Google is making a big change this spring – and it could affect how thousands of businesses are ranked in the search engine results.
We all know that Google alters its search algorithms hundreds of times a year – it’s thought it could be up to 600 times. However, in May they are making a change which means faster websites, with better layouts, are going to fare the best. Google is putting the emphasis on user experience, and wants to make sure that all its highest ranking websites are also the best performing.
To do this Google has created Core Web Vitals, which are ways of evaluating whether a website provides a good quality user experience. From May, businesses will want to be sure that the minimum threshold for all three of Core Web Vitals is met, so their site qualifies for the ranking signal boost.
These Core Web Vitals are:
1, LCP – This stands for Largest Contentful Paint and it measures the speed at which a page’s main content is loaded. According to Google this must happen within 2.5 seconds of a user landing on a page.
2, FID – The First Input Delay measures the time it takes for a page to respond to a user’s first interaction, this should take place within 100 milliseconds.
3, CLS – The Cumulative Layout Shift looks a how often users experience unexpected layout shifts on a website. This should stay at less than 0.1.
Here at MNA Digital we work with businesses from a wide range of sectors to ensure they not only have a website that helps to attract new customers, but one that ticks all the boxes to help them be successful in the search engine rankings. Our senior SEO manager Lawrence Timmins says that, following this change in May, low quality sites which are full of ads, will struggle to compete.
“One of the biggest changes Google made was when it switched to a mobile-first approach, and so any business that wasn’t mobile friendly saw its rankings slip,” says Lawrence. “Then they wanted an SSL certificate, which meant websites with just http, rather than https, were affected. Now Google is focussing on its Core Web Vitals and it will really have a big impact on sites that don’t hit all three targets.
“It’s important that businesses get their website checked to ensure it meets the requirements of Google’s Core Web Vitals. As part of our SEO service we look at websites on a page-by-page basis and see if there are any problems. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach and by going to a specialist, businesses will be able to rest assured that all pages on their website are performing at their best and meeting Google’s Core Web Vitals.”
It is thought that Google will be pretty strict with their new requirements, so that even if one of the Core Web Vitals is below their standards it could have a big impact on the website.
They have even touched on the idea of introducing a badge in search results for pages that pass Google’s Core Web Vitals. If that were to roll out, they would need to know that all of the factors were being met – any poor results could mean the site not being awarded a badge.
For businesses that want to stay ahead of the game, and in front of their competitors on those all-important search engine results, we recommend getting in touch with an SEO expert to see if your website is meeting all the requirements.