What you need to know about Google’s May 2021 Algorithm Update

You might have heard there’s a new Google algorithm rolling out this month, but what’s it all about? And how does it affect you and your business? We’ve done a deep dive into the ins and outs of the algorithm and put together the key pieces of information you need to know to prepare for the update.

What is the update?

The May algorithm update will see more emphasis placed on user experience than we’ve ever seen before, with a whole new set of metrics used to measure page experience. These metrics include:

  • How long it takes your site to load
  • Whether your site is responsive on different devices (desktop, tablet, mobile)
  • How safe and secure your website is
  • Whether your site includes annoying pop ups or interstitials that block page content

These metrics all contribute to your page experience score, which ultimately affects how well (or not well) your website ranks on search engines like Google.

What are Core Web Vitals?

You might have seen the term floating around lately, but what are Core Web Vitals? Core Web Vitals are one of the new metrics that Google uses to determine page experience. They’re made up of three elements or metrics:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) measures your site speed and page load times.
  • First Input Delay (FID) measures how long it takes for your site to become interactive and responsive to users.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) measures the visual stability of your page.

In other words, Core Web Vitals measure the speed, interactivity, and stability of your site. That means that if you have a slow, unresponsive, or difficult to use site, the update could negatively affect you and your site.

How will the update affect you?

This update is a big deal. From May 2021, user experience is going to be more important than ever, so you won’t be able to get away with long loading times, poor design or non-responsive websites anymore. If your website doesn’t pass the page experience test, from May 2021 you can expect to see a drop in your organic rankings.

How can you prepare for the algorithm update?

The first thing you should do to prepare for the update is to find out how your website is currently performing. There are plenty of tools online you can use to test your page experience, but we recommend using Google’s Page Speed Insights or logging into Google Search Console to check your Core Web Vitals.

When you open up Core Web Vitals, you’ll probably see something similar to this, with your pages ranked as ‘poor’, ‘needs improvement’, or ‘good’.

If you have any pages marked as ‘poor’ or ‘needs improvement’, then your website isn’t passing the page experience test. Fixing these issues is most likely going to require making changes to the backend of your website, so it’s a good idea to get in touch with your web developer or SEO specialist as soon as possible.

How TwentyTwo Digital can help you

TwentyTwo Digital is a full-service marketing agency with a strong foundation in SEO and web development. The new Google algorithm update will have a huge impact on businesses from May 2021, so now is the time to get a wriggle on! Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you improve your page experience.

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