Where will your business land on Google Search this summer?
Business owners that depend upon their websites to acquire customers are breathing a collective sigh of relief this week. Google just announced that their Page Experience update, which was supposed to be released in May, has been postponed until mid-June. Some of you are saying “whew” while others are asking “huh?”. No matter the side of the knowledge base you’re on, you’ve just bought yourself some time. Below is everything you need to know.
Everything You Need to Know About Google’s Page Experience Update Postponement and How to Use the Delay to Your Advantage
What Is the Google Page Experience Update?
Google’s Page Experience algorithm references how website visitors perceive the experience of interacting with a web page beyond the information it provides. Think of it as “real-world” user experience. It assesses features and behaviors such as page loading performance, interactivity, visual stability, smartphone responsiveness, security (HTTPS), and whether or not a website “bothers” visitors with pop-ups and unnecessary use of animation and so forth.
Simply put, if there is anything on your website that may frustrate a user, Google will penalize you for it by dropping your site from the top results on their search engine landing pages (SERPs).
Review our guide for what you need to fix on your website today, to prepare for the up and coming Page Experience update.
How Long Do You Really Have?
Google is saying that they will begin using Page Experience as a ranking factor beginning in mid-June 2021. However, they have now confirmed that the update won’t play its full role as part of their ranking systems until the end of August 2021. As such, you can get the ball rolling on your website’s upgrade, but it doesn’t need to be a massive burden as your business takes steps in the right direction. Start now by focusing on pages that frustrate users the most, then move on to the rest of your website.
“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.” (Google)
Their analogy is somewhat comforting, but again, we must reiterate the importance of acting now. For most business websites, the most frustrating page for new visitors is the homepage. It’s where you may have placed all sorts of features, bells, and whistles that you or your developer thought would be eye-catching, informative, and helpful, but in reality are not. For example, if you still have a giant “COVID policy” pop-up on your home screen, you have your first action item.
Websites that do not comply with his update may begin seeing a drop in rank come mid-June. By the end of August, the impact will be much more certain and potentially far more damaging.
Is This for Real?
“Google’s move to delay the update should not be taken as weakness on their part, but mercy.”
You may have been warned about algorithm updates in the past, and may have seen only a negligible difference in your Google rank. That’s great, as it means that you may have been doing a number of things right when it comes to your SEO. But this update is not about how well you target keywords, add content to your blog, or even secure backlinks from high-authority websites. This is a whole other animal. Google’s move to delay the update should not be taken as weakness on their part, but mercy.
They are giving businesses more time to adapt, which is likely due to the impact the pandemic has had on most industries. The fact that the new date essentially coincides with a population-wide vaccine roll out is no coincidence. By moving the deadline they are not just doing you a favor, they are confirming that this particular update is the real deal.
What to Do If You Wait and Rank Begins to Drop
You may not have had the good fortune to stumble upon this article prior to the June update. If so, you may have noticed a slight or dramatic fall in Google rank. This may be the Page Experience update doing its housecleaning. To get your spot back on their SERPs you need to act now. Follow this 5-step emergency response to a drop in Google rank.
Don’t Neglect Their Other Updates (Happening Now)
While you may have time to upgrade your website for the Page Experience overhaul you will not want to neglect the algorithm updates that are happening as we speak. Google releases other algorithm adjustments in real time in 2021-22. Take their recent Product Reviews algorithm update from mid-April for example, which is having an impact on eCommerce businesses. How are you supposed to keep up to date with these ongoing updates? Simply bookmark this blog and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll let you know.
Contact Strategis Consulting Group today to get your website ready for this summer’s Google Page Experience update.
Guest Author: Marcus Maraih