These changes will be live in 2021. Here’s what you need to know.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the marketing strategy that increases the quantity and quality of traffic to your website by appearing in organic search engine results like Google.
Google is constantly updating and improving its algorithm, which improves user experience. These changes encourage business owners to update and improve their websites to meet Google’s new requirements.
For the first time ever, Google is giving us a 6-month heads up about a major SEO update to their algorithm. This means that Google is completely changing the rules of the search engine optimization game. Those that follow the new rules will win and reap the benefits, and those who remain stagnant or opposed to change will fail and lose a lot of traffic.
This update will completely change how websites appear in Google search results. And it goes live on January 1, 2021. This 6-month advanced warning was given due to COVID-19 and the effects it’s had on businesses. But it’s also a sign of how important this update is.
It will most likely reshape the entire order of the current Google search results.
In all previous SEO updates, Google has released the changes without any notice. SEO experts would find the change by seeing certain sites improve in rank while others decrease in ranks. They then spent days or weeks researching and discussing their ideas and notes until a consensus was reached. Then this would get posted on major SEO forums or sites for other SEO agencies and consultants to review and hopefully apply the necessary changes to their websites to keep up with the new rules.
In the past, some websites have lost a majority of their business and website traffic overnight due to a major SEO update, while others have seen their business improve 4x in a matter of hours from the same SEO update. Why the difference?
One of those two websites was ready for the change and kept their site up-to-date with the help of an SEO.
What about the site that lost all their business? What did they do wrong?
Most likely, they did nothing, and that is why they dropped. If you don’t keep your website up to date, eventually Google will penalize you. We could go over all the reasons and rules that Google has for SEO, but that would take 10+ blog posts to cover in detail, so let’s get back to the main reason for this blog post…
Major SEO changes are coming, and Google has given us a heads up to update our sites in time.
How will the new update differ from the current SEO?
Currently, the 3-4 things that have the most weight for SEO are:
- Content – This encompasses a lot of things, such as making sure your H1 (titles) have your keyword, that the content is structured well, that you have keywords in specific ratios compared to all the other words on the page. Also important is the use of synonyms (LSI’s) in your content, or using your target keywords within the link anchor text that leads to this page.
- Backlinks – These are links from other websites to your site. If the other website has more authority, then the backlink is worth more compared to sites with less authority. What gives a site authority? Their age, their rankings, and the number of backlinks that the site has. This authority then gets passed to webpages that your page links to and so on.
- Page Engagement – How do users engage with your website? Bounce rates, time on site, and scroll percentage are all big signals for Google. Getting people to stay on your site and browse through other pages is big. That is why content that is structured and split up with small paragraphs, a lot of white space, titles and subtitles, and imagery all perform better than posts with huge walls of text.
- Mobile – Usability has become more prominent recently, to the point where it has now surpassed desktop. More internet browsing is done through mobile devices now than desktop. This trend has continued and will be made more extreme thanks to the new Page Experience Algorithm Update.
What are the major SEO changes?
The new update to the algorithm is called the Page Experience Algorithm Update. That name says a lot by itself. You can tell that Google will be more focused on the user’s experience on a website.
What will be the main focus areas of the new Page Experience Algorithm?
- Page Engagement / User Experience
- Load time
- Mobile-Friendly Design
We’ll go through each of these three things in more detail, so you can prepare for the big SEO update.
What does this all mean moving forward
Now that you know about the changes that are coming up in 2021’s Page Experience Algorithm Update, you have time to prepare and focus on making sure your website provides the best experience for the user.
This means that your content is still hugely important because that will determine if a user has a good experience or a bad one on your site.
Load time, or site speed, is very technical and will require everything from compressing and optimizing your images, to making sure you have a CDN (Content Delivery Network) and a caching plugin in place. Aim for a load time of fewer than 3 seconds.
Lastly, your mobile design has become one of the top 3 signals for SEO, so make sure your site is responsive and works well on all devices, but most importantly, it works well on mobile devices.
Most business owners don’t have the time or resources to focus on SEO, so we recommend that you work with a professional SEO consultant or agency that can handle keeping your website up-to-date for SEO and that you are ready for the Page Experience Algorithm Update in 2021.
We will discuss the three parts of the Page Experience Algorithm in upcoming blog posts.
Need SEO Help?
With these changes coming, SEO is more important than ever. If you need SEO help, reach out to M is Good! We provide services that help you take out the guesswork of SEO and get you to rank higher on Google.
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