Google often will share some sort of press release about upcoming Algorithm Updates, but now more than ever webmasters, marketers, and CEOs are more hawk-eyed about Google Updates. In the internet reliant world we now inhabit, a business can rise and fall at the whim of Google’s algorithm updates.
Fortunately, their latest announcement about prioritization of website “Core Vitals” information has been given with plenty of time for businesses to analyze their current vitals, make plans for self resolving or hiring SEO experts to make necessary adjustments, and be as prepared as possible before the algorithm update is rolled out by Google, likely sometime in 2021.
Consistent with their MO, this 2021 core algorithm update will address on-page and off-page website performance metrics that contribute to overall user experience. In their words,
“Core Web Vitals are a set of real-world, user-centered metrics that quantify key aspects of the user experience. They measure dimensions of web usability such as load time, interactivity, and the stability of content as it loads (so you don’t accidentally tap that button when it shifts under your finger – how annoying!).”
So how should you prepare your website?
Review Your Website Metrics in Google’s Search Console. If your website is not yet in Search Console, you can follow these steps. If you’re already connected to Search Console, look for the NEW “Core Web Vitals” tab under the “Enhancements” menu for an overview.
Depending on what you find, you may have a little bit or a lot a bit of technical SEO and off-page website cleanup to do in order to improve user experience and Google crawler’s interpretation of your website pages.
You should also start considering your on-page experience, for example,
- any responsive menu loading delays (which are a pretty common issue)
- the use of pop-up forms and advertising interstitials
- and page loading speed under 3 seconds.
These are some of the primary signals that Google will start using in addition to 200+ other ranking signals to determine search ranking positions in the near future. SEO expert Barry Schwartz goes inter further detail here and is sure to emphasize that,
“We don’t know how big of an update this will be, Google doesn’t know yet…”