Website operators should ensure their Internet appearance is optimised for user-friendliness in line with the Google page experience update. This means short loading time, visual stability, reaction speed, to name just a few. Then there is nothing standing in the way of a good ranking.
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Page experience as the key ranking factor
Every couple of years, Google launches a larger update which affects the search engine’s ranking algorithm. The goal of these updates is to optimise the relevance and quality of the search results. And another such change is planned in the summer of 2021: the Google page experience update. When precisely this will take place is still not certain, as of May 2021. Presumably, the update will take effect in its entirety at the end of the summer.
However, it is already clear that a number of new ranking factors will be implemented. The most decisive of these: traditional SEO factors such as backlinks or the use of keywords will become less important. Much more relevant in future will be the user-friendliness of a website. And this can be optimised through a host of measures.
The four factors which will now make a difference
1. Core Web vitals
To make the user-friendliness of a website measurable, the so-called core Web vitals will be brought in as a factor. They are divided into three areas: the loading time of a website, the reaction and interactivity of a website, and the visual stability of a website. The latter of the three concerns, for instance, the reloading of ad banners, which can cause the content of a website to shift.
2. Mobile optimisation
At first, the page experience will influence searches via mobile devices, and then later on desktop computers. So it’s more important than ever that the display of the website on mobile devices is flawless. The Google Search Console, a free-of-charge analysis tool, gives information about compatibility. More than anything, website operators have to always keep in mind that the correct implementation of copy or graphical changes on a website must always be checked on various mobile devices first, before the update is reviewed on desktop computers.
3. Safe browsing
Websites which send malware or other harmful content or misleading information will be “punished”. Based on the report “Safety problems” in the help section of the Google Search Console, operators can check how safe their website is for visitors. This includes the use of the HTTP communication protocol, whereby all data is encrypted before being sent to the respective other computer.
4. Annoying interstitials
Interstitials are (ad) blend-ins on websites which continually open whenever a user loads a site. They overlay the actual content of the website and can, for instance, be in the form of a pop-up or layer. These blend-ins significantly lower the user-friendliness. If you use such ads on a site, you should remove them.
In all respects to striving for more user-friendliness, high-quality and relevant content naturally continues to have a huge influence on the website’s positioning within the search results. But to achieve the best-possible results, website operators should consider both .
AMP is losing privileges
Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP for short, were the preferred standard for mobile websites for a long time. This format, in which just a few HTML elements are permitted, allows for faster loading times. AMP content has been verified by a lightning symbol to date, and ends up in the results carousel of the search engine closer to the top. This privilege will be removed with the launch of the Google page experience update.