Last week, Google announced that they would be updating their algorithm to rank web pages. If you don't know what algorithms are, these are the signals or tools which Google uses to return a relevant website when you type in a search query.

This update will be focused on page experience – in another words, the impression that your customer/user has when they see your website design. There's no need to worry, though, because this is just an announcement, and the change will only be rolled out sometime in 2021.

What is page experience?

There is detailed guidance on what constitutes page experience and this update will refine what Google calls the Core Web Vitals. These elements constitute the metrics that score your page and focus on interactivity, stability and load time.

What comes under Core Web Vitals are:

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

This measures loading performance, and refers to how quickly the largest content loads. A good website design would have this loaded within 2.5 seconds.

First Input Delay

This measures interactivity, and refers to the time it takes for a user to interact with a webpage, whether that is through clicking a link or pressing a button. This should be in 100 milliseconds or less.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

This is a new metric that measures visual stability, and a good web page will have a CLS score of less than 0.1. CLS refers to when an unexpected change occurs, such as whether clicking a link results in an image moving or disappearing. If the pages on your website design are unstable and flicker or move around, then this would result in poor user experience and bad CLS score.

The Core Web Vitals will work in combination with the other page experience metrics such as:

  • Mobile Friendly
  • Safe Browsing
  • No Intrusive Interstitials

When will this roll out?

Google has said that this update will be rolled out in 2021, but they will provide at least a six-month notice before it goes live. It is also unclear how big of an update this will be. Panda and BERT, Google's last major updates, impacted around 10% of all search queries, so it remains to be seen how big of an effect this will have.

What you can do

People at Google have said that content still reigns supreme, but there's no harm in looking at your page experience. So why not go over your website design and see how it stacks up against your competition. Do images load slowly? Is everything stable? Is it easy to use? You probably know your website design inside and out, so ask your friends to use your website and ask for their honest opinions.

If you think you've got problems and your website has poor page experience, get in touch with us at DotGO. We've been designing beautiful business websites for the last 15 years, so we know exactly how to make your users happy. We've helped hundreds of businesses over the years, so find out today what we can do for yours.