Google is not a company that stays still for too long. They’re always looking to improve their products and services, and it’s this attitude that has made them the internet giant. While their updates always create a better experience for the user, they can provide something of a headache for website owners. When Google makes changes to their algorithm, websites need to adapt — or be left behind.
While Google doesn’t announce every algorithm shift to the world (because websites would only abuse the information), the experts slowly but surely figure out what they’re looking for. In this blog, we’re going to run through some of the Google ranking factors that’ll lead to a higher search engine position.
How Will Core Web Vitals Affect SEO?
People didn’t know too much about Core Web Vitals not long ago, but now, all website owners must have them at the forefront of their website design and experience. Web vitals come down to a few different aspects, including:
● LCP: This stands for Largest Contentful Paint, which refers to the loading time of the largest item on a web page.
● FID: First input delay. This refers to how long the page takes to react following the user’s first input once the page has loaded. For example, this input could be a click of their mouse or press a button.
● CLS: This stands for cumulative layout shift. This refers to how much the page jumps around when the content — for example, images — are loading.
With an understanding of what all these terms refer to, you can get a sense of how they should be optimised. Fast loading times, fast responses, and minimal jumping is what Google is looking for. Check your site’s speed on various devices and browsers, and if you need to speed up your website, then look at SSD hosting.
Will AMP Become More Important?
That’s a question that’s hard to answer. For some websites, AMP will become more important; for others, it’ll likely fade away, at least slightly. AMP has historically affected Google ranking because of just how fast the page loads. But the effort that’s involved in building this type of website — it’s effectively a separate version of your site — means it’s not always recommended. If you have a site that’s already optimised for speed, then you probably don’t need AMP. However, that’s not true if you’re a website that relies on the Google News tab for your visitors — in that scenario, AMP will provide a competitive edge.
Is Your Website E-A-T?
First of all, let’s get the definition of E-A-T out of the way — it stands for Authority, Expertise, and Trust. Or in other words, these things should be conveyed by your website. The jury is out on whether these factors influence the Google rankings in a direct way — Google employees have said that they don’t. However, while it might not have a direct influence, it most definitely has an influence. It would be impossible to break into the search engine rankings as, say, a digital marketing website if you didn’t have high-quality content written by experts.
While you may not want to base your entire SEO campaign on E-A-T, it should remain a factor. While it might not be a direct influence on SEO right now, Google does seem to be making a shift towards pushing better quality websites to users, so even if it’s not in 2021, that high-quality evergreen content will come in handy at some stage!
Why Is Data Security More Important Than Ever?
Google does not want its users to encounter problems on the sites they send them to. As such, site security will become increasingly important — it’s already important, in fact, but today, any site that doesn’t use secure web hosting and has all the latest security certificates will find that they’re left behind. Investing in this aspect of your site will benefit you, too.
So what have we learned? That 2021 will be a big year for Google ranking developments. Of all the things that a website can do to improve its SEO, focusing on the site’s Core Web Vitals seems to be the best approach since speed is becoming increasingly important to web users. There are plenty of ways to speed up a site; you can buy web hosting that prioritises speed, for instance, or use smaller image file sizes. As with everything related to your site’s SEO, it’s always a good idea to continually check the status to ensure that you’re staying ahead of the curve.