How To Prepare For Google Page Experience Update May 2021

Apr 17, 2021 | TIPS & TOOLS

If you’re looking for information regarding the Google page experience update announced in 2021, you’ve come to the right place. Watch the video above for tips on how to ensure that your website is optimized using the most update to date best practices.

Below is the full transcript.

How to Prepare for Google’s Page Experience Update – May 2021

Hello, everyone, Jaclyn Hawtin here from Digital Dames. Today, I’m going to talk to you about the upcoming Google Page Experience update coming up in May 2021.

Let’s talk a little bit about what this is.

Google’s overall goal for this new update to their algorithm is to give searchers– people that are searching on the Internet– exactly what they’re looking for.

So, to optimize that experience, the search experience, with as little obstacles and disruptions as possible, they’ve been warning us and telling us for over a year now that this new page experience algorithm is going to be released introducing three new user experience metrics.

Three new user experience metrics

These updates build upon Google’s existing user experience signals, including things like:

  • mobile friendliness,
  • safe browsing 
  • HTTPS present
  • no intrusive interstitials

Google has also even mentioned that they’re going to add visual indicators to their search results pages for pages that have a great experience scores– which is big!

These new Google Page Experience updates will likely not only just going to affect your rankings, but also your organic click-through rates as well.

So let’s talk about these three new web vitals that they’re introducing into their algorithm.

Google Page Update #1 – Largest Contentful Paint

The first update is called the Largest Contentful Paint. This basically means loading performance, referring to the largest image or text block that is visible and in view, on a page. This = determines when the main part of the content has rendered on the screen.

In general, Google recommends that sites should have an LCP that occurs within the first 2.5 seconds of your page, starting to load.

Google Page Update #2 – Cumulative Layout Shift 

The second big metric Google is going to be looking at is what’s called the Cumulative Layout Shift which is basically measuring visual stability – how the elements in the viewpoint of viewport move as your page loads.

For example, if your visitor tries to click on a link and it shifts, as they sometimes do, sites with good page experience should aim for a CSL score of less than 0.1.

Google Page Update #3 – First Input Delay

The third and final metric that Google’s algorithm is going to be paying attention to is what’s called the First Input Delay. Basically this is used to measure interactivity on your webpage. It measures the time between when somebody engages with your website, doing something like a button click or scrolling through the page, until the site begins responding.

This latency can be the result of a browser working on other tasks, such as loading other parts of a webpage or loading other analytic scripts in the background that are slowing things down.

In order to provide a good page experience, uh, your site should strive to have a score of fewer than a hundred milliseconds.

So what’s staying the same?

Mobile Friendliness

Obviously on top of content, we know that your website needs to be mobile friendly. If your landing pages perform isn’t performing well on mobile phones, Google’s mobile-first indexing penalizes your site rankings.

No malware or deceptive behavior

With the addition of Google’s three new web vitals starting next month, we’re now going to have seven key signatory signals that we need to monitor.

Google protects consumers against deceptive behavior so be sure you’re not using deceptive practices or malware, and don’t allow cracks in your web security where hackers could potentially exploit at the expense of your site visitors.

Ensure you are using HTTPS, an SSL secure socket layer, to make your website safe, which is kind of along the lines of safe browsing,

Do not include intrusive inserts or interstitials. Make sure your website doesn’t use pop-ups or other types of content that block your webpage content that your visitor expects to see, or blocks that they’re looking for.

How do we prepare for Google’s Page Experience right now?

It’s hard to measure exactly how much weight all of these signals are going to have, but if Google’s historic approach to these algorithm changes informs us, the Page Experience update is likely going to have a significant impact on rankings.

If you know that your site currently is outdated, using legacy versions of any platforms are really slow your performance and you likely need to make some updates.

Generally, a good rule of thumb is that your site needs to be redesigned every three years to keep up with the trends and maintain web standards for both the technical stack side, to user experience requirements, and for indexing well on search engines like Google.

Pro tip after the launch: After Google’s algorithm release, make sure to utilize the tool called Google Search Console to monitor the changes. You can built a report called “Core Web Vitals” that will notify you of any errors on your website in these seven different categories.


We hope you enjoyed reading this blog post

If you’d like our team at Digital Dames to help you massively improve website traffic and conversions, just book a call.

Post Contributors

Jaclyn Hawtin

Jaclyn Hawtin

Senior Data Architect

Over a decade of experience in product management, devops, startups, and agile methodologies. Track record of simplifying complex technical processes for cross-functional teams. Proficient in user centered design, UX, IX, UI, IA, user research and data analytics for responsive web, mobile and tablet applications. Incredibly adaptable, fluent with both people and machines.

Mani O'Brien

Mani O'Brien

Conversion optimization manager

Mani is a senior marketing manager with roots in storytelling. She nerds out on everything data, technology, human behavior and design. Chat with her about UX/UI, marketing funnels, conversion and goal tracking, marketing experimentation and astrology (she’s a Virgo Sun, Aries Rising).

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