Google’s Page Experience Update in 2021: What it Will Mean For You

At Let’s Get Optimized, we’re always working to stay ahead of the latest trends and updates in the SEO industry. Today, we would like to inform you about a new update coming to Google’s algorithm in 2021. After an already ‘turbulent’ first half to 2020, we know thinking about next year might not be your biggest priority right now. Nevertheless, the LGO team is dedicated to giving our clients the best SEO practices and strategies available, and we are taking proactive steps to achieve this both in the immediate and long term.

As you may already know, Google regularly issues updates to its algorithm. This is often why many websites experience fluctuations in their rankings and online traffic during certain periods of the year. Earlier this month, Google announced a major update coming in 2021 which will focus on a term known as “Page Experience”.

What is Page Experience?

In Google’s previous core updates, significant changes were made to its algorithm that prioritized quality content. Having great content is part of what you may hear us call “on-page SEO”. Although content will continue to remain one of the most decisive ranking factors for websites, Google’s attention is now focused on not just what a webpage says, but how it runs and “feels” to the user. This is what we call Page Experience.

In this new update, Google will be rewarding sites that are optimized toward page-experience factors. Examples of these factors include having a website that:

When this update is rolled out, websites that are optimized for these factors are likely to perform better in rankings than those that are not. However, Google has suggested that websites with poor page experience and great content will not be directly penalized, though we believe they might be outperformed by sites with great content AND quality page experience.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Page Experience Update

Q: Is this a good or a bad thing?

A: Although they can cause temporary fluctuations and frustration for website owners, Google updates are realistically for the greater good. This is because they are designed to give consumers a better experience when using search engines, and part of that includes ranking websites that give visitors a quality page experience.

Sometimes, these updates can have fairly seismic results. Earlier this year, Google released an update partially related to COVID-19 without any warning. This saw quite a few websites experience lowered traffic and rankings. Fortunately, we can proudly say that none of our clients at LGO were negatively affected by this change, some even saw improved rankings!

Q: What is LGO doing about this?
A: We’ve already begun preparations for this update by identifying some of the potential factors Google will be ranking for. We are currently conducting audits on our clients’ sites and researching how to fully optimize them for a quality page experience. We are continuing to follow the latest industry insight by attending online conferences presented by some of the globe’s biggest SEO and Google experts.
Q: When exactly will this update happen?

A: We do not know precisely when this update will be rolled out. Typically, Google tends to carry out updates without warning.

The good news is that because this update is fairly large, Google has announced it will give six months’ notice prior to the rollout.

As you can probably tell, six months is a fairly long time and demonstrates how much research, preparation and patience is needed. We hope that by starting preparations now, our clients will be adequately prepared and see some genuinely positive results. For now though, we do stress there is no rush with implementing changes – these will be gradually made throughout the year.

Q: What should I expect when the update happens?

A: There really is no definitive answer to this. Google’s algorithm is highly sophisticated and is continually updated, even up to several times a day! Therefore, the impact of each update is unique to every client.

However, it is normal to expect some changes in your rankings and traffic when the update goes live. These might last anywhere between a few days and a week or longer until they settle down. If there is a persistent improvement or decline in your site rankings, this may suggest the update has had a direct impact on your site.

It is also quite possible that some of our clients might not notice any changes at all. No matter what effect this update has, LGO will keep you in the loop.

Q: Will I have to change anything?
A: In order to make sure your site is properly prepared for this update, we may recommend some minor changes to your website. These are mostly minor and will serve to give your visitors the best page experience possible.
Q: How can I prepare for the update?

Clients can prepare for this update by staying in touch with the LGO team and by assisting us in implementing our recommendations where possible. We hope that by working with us, you and your business can benefit from this update.

In the meantime, we hope all our clients are staying safe and well during these times of continued uncertainty. As ever, we would like to thank you all for choosing Let’s Get Optimized for your digital marketing needs. If you have any further questions regarding this update, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

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