Postponed, but very much still on its way is the Page Experience algorithm update and the implementation of Core Web Vitals as a ranking factor.
The Core Web Vitals were scheduled to launch in May, but in the updated time frame, they will join the others and become ranking signals mid-June, so from right this moment, you have about a month to prepare, but as always remember that sometimes the changes you make close to an update aren’t always considered at first.
Google released this to explain how the update is going to roll out:
“We’ll begin using page experience as part of our ranking systems beginning in mid-June 2021. However, page experience won’t play its full role as part of those systems until the end of August. You can think of it as if you’re adding a flavoring to a food you’re preparing. Rather than add the flavor all at once into the mix, we’ll be slowly adding it all over this time period.”
The reasoning behind the gradual approach is to allow the impacts of the update to be monitored and screen for any unexpected or unintended issues.
If you are a sight owner, or you manage a site, just know that sites really shouldn’t be expecting any drastic changes when it rolls out. Page experience will be just one factor that is now taken into consideration alongside the rest and will be weighted as such.
As part of this update Google News will expand its usage of non-AMP content. Removing the AMP badges from sites that currently indicate AMP content.
There is absolutely no point waiting until Google releases their algorithm update and then fix all of the issues at that point in time. You can lose traffic, but there are some things you can do to prepare and as always, with an update, comes tools to help you manage them.
New Page Experience Report – Google Search Console
Google Search Console is your best friend. Data, data, data! Well, it’s no surprise that with the new update comes a new tracking feature to keep you in the loop with how you are doing. The page experience report which combines the Core Web Vitals report with other signals:
- Mobile Usability- URLs must have no mobile usability errors in order to qualify for Good status.
- Security Issues- Any security issues for a site disqualify ALL URLs on the site from a Good status.
- HTTPS Usage- A page must be served over HTTPS to be eligible for Good page experience status.
- Ad Experience- Any distracting, interrupting, or otherwise not conducive advertising methods that impact a good user experience are not allowed. A bad ad experience on one page results in ALL PAGES on the site are considered as having a bad page experience.
The page experience report will measure the percentage of URLs on a website that offer a good experience. This will be based on the evaluation of the factors listed above.
Owners or site managers can use the information that is contained in the report to delve deeper into the page experience signal components. Here insights can be gained on improvement opportunities.
This will be based on the evaluation of the factors listed above. Owners or site managers can use the information that is contained in the report to delve deeper into the page experience signal components. Here insights can be gained on improvement opportunities.
Alongside this, the Search Performance report in GSC, now has the ability to filter pages with a good page experience. This will act as a ‘who did it better’ style of tracking, allowing you to see how good experience pages compare with others that are on your site.
Fix All Of The Errors In Google Search Console
When you open GSC, you are met with a page like this:
Left Hand Side – Click on ‘Core Web Vitals’.
Here you will see an overview of any URLs on your site that have issues, this will display issues on both mobile and desktop devices.
In the top right corner of the charts that appear is a button ‘Open Report’, you want to click into this
It is best not to have any errors here.
Fix all of these for desktop and mobile before moving any further.
The errors will be presented to you in abbreviated form. There is absolutely no problem, if you are unsure of what these errors mean, or any others for that matter, you can get an explanation of the abbreviations directly from Google, so you can then move on and fix them.
Run A Site Audit
If you are buying a car for example, you want to take it for a test drive, to make sure it is ready to hit the road safely and without faults that are going to cost you money. A website is no different to this. So do yourself a favour and run a site audit. You can do this with a number of different tools that are at your disposal.
There are an abundance of tools that you can use for your site audit. On a day to day basis I use SEMRush, Ahrefs & Ubersuggest. All of these tools bring you useful information and I think that using a mix to best understand your site is the best way forward.No matter what tool you decide to use, when the report has been run, there will be some form of ‘critical’, ‘warnings’ and ‘good’.
You’ll want to fix your “critical” issues that appear as they will be the ones having a huge impact on your site’s overall health and performance.
Make sure you try and fix each and every single one. SEO has changed over the years, every single little thing adds up.
Don’t wait for the update to roll out and then see what happens to your website, that can be a very very dangerous game to play. Google is very fair in that they give you time BEFORE they roll out the algorithm to get all of your ducks in a row.
SEO is like the world’s most complex puzzle, you are not even given the pieces to begin with.. You need to search for the pieces and then do the puzzle with no picture for reference, it is complex, but every piece plays a vital role.
So, do yourself a favour and fix them and avoid the risk of a huge decline in traffic.
Are you ready for the update?
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