Google’s Latest Update is Coming in May, is Your Site Ready?

If you are someone who uses a website for business purposes: listen up! Google’s latest algorithm update is coming and FAST. It was originally supposed to roll out last May but due to the pandemic, it was held off until the waters were a little calmer. 

Now that things are getting back on track, it’s time to get to work. 

So, what’s the latest update all about and why is it so important?  Well, for starters, it is going to significantly impact your (yes, we mean you) website’s ranking the minute it rolls out. If you haven’t already started optimizing your site for these changes, now is the time to do it. We mean it. Check out why below. 

Core Web Vitals – What Are They?

It all goes back to the user experience. We are all frequent users of Google’s search function, and it’s safe to say that everyone wants a seamless, informative, and attractive website experience wherever they happen to land. 

Google heard the people’s cry and is basing their latest update off of this. Last year, a new set of “core web vitals” were introduced, which are website performance-based metrics that measure things like:

• site and page load times
• site interactivity
• content stability while loading

We’ve all been on sites where these items have been an issue. Admittedly, navigating them becomes very frustrating so it was really only a matter of time until Google addressed them.

Page Experience Signals – Say What?

The three categories mentioned above go hand in hand with the update coming in May and form a part of an algorithm called “page experience signals”. These factors will serve as a measurement tool for a user’s experience on your page, which will directly affect how your website ranks when people are using Google’s search function. In other words, quality matters!

Page experience will measure factors such as load times, website interactivity, and how stable your content is as it loads. 

Here are the categories that Google will be using to measure your site’s performance from a user’s point of view:

• How fast your website and pages load
• Design across all devices
• Site security (ensuring your user’s data is safe)
• Site interactivity (how easy it is to use, how smoothly it operates)
• How stable your content is while it loads
• Pop-ups (you will want to avoid having these if they are obstructive)  

Depending on how low or high you score, this will affect how your site ranks in Google’s search function. This means that you could go from the first page of Google results to the dreaded fourth, fifth or worse. You worked hard to get on that first page, make sure you keep it that way!

While it is important to keep all of these factors in mind, ultimately the quality of your content will be a critical aspect in how Google prioritizes your site. Yep, content is still king (or queen). Keep that in mind that the more relevant and informational the content is, the better.  

What Does All Of This Boil Down To?

The overall goal of this algorithm update is for users to have a more pleasant browsing experience while online by interacting with websites that provide valuable information in an easily accessible way. 

If you take the time to get this right, you will reap the benefits of your efforts by having a site that has better overall functionality, is enjoyable to browse, and will ultimately rank higher.

According to a recent study, only 15% of websites are optimized to pass some of the above-mentioned measurements. This is the time to make sure your site isn’t part of the other 85% out there. 

We recommend starting your website’s optimization TODAY. Don’t let this be something you put off! Your website is a critical part of your business and, trust us, this is something you’ll be glad you took care of sooner rather than later.

How to Prepare

What can you do to get started right now? Get your site’s vitals via your Google Search Console. You’ll get the results immediately and can use them as your roadmap to making updates to your site. 

Next, you will need to get in touch with your web development team ASAP so they can get to work on the necessary updates your website needs to be fully optimized and ready for these big changes.

Need a hand in getting everything prepared before May? Look no further than your friendly, local web development agency, WePropagate. 

Ready to get ahead of the pack? Let’s chat!