Want to know what the new Google Page Experience ranking algorithm means for you as a B2B marketer? Read on…
At the end of May this year, Google provided advanced notice of a shake-up in how it ranks search engine results to penalise those with poor user experience.
However, unlike previous updates, this time Google has provided more details and tools to allow B2B marketers to evaluate and fix any aspects of their sites so that they are not caught out.
Historically, algorithm updates have impacted vast swathes of the web and driven changes in web design that mean other search engines, such as Bing, Yandex and others, soon pay attention to similar signals.
Looking back at previous Google updates, they impacted large proportions of the web because sites were unprepared. The Panda update, for example, was developed to reduce the amount of low-quality content appearing in search results and affected 11.8% of all queries.
What are the new signals?
The good news is that these latest changes from Google, known as the Page Experience update, are rolling out slowly. The search giant has already started the process and will be due for completion in August this year. This means there is still time to audit and correct your site in advance.
Google prioritises signals that relate mainly to coding and many have been considered before. This update is more about reprioritising them. The signals heavily featured in this update are:
- Mobile-friendly considerations
- Page speed
- Use of HTTPS
- Avoiding the use of interstitials
- Safe browsing habits
And these are ranked using a new scoring system in something Google calls Core Web Vitals.
To track these elements, there is a new Core Web Vitals report in Google Search Console, which replaces the previous speed reports. The scores and elements Google is paying attention to break down into:
- Visual stability with Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): measures visual stability with pages not jumping around on load to achieve a CLS of less than 0.1.
- Measuring loading performance with “Largest Contentful Paint (LCP),” which looks for your page to be fully formed within 2.5 seconds of when the page first starts loading.
- Interactivity with “First Input Delay (FID)” so that on an interaction, your server is allowing code to run quickly to return info to the browser rapidly with an FID of less than 100 milliseconds.
While Google never releases the exact specifications of how its algorithms rank pages or how to increase your ranking, we conclude that this update is primarily about your coding techniques and reinforces the good behaviour we’ve been recommending for years.
We use the right tools from Google to guide our clients, particularly when it comes to SEO, and we’re already well underway to using Google Search Console with many. But, like so much in B2B marketing, this isn’t an exact science.
But the good news is the latest update doesn’t encourage any changes to your content strategy. Great, original content will always be ranked highly, so B2B marketers should focus on producing content related to their nurturing funnels without distraction.
For those keen to learn more, Google’s developer briefing is here.