Preparing for the 2021 Google update (Part One): How the Google Page Experience update will impact SEO

How will the Google Page Experience update impact SEO?

The 2021 Google Page Experience update is less than 6 months away. But what exactly is it? And how will it impact your SEO?

Back in May 2020 it was announced that Page Experience signals would be included in Google Search Ranking. This is now being referred to as the 2021 Google Page Experience Update. So, we’ll be releasing a monthly blog series to work through those signals and help you prepare for the updates’ release.

As so many updates in recent years have been user-centric, it’s no surprise to hear that Google is releasing another one. Rather than a complete overhaul though, this feels more like a completion of what previous updates have been working towards. This update isn’t going to break any new ground SEO-wise, but it will likely be marked as the point where those not playing ball with user-centric SEO are finally left in the dust.

SEO and User experience overlap ven diagram

So, what’s in store this time?

The 2021 page experience update will include ‘Core Web Vitals’ in Google Search Ranking, as well as making AMP pages no longer a requirement for eligible articles to appear in the ‘Top Stories’ feature. For those who might not already know, AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) speed up webpage load times — something that Google leverages so that pagers appear to load in the SERPs instantaneously.

Google have said they ‘plan to test a visual indicator that highlights pages in search results that have great page experience’.

While some are speculating that this Top Stories announcement could spell the end for AMP, we’re more focused on those pesky Core Web Vitals and other Page Experience Signals.

What are Page Experience Signals?

Google’s own page on the 2021 update offers a neat little overview of their page experience signals, alongside links to various tools you can use to check over your own site. Unfortunately, as always, we don’t know how much weight is going to be put into each signal when it comes to ranking. Essentially though, page experience signals measure how users perceive the experience of web page beyond its information value. And these signals, however good or bad, play a role in the ranking of said pages.

Core Web Vitals are to become SEO Signals this May

Previous examples include responsiveness, security and whether or not a site is HTTPS. From 2021, Google is said to be focussing in on Core Web Vitals — which ultimately comes down to page load speeds and stability.

So, join us next time for the continuation of our preparation feature on the 2021 Google Page Experience Update, where we’ll be delving into Core Web Vitals and why they can make or break the user experience of your website.

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