An Overview of the Changing Google Algorithm
As time goes on, Google's algorithm is continually changing. This meaning, the things Google looks for in a website isn't what it used to be.
Originally, it was essentially possible for people to 'trick' Google with their SEO and get great search rankings. This was often done through just dumping loads of keywords onto a page. However, Google is a lot smarter than that now. They have begun to focus on how the keywords are used, how readable the copy is and, now, what the user experience is like.
Core Web Vitals
This recent update, known as Page Experience, has one key component called Core Web Vitals. Key signals are measured by Google, in relation to how they impact user experience on both desktop and mobile devices.
Some of these Core Web Vitals have been looked at by Google in some capacity previously, but they are now becoming a main focus.
Page Loading Speed
Largest Contenful Paint (LCP) - how fast your page loads when a user enters your site.
Starting right off the bat, Google will be looking at page loading speed. This is an important factor which is often overlooked by a lot of businesses.
It is widely agreed that 10 seconds is a user's limit of attention. If your page takes more than 10 seconds to load, you've probably just lost that visitor to your page.
So if you've got a site that's quick to load, that's great. The message here is the quicker, the better!
User Interaction Speed
First Input Delay (FID) - the speed of page interaction.
Google will also be focusing on how long the process of page interactions take. This includes things like how long it takes for something to happen when a user clicks an internal link (such as a call-to-action button).
The speed of this process in the back-end often has similar effects to the page loading speed. Too slow, and your user is out.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) - the stability of your website
This is an interesting concept. Google will start looking at internal elements of your site and how well they work in the loading process.
If you have a site that is a bit image or animation heavy, it could take a while for some of these elements to load. If they do take a while, it could result in items shifting around while the user is trying to navigate the site.
The smoother and less frequent these shifts, the better.
Confused? Don't worry, I'm not
I know a lot of this could potentially be going totally over the top of your head. But that's OK, because you don't have to know all this - that's my job.
If you want a site that has great Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), as well as amazing user experience, let me know!