Google Algorithm 2021: Page Experience. Why Google Algorithm Changes? How To Keep Up?

Ever wonder why Google’s algorithm changes? It’s because our search behavior changes, and so, they need to keep up.

Google regularly tweaks how they treat rankings, links, and contents in line of the changes. But at the core of every Google algorithm change is a simple goal – to provide the best user experience possible. 

Google processes over 40,000 search queries every second on average, which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. 

What Is An ‘Algorithm’?

Algorithm refers to the logic-based, step-by-step procedure in solving a problem. 

Google’s problem to solve is “how to find the most relevant web pages related to the set of keywords (or search terms)”.

Google Algorithm 2021: Page Experience

Google announced last year that the new algorithm will include a factor called Page Experience –  how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page beyond its pure information value, that will roll out by June 2021. This will then play a huge part on search result rankings.

In relation to this, Google launched Web Core Vitals – a set of metrics related to speed, responsiveness and visual stability, to help site owners measure user experience on the web.

1. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), how quick the largest page element loads

2. First Input Delay (FID), the time between a user inputs and browser responds 

3. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), how much page elements unexpectedly shift around the page

Google's Page Experience update explained

Source: Chromium Blog

Why Pay Attention To The Algorithm Update? 

Google’s goal is to provide the best user experience, thus, if your website scores high in user experience, visual cues will guide consumers and browsers to your page over others.

Most probably that pages that won’t be able to keep up are going to be left behind in the ranking game and experience significant drop in traffic.

How To Keep Up With Google Algorithm Changes?

Due to regular changes in the algorithm, many sites get penalized with lower rankings while others surge in organic traffic and improve rankings.

Check and improve the following to enhance web page experience.

1. Optimize For Mobile Search

In Q1 2021, mobile devices generated 54.8% of global website traffic. 

Google reported that they will primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site. This serves as a good reminder that you should get your page mobile-ready – reduce code, leverage browser caching, and reduce redirects.

The webpage design should be simple and responsive so as to appear attractive on smaller screens. 

Don’t forget to optimize the site structure!

2. Improve Page Speed

Unbounce reported that nearly 70% of consumers admit that page speed impacts their willingness to buy from an online retailer.

To improve page speed, minimize HTTP requests and examine JavaScript response times. Also, check on compression, caching, and, importantly, image file sizes. 

3. Use Alt Text For Images

Alt Text is used in an HTML code to describe the appearance and function of an image on a page. These are displayed in case the image file won’t load. 

These descriptions are also used by search engine crawlers to index. So, it should be short, specific, and ideally with a keyword. This will go a long way to help your site’s organic search results.

4. Focus On The Content

This is straight forward, a good content will always play a critical role with page rankings. It should be simple, it should answer a problem, and it should be unique.

Optimize a good content based on Google’s algorithm updates, and surely, your website will zoom to the top.

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