Google’s Page Experience Algorithm Update: Is your website ready?

By David Monaghan,

When is the new page experience algorithm update rolling out and what is it exactly?

Google has announced that its latest algorithm – Page Experience Update – will roll out in mid-June 2021 and will combine Core Web Vitals with their existing search engines signals including mobile-friendliness, safe-browsing, HTTPS-security, and intrusive interstitial guidelines. See the full announcement here on Google’s blog.

Page Experience Algorithm Update and its SEO impact

Google release hundreds of unannounced search engine algorithm updates each year with the impact being felt within different sectors and different business verticals. Only in certain situations does Google preannounce updates which leads us to believe that the impact will be big. It may not have a massive impact straight away but, when user-experience data starts to come through and be analysed, you can be sure that it will play a bigger role moving forward.

User experience has been at the forefront of Google’s algorithm for a very long time with each update aiming to improve what search results users see in relation to the intent of those searches. So, it’s no surprise that Googles next update will focus is on improving how users experience the websites they land on from Google search results. 

What are Google’s Core Web Vitals?

Core Web Vitals are the subset of Web Vitals that apply to all web pages, should be measured by all website owners, and will be surfaced across all Google tools. Each of the Core Web Vitals constitutes different elements of user experience, is measurable in real-time, and reflects the real-world interaction and experiences of users on a website. 

See here for more information on Core Web Vitals.

Core Web Vitals Metrics Explained

  • First Contentful Paint (FCP) is when the browser (i.e. Google Chrome) renders the first bit of content from the DOM (Document Object Model), providing the first feedback to the user that the webpage is actually loading.
  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): measures website loading performance. To provide a good user experience, LCP should occur within 2.5 seconds of when the page first starts loading.
  • First Input Delay (FID): measures website interactivity. To provide a good user experience, pages should have an FID of less than 100 milliseconds.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): measures visual stability. To provide a good user experience, pages should maintain a CLS of less than 0.1.

What tools should you use to better understand Google’s Page Experience Algorithm update?

The tools that give the best insight into each of the above Core Web Vitals metrics above are:

Both of these tools provide insights as to where a website currently stands in relation to First Contentful Paint (FCP), Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). As well as that, they provide information on areas that are performing well, main issues and opportunities where improvements can be made to help improve both the speed and page experience of a website. 

Page Speed Insights Tool

Below is an example of Page Speed Insights Lab data which, again, provides insights into how well a website performs across areas that will have a big impact on the Page Experience Update.

As well as providing Page Speed Insights lab data, you are also privy to the opportunities that help improve both website speed and overall webpage experience. 

Each page speed insight opportunity i.e. eliminate render-blocking resources, will provide you and your developer with the elements on a webpage that could be better improved in order to provide a better user experience for those who use your website. When users land on a webpage that provides a good user experience, then they are more likely to come back and use your website again and again. 

Core Web Vitals Measure Tool

Similar to Page Speed Insights, the Core Web Vitals audit tool also provides information on page speed and page experience, as well as providing information and insight into some other key elements that impact how users experience a website. It also provides are score across 4 different page experience verticals.

  1. Performance 
  2. Accessibility 
  3. Best Practices
  4. SEO

Again, similar to Page Speed Insights, the Core Web Vitals tool provides users with insights and opportunities that will help improve the scores you see above but, most importantly, it will help improve the overall experience from a user perspective.

Do you want to know how well your website is performing in relation to website speed and page user experience?

Get in touch with the SEO experts at Core Optimisation about a full website speed and page experience audit and make sure that your website is ready for Google’s next important Page Experience Algorithm Update.