Google Confirms Upcoming User Experience Ranking Update

SEO agencies take notice: a major Google ranking algorithm update is around the corner.

In May, Google announced that it would soon consider webpage experience signals when ranking search results. Last Tuesday, on the Google Webmaster Central Blog, the search engine confirmed that it was moving forward with these plans and announced a target launch date of May 2021. The update, when it arrives, could have a major impact on Google search results in all industries.

Broadly, what this means is that Google will try to highlight pages that provide relevant information and great user experience. It will consider both Core Web Vitals – defined as “the subset of Web Vitals that apply to all pages, should be measured by all site owners, and will be surfaced across Google tools” – and signals like mobile-friendliness, HTTPS-security, interstitial guidelines, and safe-browsing.

Also in May 2021, Google will make non-AMP pages eligible to appear in the Top Stories feature in mobile search results. Any page that meets Google News’ content policy guidelines and has great user experience will be prioritized, AMP or not.

“At Google Search our mission is to help users find the most relevant and quality sites on the web,” the Webmaster Central Blog post read. “The goal with these updates is to highlight the best experiences and ensure that users can find the information they’re looking for.”

If you’re concerned that your site doesn’t deliver the best possible user experience, consider leveraging some of Google’s webmaster tools. Lighthouse is an open-source tool used by many SEO agencies to improve website quality. Page Speed Insights delivers mobile and desktop performance reports. And Search Console’s Core Web Vitals report delivers opportunities for improving your site.

You can also contact GrowthEngine Media today to discuss ways to improve your website’s performance and user experience. As a Google Premier Partner digital marketing agency, we have unique insights into Google’s preferred practices – reach out today to learn how we can help.


Image: Shutterstock