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INTRODUCTION

Recently, Google has announced other upcoming updates for 2021. Advance notification of Google algorithm updates has given webmasters and developers time to make the required adjustments.

Google has been mapping the web to create indexes since its inception. This indexing helps in filtering and ranking the most relevant search results on top. Therefore, each Google Algorithm update has a significant impact on search engine result pages.

For instance, if you are searching for a chocolate cake recipe, there are thousands of articles describing the history and unnecessary details about chocolate cakes. So, the search for your desired result will become time-consuming and frustrating. Therefore, Google modifies its search result ranking by consistently updating Google algorithms.

After filtering result pages according to location and searchers intent, Google provides the searchers with the most relevant result pages.

Ranking Factors for 2021

You must know that Google Algorithm updates will deploy in May 2021. The core vitals and ranking factors are now highly focused on Page Experience.

The latest Google Algorithm ranking factors include;

1- Safe-browsing

Not everyone on Google is trying to make direct sales and generate conversions. Numerous hackers have made unsafe web pages and sites. Therefore, Google recommends checking outside links.

It is vital to continually check URLs and links against Google’s updated lists of unsafe web resources. If not, these unsafe links will be filtered by Google, resulting in degradation of your result pages.

With the help of Safe Browsing, websites can warn users before they click links in your site which may lead to infected pages. It is better to remove such links.

2- No intrusive interstitials

Interstitial is a type of “web page” which appears suddenly on the main content page.

This space is mainly used for promotional purposes and online advertisement. These interstitials can show in the form of surveys, advertisements, newsletters, signup forms, and other discount vouchers, etc. Interstitials often block and lead to unwanted purchase and unsatisfactory user experience. Interstitial pages and popups tend to block pages of viewers interest leading to a frustrating experience for both desktop and mobile users.

There are different types of interstitials, for example, popups and standalone, legal, and ethical interstitials.

From May 2021, having too many interstitials on your web page, which hinder and compromise user experience, will negatively impact the website rankings.

3- Page Speed

In 2010, Google announced Site Speed as the factor for ranking in the search results. Since then, it is one of the most critical factors for ranking any website on Google.

In 2018 Google doubled-down, announcing their ranking algorithm would also weigh mobile page speed as a ranking factor.

Note that page speed is directly related to the ranking of your webpage. Therefore, if your page is not ranking and getting enough conversions, you must look at your page speed score.

Although, Page Speed is not entirely a new factor, and Google has been ranking search result pages on the basis of website speed. So what is different in 2021? Well, in 2021, Google will be accelerating with core web vitals.

This entails how quickly the webpage will load, and whether or not it is mobile friendly. Other factors include HTTPS and intrusive interstitials.

Core Web Vitals

Core web vitals are set of new performance metrics that help with the webpage development to enhance User Experience(UX). Now, in Google Algorithm updates, these core ranking factors are part of webpage experience updates. The current web vital metrics are;

1- Largest Contentful Paint

This is the time it takes between the page to load and the largest image or text block to fully appear is known as Largest Contenful Paint.  This time period is more noticeable on throttled internet connections. Keep reading to know how you can check your webpage LCP.

2- First Input Delay

FID is the time taken by the web page to be entirely ready for user interaction. This also includes how much time it takes to respond to scrolls, clicks, and keyword input processing. Delay in user interaction is a primary concern today. Many online businesses lose their potential leads and customers due to such delays.

3- Cumulative Layout Shift

The sum of all layout shifts that aren’t caused by user interaction is cumulative layout shift.

The lower your CLS score, the more stable your layout is. CLS scores are now officially used by Google algorithm for ranking website performance. Note that;

Good – CLS score below 0.1

Needs Improvement – CLS score between 0.1 and 0.25

Poor – CLS above 0.25

It is optimal and now necessary for your webpage to keep cumulative layout shift score under 0.1.

How to prepare for Upcoming 2021 Google Algorithm Updates

The reason for announcing Google Algorithm updates beforehand is that businesses can make modifications accordingly.

Websites need to focus more on page speed, FID, LCP, and CLS.

You can check these aspects of your website with the help of Google Lighthouse. This tool will provide you with the current performance as well as suggestions for optimal improvements.

Google Algorithm updates

In the above image, the demo website performance is alarming. With such poor performance, the businesses will suffer more after Google Algorithm updates. The optimal requirement chart for high performance is given below;

Google light house

The most common causes of poor LCP include:

Render-blocking javascript and CSS. Heavy Javascript execution is also the leading cause for poor FID of a website. Other reasons are;

Slow resource loading time

Slow server response time

Slow resource load time

For all such problems, the developers must make a significant effort to update the backend. Optimization of Javascript parses, compilation and execution will directly reduce your website’s FID.

You must know that the main reasons for low CLS include;

Images, ads, and iframes without dimensions, dynamically injected content, and Web fonts causing FOUT(Flash of Unstyled Text )/FOIT(Flash of invisible text)

Conclusion

If you want competitive and optimal growth of your website, it is crucial to stay updated. Before May 2021, businesses must audit their websites’ performance, mainly based on the aforementioned factors.

Do not panic and utilize the given time to upgrade javascript, CSS, HTML, and HTTP.

Keep in mind that good content remains an important part of ranking in SERPs. If you have optimal website performance and unnecessary content this will also negatively affect your rankings. Digital competition is fierce so business must focus on the given checklists to stay ahead.

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