Google is Feeling the Need for Speed!

Have you noticed your search engine results pages ranks have dropped recently?

Has your page’s loading speed slowed?

Is your website suddenly feeling “clunky”?

Google has implemented a major algorithm change from June 1st, 2021. This is not unusual, as the Google algorithm is regularly updated, however, this particular update may have significant implications for how google views the functionality of your website, and specifically your pages’ loading speed.

These little (or big!) tricks that Google plays can have a dramatic influence on your SEO strategy, and what worked for you to date may suddenly not be so effective. Your online success depends on you remaining abreast of Google’s algorithmic updates – and the best way to do this is to work with a professional SEO agency to identify and overcome these challenges, and keep your search engine ranks as high as possible.

Search Engine Optimisation and the Algorithm Change

Ranking highly in search engine results pages (SERPs) is crucial for getting seen by the right audience at the right time online. While you can certainly invest in Google Ads, which are a form of pay-per-click advertising, organic search is a major factor in your online visibility.

Websites and businesses that appear on the first page of search engine results, especially in the first three to five results rankings, will perform best in terms of clicks and conversions. The attention span of internet users is very limited, and relatively few internet users search beyond page one. Maintaining your ranks in the face of an algorithm change matters – a lot. This is the role of SEO.

What is the Google Algorithm?

The Google algorithm analyses and ranks web pages online.

There is a staggering volume of data online, and this is growing constantly.  Based on a report in Science Focus, the “Big 4” (i.e., Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple) store at least 1.2 billion gigabytes of data. Add to this, academic servers, industry servers, and other data storage sources, and it’s almost impossible to appreciate just how many websites, web pages, and pieces of information are literally at our fingertips on a global scale.

The Google algorithm is a bot that crawls these hundreds of billions of web pages. In doing so, it identifies and provides what it considers the most relevant, quality search results for focus search terms, or tags/keywords.

How are Search Engine Ranks Determined?

Google uses an elaborate set of algorithms to rank every web page it finds in terms of its relevance to the keywords a user enters when searching online. The algorithms consider a wide array of on- and off-page features including:

  • Keywords
  • URLs
  • Location
  • Meta Title
  • Meta Description
  • H1 Tags
  • Image Quality
  • Image ALT Tags
  • Website Location
  • Backlinks & External Links
  • Relevance
  • Functionality
  • Usability
  • Authority
  • Content
  • Dynamic Content

The 2021 Algorithm Update

The 2021 update focuses most on users’ page experience. If the algorithm considers the user experience of a web page to be lacking in any way, it will not rank the page. Prior ranks, high or low, are not considered.

What is Page Experience? It is an analysis of the interaction a user has with a website. It considers Core Web Vitals, which are the following signals:

  1. Loading Speed (LCP or Largest Contentful Paint – this is among the largest factors the algorithm update is focused on. The faster your load speed, the better your site will perform in SERPs).
  2. Page Interactivity (FID or First Input Delay).
  3. Visual Stability (CLS or Cumulative Layout Shift).

There are additional ranking signals considered, including but not limited to mobile optimisation, browser security, and HTTPS. The 2021 Google algorithm update focuses particularly on the relevance, value, and optimisation of a website’s content.

How will the 2021 Google algorithm impact your SEO?

Maintaining ranks is difficult, especially when an algorithm update is implemented.  SEO is crucial to any effective, complete digital marketing strategy.

To meet the challenges this presents, you need to:

  • Optimise your site for mobile across devices.
  • Deliver a secure browsing experience and secure your website with HTTPS.
  • Avoid having pop-ups compromise your web page’s functionality
  • Understand Core Web Vitals and the tools to analyse them.

Call in the Professionals for SEO Help

Partnering with the right SEO expert is essential if you are not adept in this field.  A professional SEO provider has the training, expertise, and technical know-how to overcome the challenges and tweak your SEO campaign to keep you on top online. Your website’s future is on your hands – so put yourself in the hands of the right SEO company to meet Google’s “need for speed”!

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