Google’s latest major algorithm change is expected to rollout from mid-June. Here’s what you need to know about how it might impact your website.
Technology is evolving; the internet is speeding up; the amount of information available online is growing.
As functionality improves, the way that we behave online changes too. Consumer expectations of how a website performs in 2021 are completely different to the expectations we had in 2020 or even all those years ago in 2018.
What does that mean for you as a business? It means that everything has changed. The older your website, the less likely it is to meet the needs of today’s audience. Customers who interact with your business online expect mobile and desktop functionality that provides quick access to the information that they need.
Search engines like Google are at the forefront of market understanding, using statistical analysis to understand the changing way that consumers use websites. When Google spots trends in behaviour or changes to the way that users interact, it updates its search algorithms to reflect these needs.
One of these algorithm updates is on its way from mid-June 2021. If you have a website you’re likely to be impacted by this rollout. Now is your opportunity to decide how your business will react.
In this update, Google will update its web vitals to include measures of interactivity, visual stability and loading speed.
How will speed affect your website’s ranking?
Main content loading speed is a measure of how quickly your website loads and is ready to be used. If your website loads in under 2.5 seconds then Google ranks your performance as good. If your website takes 4 seconds or more to load then Google ranks performance as poor and requiring improvement.
Once this update has been implemented, poor loading speed will impact the organic ranking of your website. In addition, Google will also prioritise speed over content when ranking your website. That reflects the fact that consumers are rating speed as more and more important to their online experience.
The importance of interactivity and your website ranking.
The second part of this change relates to interactivity. This is the measure of how quickly consumers interact (click or tap) with the page they visit. From mid-June onwards this is going to become a key measure in organic ranking of sites on Google.
Historically businesses have taken the opportunity to showcase their services and build their brand as soon as customers arrive at their website. Customers, however, are indicating that they want to cut to the chase and get to the information or purchase opportunity they need.
Going forward success and therefore ranking will be tracked by the speed that users click and move to the information they need.
Google’s interactivity measure will drive major changes in web design. Home pages and landing pages will need to drive users to click or tap to access information quickly – with menus, buttons, and directories taking priority.
The importance of visual stability and website performance.
Users don’t like annoying or unexpected movements on a web page. These can range from slow-loading page elements to adverts, pop ups and invitations to subscribe. For a business, adding action to a home page is often used to try and drive a behaviour change from the user. For the user it just results in a big thumbs down.
As ever, Google is sensitive to customer expectations in its latest algorithm change. That’s why your organic ranking will be penalised if your website features a haze of movement when the user arrives. High performing designs will be clean, static, and feature absolutely no unexpected surprises to upset your customers.
The way your customers want to use your website has changed.
Your website is no longer a static tool that your business can afford to set and forget. In fact it never has been. Google has been recognising for years that what your customers are looking for is changing. The result has been new and smart algorithms within its ranking system that allow it to present the best website result for every customer search.
If you haven’t been updating your site, you’re probably already trending down in organic search.
The new algorithms are due to roll out from mid-June 2021. Their arrival will herald a new era in website design and optimisation. Going forward it won’t be enough to refresh your content and link your pictures. If you’re not serving up the right information quickly in a clean, easy to navigate mobile-optimised space; your organic search performance will suffer.
Let’s work together to deliver the right results.
Organic ranking isn’t a top priority for every business. If you’re lucky enough to survive without being a top performer in organic search, you may be able to optimise your current site to make sure you’re keeping your customers happy with the best user experience.
If your business success is closely connected to organic search performance, now’s the time to identify your challenges and work together to find the right solution.
caddie digital can help you optimise your existing website to speed it up or, if organic ranking matters, we can help you understand how a redesign can give you the performance Google is looking for.