As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Google has chosen to provide marketers with details about an up-and-coming update to its algorithm. This means you have time to update your websites and avoid a potential sharp decline in traffic due to the Page Experience update.
According to Google, a page experience signal tracks in different ways the experiences user enjoy (or don’t) when interacting with a page. By optimizing for a visitor’s usability experience, websites make the web a better place for surfers using all different types of internet browsers and devices, including mobile devices.
To put it simply, Google is monitoring the usability of your website and the level of frustration your website’s visitors experience.
The update’s purpose is to ensure all websites featured in top positions on SERPs are offering users a positive experience.
After the update, sites that are the most user-friendly will start to enjoy higher ranks, while those that are less user-friendly may see their rankings plummet.
The update is just the beginning of some big changes coming to SEO. Leapfrog in Hampshire.
Is the update really that important? What type of websites do you imagine Google wants to feature in those coveted top SERP positions?
Can you guess?
Perhaps those with high-quality backlinks?
Or maybe websites with streamlined on-page code?
Google is seeking to reward websites that its users like the most.
Let’s explore some scenarios.
Say you want to purchase a pair of athletic shoes, what is the first brand to enter your head?
I bet you thought of NIKE.
What about if you were after a new credit card?
I bet Mastercard, American Express or Visa were the first to come to mind.
The number of Google users who search for your company’s brand name then clickthru to your site is referred to as the number of brand queries. And, brand queries can have a big effect on rankings. Learning this is arguably one of the most important pieces of SEO knowledge I obtained.
When your brand reputation/recognition increases, your SEO traffic grows.
Brand queries have played a role in Google’s algorithm for ages, so why am I bringing this up now?
Well, the majority of websites aren’t run by big global brands and Google is aware of this. So, even if your website doesn’t have a brand per se, you can still achieve good rankings.
I have analysed client data from my ad agency and less than 5% of our clients are well-known brands. However, the remaining 95+% who don’t have large brands are still enjoying healthy traffic growth.
Google is simply adjusting its algorithm to align with its goal of ensuring it displays websites that users like the most in the best results page spots.
While brand queries are one metric Google uses to achieve this, user experience is its own separate metric.
In the coming months and years, I’m sure we’ll see numerous updates to the algorithm related to user experience.
So, how do you go about optimizing your website for the user experience metric?
Page by page.
If you refer back to Google’s original article announcing the new algorithm update, you’ll notice that “website experience” and “page experience” are emphasized. I’m certain this is going to mean their algorithm will start to centre page-level and whole site-level user experiences.