It’s been a while since a major search algorithm change made the news. Are you ready for this one?
According to Monojoy Bhattacharjee in What’s New in Publishing, publishers should expect “wide reaching impacts” when these changes launch in May. In addition to the current UX-signals Google uses to rank sites (like mobile responsiveness, https certificates, and browsing experience), Google will be considering “Core Web Vitals” as a measure of user experience.
“In 2020, Google announced that Core Web Vitals would become a part of Google’s algorithms in 2021, but given the pandemic conditions, assured publishers that ‘there is no immediate need to take action,’” Bhattacharjee writes. “Now Google has confirmed that this algorithm update would take effect in May 2021, so for publishers, now is the time to take action on the aptly named page experience update.”
Confused? Here’s Google’s advice:
“The first step is doing a site-wide audit of your pages to see where there is room for improvement,” explains Google Engineer Philip Walton. “Search Console’s report for Core Web Vitals gives you an overview of how your site is doing and a deep dive into issues. Once you’ve identified opportunities, PageSpeed Insights and Lighthouse can help you as you iterate on fixing any issues that you’ve uncovered.”
It’s not time to panic, but it is time to act. Use the Google tools above to get ahead of the May change date, and maybe send a nice gift to your favorite web developer.