The next Google Update on the horizon – Google Page Experience
What even is a ‘Google update’?
Firstly, the reason Google search is able to retrieve the information you are looking for, is mainly due to a complex system referred to as ‘Google Algorithms’. Everything out there on the internet is indexed within Google, eventually, and every time you ask a question, Google will send out it’s ‘search bots’ and look for information which is relevant to your question, or ‘search query’. For instance, you go to a library, ask for a book on a certain subject and the librarian will find (or not) that book based on how it is categorised (or indexed); author, alphabetical, genre etc. Imagine the same but with lots more categorisation and based across billions and billions of books, or in this case, websites. As we know, most of the time this information is bang on, very occasionally it isn’t quite right, rarely it is irrelevant. The updates mainly happen to try and ensure that the information being presented to the user is as relevant as possible. Google wants to be able to provide as good a quality experience for the user as they can. In doing so they want to remove as much ‘spammy’ activities and duplicate content as they can.
There will be several small updates on a regular basis, however, major or core updates aren’t quite as frequent. For instance, the last big update was in 2019, with lots of smaller ones since.
What is the Google Page Experience update?
Much like previous updates, this one is purported to be focussing on mobile friendliness, HTTPS and safe browsing. Not only this, focus is on site and page loading speeds, interactivity and visual stability.
More than ever, Google wants to focus on providing the right type of content based on a user’s search query and from websites with a good user experience across all device types. Google refers to 3 main areas within their set of metrics; Core Web Vitals, see below;
Loading times; the time it takes for a website or page to load. Specifically, it is about how long it takes for the main page content to load.
User Interaction; the time it takes for the first interaction, be it a click or tap of a button or link. This is measured from the ‘click’ to the point at which the browser processes that action.
Visual Stability; essentially, things that annoyingly move around on the page, unexpectedly and probably somewhat unnecessarily. Among other examples, maybe pop ups!, Although many brands do find some pop ups extremely useful, Google has been clear that they do not like them.
How important is Page Experience?
Whilst all of these factors, and more, will determine whether your website is found more easily and therefore potentially higher up in the rankings, more importantly, it should be important because it makes a difference to your customers and therefore, your conversions.
Whether your conversions are enquiries or sales, user experience is a massive factor. Affinity emphasizes the importance of understanding the experience a user has on your website, either through free, widely available tools or through paid, professional tools. Our Insights team are fanatical about improving User Experience and optimising conversion rates. The bonus is the fact that good user experience can improve your visibility in Google, and with what is on the horizon, even more so!
Yes, page experience is important, no doubt, however, also bear in mind that there are many other factors both outside of this and that are intertwined with it.
In many cases, there are several free tools available that will highlight what may be ‘wrong’ with your website from a page experience or technical SEO perspective. However, knowing what is wrong with it doesn’t mean you can fix it easily yourself. You may know what is wrong with your car, opening it up and trying to do the fix yourself, may well cause more problems than you started with.
Affinity’s marketing team, specifically the SEO specialists, are able to help you determine and understand the factors that could be limiting your website’s potential to be more successful.
What impact does this have on my website and my business?
If you have skipped to this question and not read all of the above, shame on you! (but we don’t blame you). If you have spent the time, you will have read so far, however, that the importance of good page experience is key not only for SEO but for customer satisfaction and converting leads to sales etc. If you know that there are problems already with your website, then you know something needs to be done regardless. However, if you are just not sure, it makes sense to at the very least understand what changes, improvement, additions or fixes will help you potentially tick as many boxes as possible and give your website the best chance of being visible, more importantly to help convert more customers to sales.