Page Experience Will Be A Google Ranking Factor In 2021— Prepare Websites Now

Google Page Experience was announced on May 28, 2020, as a ranking factor that will start affecting the search giant’s algorithm sometime in 2021. 

Here is how Google defines page experience: “Page experience is a set of signals that measure how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page beyond its pure information value.” 

Essentially, Google is taking existing signals and lumping them under the single label of ‘page experience.’

Google hasn’t announced when this ranking change will officially go live, but does promise to “provide a 6-month notice before implementing these changes.”

Additionally, Google says the update will “incorporate the page experience metrics into our ranking criteria for the Top Stories feature in Search on mobile, and remove the AMP requirement from Top Stories eligibility. Google continues to support AMP, and will continue to link to AMP pages when available.”

This latter change begs the question: Can publishers let go of investing time and money in Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)? Can publishers instead focus exclusively on really good content and page experiences that value site speed without investing so much in AMP? Whether it makes sense to continue it has no easy answers yet. (Learn more in a tutorial on AMP.)

What we do know is what the page experience signals include and how much weight Google is giving them. Here’s what you need to know.

New Google Page Experience signals include:

  • Core Web Vitals: Released in May 2020, these metrics measure real-world user experience for speed, responsiveness and visual stability. Check out this blog post to learn more about the three Core Web Vitals (Largest Contentful Paint, First Input Delay, Cumulative Layout Shift). 
  • Mobile-friendliness: Many websites are mobile-friendly nowadays, but in case you’re curious as to whether your sites are, you can easily get a report by entering a URL into Google’s mobile-friendliness test.
  • Safe-browsing: Google looks for malicious or deceptive (e.g. social engineering) content; you can easily get a security Issues report for a URL and identify and fix problems in this area.
  • HTTPS: Encryption via SSL is something Google has pushed for a while and is now automatically included by many sites builders for free. In addition to the benefits HTTPS brings to SEO, it also ensures you avoid generating warning messages for end users on browsers like Chrome.
  • Intrusive interstitial ad guidelines: Interstitial ads can make websites difficult to engage with for visitors. These guidelines are used to determine whether the content of a site is considered easily accessible. The easier it is for an end user to access and engage content, the better.

A NOTE ON INTRUSIVE INTERSTITIAL ADS & PAGE EXPERIENCE

Most of the components of the new page experience signal are fairly straightforward on their own (i.e. your site is either encrypted with HTTPS or it’s not) or rather easy to address with help from one of Google’s many site testing tools, but intrusive interstitials warrant a little more explanation since this is the only page experience signal that doesn’t have a specific report attached to it. 

Google admitted as much in an interview in Search Engine Journal when John Mueller, webmaster trends analyst, said of interstitial ads, “It’s one of those things that we use in the ranking algorithms where we will try to take that into account and essentially rank the website a little bit lower. But it’s not like there’s a flag in Search Console, or you see a warning, or anything like that.”

In the same interview, Mueller also said that intrusive interstitials are a “softer factor” in ranking: “And it’s something that wouldn’t be applied across the whole website. In particular, if people are still looking for your brand name then I wouldn’t expect to see any ranking change for that.”

Google gives three examples of intrusive interstitial ads that are dinged in mobile search results:

  • Showing a popup that covers the main content, either immediately after the user navigates to a page from the search results, or while they are looking through the page.
  • Displaying a standalone interstitial that the user has to dismiss before accessing the main content.
  • Using a layout where the above-the-fold portion of the page appears similar to a standalone interstitial, but the original content is inlined underneath the fold.

Here are some visuals to give you an idea of what these look like:

Credit: Google

Google also offers three examples in which content will not suffer a penalty for interstitials:

  • Interstitials that appear in response to a legal obligation, such as for cookie usage or for age verification.
  • Login popups on sites where content is not publicly indexable (like unindexable content behind a paywall).
  • Banners that use a reasonable amount of screen space and are easily dismissible (like the app install banners provided by Safari and Chrome).

Again, here are some visuals to help you understand what will fly and what won’t.

Credit: Google

Additionally, there are few other things that are not penalized for being interstitials:

  • Desktop popups: as Google points out, interstitials is about mobile search results.
  • Pages that aren’t accessed through search results. “Google is not looking to penalize all pages with interstitials, only the ones that searchers could land on from search results. It’s still OK to display an interstitial when a user navigates from one of your pages to another,” explains Smash magazine.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM GOOGLE’S PAGE EXPERIENCE RANKING SIGNAL 

Experts in the field say that Google page experience doesn’t feel like a big change since these factors already are measured and matter in Search rankings. However, this update deserves your attention and Google has lent credence to this by providing developers with the tools to measure these signals, along with tips for fixing issues.

So how much will Google page experience affect rankings? This remains to be seen and there really is no way to tell until the update is fully live. However, Google has indicated that, though content is still king, page experience is growing in importance

According to the search engine, “By adding page experience to the hundreds of signals that Google considers when ranking search results, we aim to help people more easily access the information and web pages they’re looking for, and support site owners in providing an experience users enjoy.

While all of the components of page experience are important, we will prioritize pages with the best information overall, even if some aspects of page experience are subpar. A good page experience doesn’t override having great, relevant content. However, in cases where there are multiple pages that have similar content, page experience becomes much more important for visibility in Search.”

Need a website builder that will help you offer sites optimized for page experience faster than ever? Try nerDigital for free for 14 days!

HOW TO START OPTIMIZING WEBSITES FOR PAGE EXPERIENCE

The bottom line is, even though this new algorithm might not completely upend Search results, it’s critical to address Google page experience. Start now. Run the reports on Core Web Vitals and check out Google Search Console to figure out how your site speed looks. Some of the issues with sites will require your developer’s time to fix, and you’ll want to get an early start and spread out the workload. However, if you’ve worked with a dedicated website builder, like nerDigital, you’ll likely have a head start as many of these updates will (or at least, should) be handled by your platform. 

With Google now laying out so many specific measurements in free reports, now is a great time to light a fire under any naysayers on your team who have been reluctant to address site speed issues, mobile-friendliness, and user experience problems. In fact, the same experts that refer to page experience as more of a rebranding exercise also believe that it serves as great ammo for getting performance issues fixed. 

Don’t wait to prepare your sites for Google’s page experience updates. 2021 is just around the corner.

Why You Need to Use Small Seo Tools Backlink Checker for Your Site

Small Seo Tools Backlink Checker

External links coined “backlinks” are among the integral parts of Search Engine Optimization as a whole. They act like your site’s arms and legs that form bridges connecting to other websites. In turn, these connections lead generated traffic into your domain. Therefore, backlink has a significant role in SEO that it has to perform correctly to contribute to the end goal. You can find a lot of instructions and guides online as to how to do the process right, but you will still need one thing to ensure success – small SEO tools backlink checker.

Small Seo Tools Backlink Checker

Another term for backlinks is “inbound links” or “incoming links.” Both are very fitting names, actually, if you consider how a backlink is created when one website connects to another through a live link. This said link that connects to an external site is the so-called backlink. Producing a well-constructed page is one thing, but having people to come and visit it is another. One obvious way to achieve this is by constructing backlinks through off-page optimization.

Off-page optimization is all about the actions that you perform outside of your own website which attempts to influence your rankings within search engine results pages or SERPs. Moreover, this involves the advancement of search engine factors as well as the users’ perception of a site’s popularity. A page’s relevance, reliability, and authority operate under this.

The Process of Backlinking

Small Seo Tools Backlink Checker

Link earning or link building refers to the process of acquiring backlinks in all its nature of being one of the pillars of off-page optimization. Of course, you must first understand every detail of its process before you can reap its fruits. You would also need to realize that there would be backlinks that are naturally more significant than the rest of its kind.

The most sought-after backlinks that you can earn are followed backlinks that only trustworthy, popular and high-authority sites can provide. On the other hand, backlinks from low-authority websites which are spam-filled more often than not also exist. A site owner could take actions such as specifically instructing search engines to link equity or to pass or not. Either way, having a link followed or not is still relevant, though it won’t completely put aside the value of no-follow links to waste. An excellent example is by merely earning a mention on high-quality websites as it can give your brand the boost that you never knew it needed.

Quality over quantity is the game for backlinks. You may build as many as you can, but it still won’t be enough to tie in with quality backlinks. One option is to employ paid services to generate links to your site. However, going down this path will most likely have Google Penguin’s algorithm running after you.

Still, there are other things that you can do to get those quality backlinks working for your blog’s favor.

∙ Compose appealing articles.

First, you would need to conjure a convincing reason for people to come to you, and composing appealing articles would be a good start. Readers could even take it upon themselves to share it to their peers if they found your content helpful and pleasant.

After having published your articles, you could proceed to disseminate outreach emails to potentially interested readers. You can find these people by inputting your topic into Google then collecting the list of articles that the SERPs will show.

∙ Consider guest blogging.

Contrary to the first step, you will write an article for other peoples’ site rather than doing it on your own. It might come across as weird at first, but you will realize how beneficial this is in terms of link building. The payment method for the free article that you will be writing is the permission for you to insert within the post 1-2 links that will lead back to your site.

The beginning is the most challenging part, as you would have to search for sites that offer guest blogging opportunities. Reach out to pages that are already catering to guest blogs. You will know you found one when they have a page calling for contributors under page titles like “Write for Us” or “Contribute” page. Once you found your battleground, simply comply with their instructions, and you can start by submitting a pitch.

If the page that you found already featured a relevant topic, then all the more reason that they will be interested in what you have to offer. Likewise, sites that don’t initially call for contributors would more likely be willing to accept your guesting, especially about that topic.

∙ Mimic your competitors’ moves.

You can never go wrong with this excellent business strategy. Being new to the industry has one undeniable perk – the lead of their prominent competitors. These pioneers are more likely to have gained plenty of backlinks and might even have done some of their own so that they can reach better rankings. It’s an excellent guide, either way.

Using their preface to your advantage, you can learn their methods in acquiring their links and do it for your own.

∙ Build your links.

There are no links to generate if your site is filled with broken ones, so it would be better if you fix issues within first before going out and about. This ever-evolving nature of the Web could lead to alterations, modifications or deletions of pages from time to time. Another unfortunate outcome of this is broken links, which are links that lead to pages that no longer exist.

Both the webmasters and searchers wouldn’t like being led to an empty page and will subsequently result in poor user experience. Unfortunately, busy web experts often overlook situations like this, as it also takes a considerable amount of effort to regularly evict broken links from your site.

∙ Submit to web directories.

This method might as well be among the easiest to execute, but it has decreased in popularity these days. Indeed, finding a legal web directory is not an easy task. Direct submission tricks are no good either, as it will make your site appear as spam. Eventually, you will have to face a lot of problems in your domain authority and worse, your site will be wiped out from search engines.

The number of various approaches that you can engage in is there to justify the proven benefits of backlinks in SEO.

Importance and Uses of Backlink to a Website

Small Seo Tools Backlink Checker

A lot may have changed in the affairs of backlinks in the past couple of years, but its apparent advantages today are unquestionably significant. Back then, even the so-called low-quality links are still valuable to a site’s ranking. However, the emergence of Google’s Penguin algorithm changed the whole landscape of backlinking.

Today, it’s imperative for backlinks to come from quality sites and should be contextual rather than just that. The goal here is to obtain links from authoritative and relevant websites. Here are some of the reasons why.

1. Backlinks build up organic ranking.

Expect better search engine rankings once you have done your backlinking right. Your content’s gain of links from other sites will result in higher rankings in search results. Nonetheless, you would have to build them hands-on. Aim to create links to each of your site’s individual posts and pages in conjunction with those that lead to your homepage.

2. Backlinks promote faster indexing.

The only way for your website to be discovered is by having search engine bots find it. However, they will only be able to detect new webpages by tracking those from existing webpages. They can then crawl your site effectively. Thus, not having backlinks will make it difficult for the search engine bots to reach your site especially if it’s a new one. Otherwise, successful backlinking is functional in the faster indexing of your website.

3. Backlinks produce referral traffic.

Once you gained your reader’s best interest, the higher your chance is to have them click on the links in the post to learn more about the topic that you wrote. People click on links at their own free will, so their visits are usually more targeted. They would also be less likely to leave the page, and if so, there will be a low bounce rate.

Basically, backlinks serve as your bridges and doorways for people to be able to land to your page wherever else they might be. Another way to put it is how backlinks could symbolize trust and reliability from one site to the other. Hence, these connections signal to search engine bots that your pages and content are worth linking to, given the traffic that your disseminated links generate. They will then realize that they would have to display your page on search engine results pages. Aside from having a positive effect on your site’s ranking position, the production of these backlinks could also enhance your search visibility.