required) on mobile-friendliness and an audit on the security of your site (i.e if CMS, themes etc are up to date).
- Installation of SSL certificate (if required).
- Migration of hosting (if required).
- Re-run a technical health audit to show the improved results.
PRICE: $700 + GST
- This price does not include the purchase of a plugin for core web vitals. A free version is available however there is an option for a paid version also. We can explain the difference to you on enquiry.
- This price does not include hosting (hosting can be arranged at an additional cost). Read more about our hosting packages here.
- This price includes recommendations only for theme/plugin/CMS updates and any mobile issues detected. Any updates required can be quoted accordingly at $140 + GST per hour.
- Installation of SSL Certificates can only be provided if your hosting platform and website allow this. No discounts on this package if this work cannot be carried out due to reasons outside of our control.
- TCC will require administrative access to your website in order to carry out this work.
- WordPress sites only.
Or, if you’re looking for more information, check out some of our other recent blog posts.