What do you have to change on your website due to the Google update 2021?
What You Need to Know About Google’s Page Experience Ranking Update
7 June, 2021 by
What do you have to change on your website due to the Google update 2021?
Digital Office Assistant Service, Melanie Lee

Google is rolling out a new Page Experience signal, a set of site performance metrics that affect where websites rank in search. We will show you how you can improve your page's user experience.

Is it possible to figure out what your company does within five seconds of landing on your website? Could site visitors easily find the information they are looking for if they're in need of it? Is the layout of your pricing something that everyone can easily understand? Is your website fit for mobile view? Does your site run on HTTPS?

Statistics confirm what you already know: a high Google search ranking can boost an online business, but it can also demolish it. For years, most businesses have spent time and money on SEO, creating pages and content that are optimized to rank high in Google search results and thus be easily found.

The SEO of a page on Google will be expanded to include new criteria since the beginning of May 2021. Google introduced the Page Experience Signal, a new ranking factor that employs several sub-signals to determine a page's overall experience and ranks it accordingly.

The significance of providing an excellent digital experience is not new. Salesforce reported last year that one in every three customers will abandon a brand after just one negative experience.

Our goal at digital office assistant is to help you create a web presence with Odoo 14 that not only works properly, but also makes online interactions enjoyable for your visitors. That is why, in this blog post, we want to summarize everything that is important for you in an easy-to-understand manner.

Previously, online businesses were only required to focus on the experience users had when they arrived at the site. A bad digital experience can now have a negative impact on your website even before visitors arrive, thanks to the new Page Experience signal.

How to prepare your website for the new Google updates in 2021

  1. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly

  2. Allow safe-browsing

  3. Make sure you've got a SSL or TLS certificate (HTTPS)

  4. Make your page content easy to access

  5. Keep your content loading time short

  6. Make sure your links interaction is quick

  7. Make sure your Click-to-Actions are all clear and easy to understand 

So, how can you prepare for the Signal Page Experience Update?

Because this is a Google update that affects your Google Search Ranks (SERPs), it should come as no surprise that the best tools for measuring your website's page experience are also on Google.

This means you can measure and track your site's core web vitals with tools you're already familiar with. Google's Search Console, for example, has a new Core Web Vitals report that provides a snapshot of your website's current performance and identifies pages that can be improved.

After you've determined which pages aren't performing well, you can use PageSpeed Insights to see what needs to be fixed. While these tools will not provide you with a complete page experience rating, they will provide you with actionable insights into how your page is performing overall.

We at the digital office assistant also had great experience with Neil Patel's Ubersuggest. You might want to give this low-cost tool a shot.

1. Mobile friendly

In case you don't already know, here's some important piece of information: 80% of internet users own a smartphone, and “Google says 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile website they had trouble visiting, and 40% to the website instead visit a competitor. '

That's a clear statement and shows us how important mobile friendliness is. Even before the Google update. Now we get forced from Google to definitely fix this problem. Good to know that Odoo 14 is already making its website mobile friendly (i.e. responsive). There is even a quick check in the Website Builder, to see if the website you just built is giving mobile visitors of your page also a great user experience.

See the mobile icon in the upper right. By a click a new window (mobile device) is opening up and showing you the mobile user experience.

But it's more than just being visually appealing. It is a necessity to tailor your website to the needs and wants of your visitors. Always ask yourself, "why would someone access my website on a cell phone? What would they be looking for? What is my personal experience of my site, is it easy and pleasant to read?"

2. Safe Browsing

Let me quick explain what Safe Browsing is and how it works:

Google Safe Browsing is a blacklist service that constantly updates lists of web resources that contain phishing content or malware. To protect and warn their users, all of the most popular internet browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, use the lists provided by the Google Safe Browsing service.

Google Safe Browsing significantly improves the security of the internet. Google Safe Browsing was launched in 2007 to protect users and the web. It has kept a list of dangerous websites since then. Every day, its algorithms scan billions of URLs, and if any of them contain malicious links or content, the URL is added to the unsafe list.

Your goal is to keep your website from being added to this list!

As a website owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that your website is safe for its visitors and does not contain malware. If you do not comply, Google will place a red flag on your site and add it to the Safe Browsing blacklist of unsafe URLs.

If this occurs, your website will not only fail to meet an important Google page experience factor, but it will also become invisible to the majority of internet users. I think you get the idea!

To see how Google sees your website, use the Safe Browsing site status Tool from Google.

3. HTTPS  Secure Connections

If you are already having a HTTPS standing in front of your domain name in the browser - you are all set up. If not, this is for you:

What is HTTPS?  HTTPS is an abbreviation for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure. It is a protocol used to secure communication between two systems, such as a browser and a web server. 

Http transports data between the browser and the web server in hypertext format, whereas https transports data in encrypted format. As a result, https prevents hackers from reading and modifying data while it is being transferred between the browser and the web server. Even if hackers are successful in intercepting the communication, they will be unable to use it because the message is encrypted.

Using the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocols, HTTPS established an encrypted link between the browser and the web server. TLS is the new SSL version.

What is a SSL-Certificate?  SSL is the industry standard for establishing an encrypted link between two systems. These can be from a browser to a server, a server to a server, or a client to a server. SSL, in essence, ensures that data transfer between the two systems is encrypted and private. The https protocol is basically HTTP over SSL. SSL creates an encrypted link with the help of an SSL certificate, also known as a digital certificate.

The good news here: A SSL certificate is not a big deal to get. The digital office assistant service will provide you automatically with this service when you subscribed your Odoo 14 with us. 

4. Avoid intrusive interstitials

For mobile users, intrusive website pop-ups create a negative user experience. Because this can harm your website's rankings, it's also bad for SEO. Google implemented an intrusive interstitial penalty in 2017. According to Google:

Starting today, pages with content that is difficult for a user to access when switching from mobile search results may not rank as high.

This only applies to pages visited by mobile users directly from a Google search result (not subsequent webpages visited on the same site from the original page). In any case, it's a good best practice to avoid irritating your visitors. Google reminded readers that this is just one signal, and that great content will always win.

As previously stated, this new signal is just one of hundreds of signals used in ranking, and the intent of the search query is still a very strong signal, so a page with great, relevant content may still rank highly.

With Google's new page experience ranking signal including interstitials, it's a reminder that intrusive popups have no place in a mobile-first world.

An intrusive interstitial is essentially a popup Web page that makes access to the content difficult for a mobile user. For example:

1.) if a popup appears immediately after a person navigates to a webpage from the search results or while scrolling through the page.

2.) Or, a stand-alone interstitial that must be dismissed before proceeding to the main content.

3.) Or, a webpage with content above the fold, similar to a standalone interstitial, with the original content inline underneath.

But of course popup's are not just bad. You can have needed popups Google finds ok, like:

 1.) Legal obligations' interstitials (like cookie usage notices or age verifications)

2.) Site login dialogs, such as those used to access private content

3.) Banners that are easily dismissed and do not take up too much space on the website

Source:  "Helping users easily access content on mobile" from Google Developer Page

How to Avoid Interstitial on your Website

By aligning your website with the mobile user experience, you can avoid intrusive pop-ups.

Google provides in-depth guidance on creating a mobile-friendly site, including how to avoid common popup mistakes.

Fortunately, you can still achieve your website objectives without interfering with visitors' page experiences. Keep the following mobile-friendly pop-up navigation practices in mind:

1.) Use popup banners that take up little space. This could imply shrinking the size of the elements or adding a banner to the side or bottom of the page.

2.) Make it easy for users to dismiss the popup. That "X" should be easily visible and accessible.

3.) Add a delay before the pop-up appears. When visitors arrive from the search results, make sure they can immediately access the main content. This can be either a time or a scrolling delay. Alternatively, you can display the pop-up on page exit rather than page entry.

4.) Make your popups audience-specific to make the message more relevant to them. Consider new versus returning visitors.

5.) If a user closes a popup once, make sure it doesn't appear again or follow them around the website. It should be fine to show it to them again later (a week or so).

6.) Check that your popup isn't slowing down your page's load time.

It all boils down to courtesy. When designing website elements such as interstitials, make sure your site provides the kind of page experience that both visitors and Google are looking for.

5. Low content loading time (LCP - Largest Contentful Paint)

LCP documentation specifies which types of elements are taken into account for LCP, which includes:

1.) Images

2.) Video

3.) Background images loaded via CSS

4.) Heading tags

5.) Tables

6) Lists

7) Any other block element with text

The purpose is to reach on most of your pages the recommended loading rate. Google says "Where at least 75 percent of the website views meet the "good" threshold, this site will be classed as "good" for that metric."

Here are some tips to take into account as you start optimize your website:

1.) In most cases, text will be faster than other items that need to be separately fetched (like images). So it is a good idea to use stuff like heading tags as larger elements.

2.) In some cases the biggest content item is just over slow, design changes may be necessary.

3.) Loading times will be helpful by optimizing your JS and CSS. Be careful not to include too many scripts from third parties.

4.) The LCP is mobile or desktop in the viewport. You will probably not count on things in your footer, so you focus on the top of your page.

6. Links interaction

FID measures the first impression of the interactiveness and responsiveness with your website. It examines items such as clicks, taps and key presses falling under the category of "responsiveness." It doesn't measure animation-related things like scrolling and zooming.

Google recommends that web pages aim at a FID of 100 milliseconds or less* that means that the page can respond in a time frame to an interactive event. Google's threshold should be met 75 per cent of the time and is separated from mobile and desktop devices in order to be considered "good." More information on how Google creates thresholds can be found here.

Although the official threshold is 75 percent of pages loaded, Google mainly recommends that the 95th to 99th percentiles be viewed for FID, since these would correspond to the very bad first experiences users have with your site. And it will show you the areas where improvements are most necessary." For desktop as well as mobile users, this is true.

Please note that the sample is 75 percent. For example, if your site includes a thousand pages and all Google indexes, then 750 of them need a good FID to classify the whole site as having a good FID. Google claims that 98 percent or 99 percent should actually happen.

It's important for developers to understand that Google only measures the delay in event processing, not "the time for the event processing itself or the time it takes your browser to update the UI after the event manager runs."

This means that Google measures only how long it takes the browser to start the event execution. So when you click on a link this is the time between the click and the processing of that click by the browser.

How can you improve the FID score for your initial input delay?

FID can be measured using JavaScript's web vital library, and you can find out more. But this is not going to be done by most website publishers. It is useful only if you have your own reports or want to include them in other reports.

Heavy JavaScript execution is the principal cause of a bad FID score. Then make sure that you optimize how "JavaScript will directly reduce FID when parsing, compiling and running your web pages," says Google.

It has always been a good idea for SEO to decrease the JavaScript volume and/or to optimize JavaScript running. It decreases page bloat, improves page performance and also makes it easier for Google to index the correct content. That's because Google won't have to process JavaScript as much as it needs to understand.

In our experience the more you can give Google what it needs immediately, the better Google will index your site as you feel it should be indexed if you don't have to process too many things. The indication of what pages Google determines are valid or non-valid is extremely important for SEO.

Google recommends that you perform a Lighthouse performance audit to optimize the FID score and examine uncovered opportunities but gives details about how to optimize JavaScript here.

7. Clear and clean CTA's - Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

I am a friend of clear understandable words. Means I want to understand topics and share my knowledge with you. This is how I write my blogs. I read many information about the topic and put together what makes sense to me. CLS is 

This CLS is only important for you, if you work with ads on your page. With banner ads. If your ads are popping in and out and make your website "moving" like all the pro's call it.If you are using ads like a pro I am sure you have people knowing their way around CLS :-)

But there are some other small points who are casing CLS problems as well. Let's have an understandable look at these ones:

1.) Making use of non website safe fonts (FOIT/FOUT)

Image you fall in Love with a font and download it. So you can now use the font and see everything. You safe a document and send it to a friend. He/She does not have the font downloaded. He/She will not see the document like you do. If they lucky they see the text with another font.

The same is with webpages. Odoo 14 only allows uploading Google fonts to make sure, all your content can be seen from everybody just like you see it and created it.

2.) Making use of photos and videos without defining their dimensions 

It's always a good idea to define the width and height of your photographs and videos. CSS aspect ratio boxes can also be used to allow the browser to assign the appropriate amount of space on the web page while the image is loading.

3.) Any content that is dynamically injected

Unless it is in reaction to user engagement, avoid putting new content above existing content. This ensures that any layout changes are always expected, rather than causing the image or text to move abruptly.

With Odoo 14 you are good to go even with the new Google Update

I would say it is a nice and relaxed feeling knowing no matter what is coming up on Googles mind - Odoo 14 is helping to create beautiful websites with great content and awesome page user experience to be ranked the best way possible on Google.

I am not a developer but I can organize my Odoo 14 website(s) without programming skills and still succeed. How's about you?

What do you have to change on your website due to the Google update 2021?
Digital Office Assistant Service, Melanie Lee 7 June, 2021
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