In 2021, Google will implement an update to its algorithm that will significantly impact page rankings. With only weeks to prepare before the changes go live, we hosted a webinar to provide key insight and step-by-step instructions on what your business needs to do to adapt and gain a competitive advantage.

Our April 1 Webinar

In the April 1 Google Page Experience Update webinar, CEO Joseph Franklyn McElroy discussed the changes to expect, the Google Page Experience Ranking Factor and Core Web Vitals, and the crucial steps you need to take to optimize the User Experience on your website.

McElroy has been in the content and technology business since the 1980s, and he has experience creating content both as an artist, poet, and published author. He understands content from all sides.

Now, as CEO and founder of Galileo Tech Media, started in 2014, he leads a team that provides global clients a suite of smart SEO and wise content services. The company’s goal is to ensure maximum visibility, organic search effectiveness, and marketing conversions.

Galileo Tech Media has locations in New York City and Charleston, and a large team of SEO content experts offers a nimble and data-driven approach to wise content marketing and smart SEO keyword research. Through copy optimization, SEO link building, and content hub creation, the company helps clients in multi-location industries like travel hospitality, and real estate.

The webinar featured a guest speaker from BrightEdge, Kevin McCormick. BrightEdge is an enterprise SEO technology platform that helps Galileo Tech Media to manage and build SEO campaigns, as well as identify opportunities for content. McCormick is a senior customer success manager.

Upcoming Google Page Experience Update

McElroy and McCormick discussed the upcoming Google Page Experience Update, which they explain is just one in a long line of updates from Google. This time, Google is providing a good deal of useful information prior to the launch.

For instance, the search engine giant is reporting that the update will be focused on the user experience, and it will bring together a number of metrics that are known as Core Web Vitals. The combination of these metrics will create a new factor in the Google algorithm, called the Page Experience Factor.

The new Google update will heavily favor websites with fast load times and those that are optimized for mobile. In addition, be sure that your site is secure and is on an HTTPS protocol rather than HTTP. Malware and other deceptive tactics will be included in the update, so it’s critical that site owners verify their site is safe for visitors.

Core Web Vitals

Core Web Vitals are an essential part of the new update. These include:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): making sure that the main content on your page loads quickly (in 2.5 seconds or less), whether that’s a block of text, a large image, or a video in the background.
  • First Input Delay (FID): the speed of response when a user first interacts with a page (in 100 milliseconds or less).
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): measure how content shifts as the page loads while a user is interacting with it.

All of the Core Web Vitals really speak to the user experience, explained McElroy and McCormick. Industry insiders are suggesting that if a website is within 75% of the thresholds that are being measured in the new update, the sites shouldn’t see a huge penalty in terms of search rank. However, sites that are in bad shape as far as Core Web Vitals are concerned may see a big dip in ranking once the update is rolled out.

To check for Core Web Vitals on your site, you can visit the Google Search Console. Check under the “enhancement” section and you can check the performance of your site and get important insights. If you are seeing some issues with your Core Web Vitals scores, McElroy and McCormick suggest some steps you can take for improvement.

How to Improve Your Site

To improve page speed performance, you can apply instant loading with PRPL, optimize your critical rendering path, optimize CSS files, optimize image files and compression, optimize or remove certain web fonts, and then, of course, optimizing, or reducing on-page JavaScript.

To improve first input delay, you can reduce the impact of third-party code, as well as reducing JavaScript execution time, minimizing main thread work, keeping request counts low, and ensuring that transfer sizes are relatively small.

For cumulative layout shift, consider size attributes when it comes to images, as well as video elements; you can also be sure to reserve space for CSS aspect ratio boxes.

Other general strategies for improvement include avoiding inserting content above existing content and using transform animations instead of animations of properties that will force layout changes.

BrightEdge as a tool can help prepare users for the update. For instance, their technical site audit crawl can help monitor performance. In addition, you can set up regular crawls and site mapping to run on a regular basis. Trended crawl data over time can then be overlaid with high-level business metrics like visits, revenue, and conversions. McCormick reports that Bright Edge is seeing an increase in visits and conversions on sites that do this sort of regular maintenance. Another tool that is a good addition to your arsenal is the Speed Test by Google.

Galileo clients have access to BrightEdge Enterprise SEO Technology, which allows us to automate weekly crawls in search of technical errors. With the help of this crawl, we track and monitor improvements to ensure optimal performance once Page Experience goes live.

Once Google implements Page Experience factors into its algorithm, sites will need to optimize their pages. Do you have any questions on the upcoming update or how to prepare? Contact Galileo Tech Media today.