Google made another big change back in May, announcing the Page Experience Update; a set of requirements that will dominate the search algorithm and ranking system in 2021—and webstore owners are already seeing errors reported in Google Search Console. While user experience has been at the forefront of Google’s search algorithms for many years, the Page Experience Update takes it a step further. Newly announced in summer 2020, these technical requirements are largely understood to be some of the most important metrics for success in organic performance in 2021, and you likely have already discovered Google Search Console reporting associated errors.

The update includes three considerations/measurements:

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP):

This measures perceived load speed and marks the point in the page load timeline when the page’s main content has likely loaded. The most common causes of a poor LCP are:

  • Slow server response times
  • Render-blocking JavaScript and CSS
  • Slow resource load times
  • Client-side rendering

LCP graphic

First Input Delay (FID):

The FID measures responsiveness and quantifies the experience users feel when trying to first interact with the page. The main cause of a poor FID is heavy JavaScript execution. Optimizing how JavaScript parses, compiles, and executes on your web page will directly reduce FID.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

Inspection for CLS is a reactive measure taken by Google to dissuade website owners from including an excessive number of popups and/or ads. It measures visual stability and quantifies the amount of unexpected layout shift of visible page content.

What Does This Look Like In Application?

Human Element’s clients are all unique, and thus have different business requirements and customizations to meet those needs. All of the key performance metrics prioritized by the Google Page Experience Update can be impacted by installed extensions, poor image optimization, CSS and javascript files, and hundreds of other things that occur behind the scenes whenever a browser attempts to load a page.

We want to make sure that page load time happens fast, and that a user is able to engage with content in a meaningful way. To best prepare for 2021, now is the time to reach out to your project manager for information on being proactive in addressing issues reported on by the Google Page Experience Update, and making sure your website’s SEO health isn’t negatively impacted by the update.

What’s Next?

Interested in learning more? Simply forward this post to your Project Manager to let them know you’re interested and to get the conversation started! (Not a Human Element client just yet? Contact us to see how we can help!)