“Google is no longer just optimizing for information that’s closest to your keywords, but optimizing for a more delightful web
I am sure we have all had more than our fair share of bad experiences with user design of a website. Whether the site is, slow, clunky, dysfunctional, confusing, or just bad in general; It can be very frustrating to go to a website that is not working as expected. Google has announced in May 2020, their next update will factor user experience into their search results. This update will incorporate a new set of ranking metrics known as “Core Web Vitals. The “Core Web Vitals” represent “a set of real-world, user-centered metrics that quantify key aspects of the user experience” by measuring “dimensions of web usability, such as load time, interactivity, and the stability of content as it loads.” Essentially all sites should load within 2.5 seconds and users should be able to interact with the page within 100 microseconds.
Google’s page criteria:
- Is it mobile-friendly?
- Does it load quickly?
- Does it run on HTTPS?
- Are there intrusive ads present?
- Does content jump around as the page is loading?
The Core Web Vital metrics fall under the following:
- LCP – Largest Contentful Paint: Measures loading performance to provide great user experience, and LCP should occur in just 2.5 seconds when the page first begins to load.
- FID – First Input Delay: This measures inactivity, and to provide a good UX, all pages need to have FID of under 100 milliseconds.
- CLS – Cumulative Layout Shift: Designed to measure visual stability. Providing a good UX means that pages can keep CLS of under 0.1.
So, what does this mean and why is Google doing this? Google’s goal is to “make the web more delightful”. People want to have positive experiences when visiting a website. They want to visit a site that is intuitive and easy to navigate. Positive experiences and customer satisfaction increase the number of users to a site. Negative experiences decrease the number of users to a site. I do most of my shopping online and personally will not return to a site that have had a bad experience on and I’m not the only one. UX stats show that 88% of online shoppers say they wouldn’t return to a website after having a bad user experience.
Due to COVID19, these changes will not reflect until 2021. Google will provide a 6-month notice before the update and changes are rolled out. The best information will still be listed first in search, but this change will hopefully prioritizing user experience will make searching the web more enjoyable. There are some ways for businesses and brands to prepare themselves for this update. One way to prepare is by using the the new Core Web Vitals report that is found in the Google Search Console. Another way to prepare is by working with the professionals aka any quality web marketing companies.
What are your thoughts about this Google update? Do you feel it could give certain websites an unfair advantage? Or is this a good push for websites to improve?
Andjelic, Julija. “40+ Essential UX Statistics – Everything You Need To Know.” SmallBizGenius, 3 Jan. 2020, www.smallbizgenius.net/by-the-numbers/ux-statistics/#gref.
Becker, Larry, et al. “Google’s Upcoming Update Means UX Is Only Getting More Important.” Digital Commerce 360, 2 June 2020, www.digitalcommerce360.com/2020/06/03/googles-upcoming-experience-update-means-ux-is-only-getting-more-important/.
“Introducing Web Vitals: Essential Metrics for a Healthy Site.” Chromium Blog, 5 May 2020, blog.chromium.org/2020/05/introducing-web-vitals-essential-metrics.html.
Roesler, Peter. “User Experience Will Affect Google Rankings Starting Next Year.” Inc.com, Inc., 30 June 2020, www.inc.com/peter-roesler/user-experience-will-affect-google-rankings-starting-next-year.html.
Smith, Lilly. “Google Search Will Now Favor Websites with Great UX.” Fast Company, Fast Company, 29 May 2020, www.fastcompany.com/90511044/google-search-will-now-favor-websites-with-great-ux.