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How Will the Page Experience Update Transform Search? – ReadWrite

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Overall Rank Change in GSC Insights


After a year of anticipation, Google’s long-awaited Page Experience Update has finally rolled out. That means websites that are fast loading, responsive, and high-performing will now have a better chance of ranking for relevant search queries.

To anyone who has followed Google’s algorithm updates over the years, this update shouldn’t be a surprise. Google has always prioritized ranking quality content for its searchers. A big part of the quality of a website is the experience it provides to users.

Nobody likes a slow website. Bad user experience or slow load times can lead to higher bounce rates and shorter dwell times. If you’re not sure whether your web pages provide a high-quality page experience, now is the time to take stock. 

Here’s an overview of what page experience includes, how to improve page experience signals on your own website, and what the update means for the overall search engine landscape.

What is the Page Experience Update?

The Page Experience Update is the first algorithm update to focus on the user’s experience with each part of a web page. To state it another way, Google now considers the technical performance and UX of your website in its ranking algorithm. 

In the past, Google has focused heavily on the authority of a website (which it measures primarily through backlinks). It also looks at the quality and relevance of the content on the page. 

These factors are still important to ranking well, but as the UI/UX of the web has improved over the past decade, it’s clear that in addition to trustworthiness and quality, users also prefer websites that are high-performing.

The Page Experience Update rollout started in early June of 2021. For those websites that experienced a drop in their keyword rankings or SEO performance around that time, it’s likely that the new page experience standard was the source of your rankings drop.

Rankings Drop as seen in GSC Insights

The above website experienced a significant drop in their rank positions starting in early June. The drop began to flatten out in mid-June at the completion of Google’s Page Experience update.

So if you see a similar performance trend in your own website’s keyword rankings data, the update is likely the reason. To avoid losing those valuable keyword positions for the long term, it’s time to take action to regain those keyword rankings with page experience improvements.

How do I know if my website has a good page experience?

Do the images and rich media on your web pages load quickly? Do you have a responsive website that adjusts its display to the user’s device? Does your website respond quickly after the user takes an action like scrolling or clicking?

Image Source: https://www.seguetech.com/considerations-when-planning-responsive-design/

If the answers to these questions are nos, then your web pages are unlikely to provide a quality page experience for users. 

But to get a more concrete picture, the best way to understand your website’s current page experience is in your Google Search Console account. 

Google Search Console Page Experience feature

Google Search Console is a free platform that webmasters can use to track their SEO performance, confirm crawling and indexing of their web pages, and troubleshoot page experience and technical issues on their sites.

Once you set up Google Search Console for your website property, you’ll gain access to loads of information about your SEO performance, including the quality and technical performance of your web pages.

Google quantifies the quality of a web page’s experience through Core Web Vitals, mobile usability, security, and HTTPS pages. Google provides webmasters with details on each of these standards and how to improve them in the Google Search Console tool. 

What are Core Web Vitals?

Core Web Vitals are a set of standards Google created to measure the quality of a website’s page experience on desktop and mobile devices. They include the following metrics:

Google Core Web Vitals metrics

 

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP); This measurement refers to the time it takes for the biggest text or image asset on your web page to load 
  • First Input Delay (FIP): The time it takes for a web page to respond to the user’s first click or action
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): This refers to the visual stability of a web page. The layout should always stay consistent for users and not shift when they are on the page

How to identify Core Web vitals issues

To get a picture of where your Core Web Vitals stand, navigate to your Core Web Vitals reports. Google provides reports for both desktop and mobile versions of your website.

Google Core Web Vitals reports

In your report, Google will notify you of what type of errors they identify and on which URLs. Your web pages will be rated as “Poor,” “Needs Improvement,” or “Good.” Your goal should be to have all of your web pages on your site rated with a “Good” page experience.

In your report, Google will notify you of what type of errors they identify and on which URLs. Your web pages will be rated as “Poor,” “Needs Improvement,” or “Good.” Your goal should be to have all of your web pages on your site rated with a “Good” page experience.

For example, the above website is experiencing an LCP issue on one of its URLs. The largest text or image asset on that URL is taking longer than 4 seconds to load.

The next step for this site owner would be to focus on resolving that specific Core Web Vitals issue.

How to resolve Core Web Vitals issues

Although Google Search Console tool will tell you what errors are occurring, it will not provide explicit instructions on how to resolve the errors it identifies. 

To do so, you will need to work with your web developer or an SEO strategist with an expert understanding of technical SEO standards. Depending on the errors your web pages are experiencing, the time and scope of resolving these issues on the backend of your website will differ.

However, once you have resolved the issue, you can validate whether the fix was successful in your GSC account. Simply click on the error in the “Details,” list, and you will be directed to a new page where you can validate the fix.

Google Core Web Vitals validate fix

Once you submit your validation, it will take Google up to 28 days to crawl the web page and confirm whether or not the issue is indeed resolved.

Mobile usability standards

In addition to Core Web Vitals, the page experience of web pages is also determined by how those pages perform on mobile.

Over 60% of searches on Google happen on mobile devices. It’s why Google went to mobile-first indexing back in 2019 and why in March 2021, they removed desktop versions of the website’s from their index entirely.

So in order to provide a quality page experience to searchers, your mobile pages need to have the same fast load times and functionality as your desktop counterparts.

How to identify mobile usability problems

Just like with Core Web Vitals, Google Search Console provides a mobile usability report. Use it to identify any problems with your mobile pages.

In your report, your web pages will be marked as either “Valid,” or “Error.” 

There are six mobile usability errors that the report may identify. Webmasters can review those errors and validate fixes the same way they do in their Core Web Vitals report. 

How to make a website more mobile-friendly

One of the best ways to improve your mobile page experience is to implement Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

AMP is simply an HTML framework that helps content load faster and performs better on mobile. Here is an example of an accelerated mobile page in HTML.

Image source: https://www.c-sharpcorner.com/article/introduction-to-accelerated-mobile-pages-amp-part-two/

AMP is not an optimization that is easily implemented without some web development knowledge. It’s important to consult your web developer or dev team to make sure AMP is accurately coded on your site.

You can then test your AMP pages in Google Search Console

Security issues and HTTPS pages

The final page experience standard has to do with the security of your website. 

If users visit your website and then face security issues, it is unlikely they will return. Google is unlikely to show a web page in the SERPs that does not provide a safe browsing experience.

Also, the majority of your web pages must be served over HTTPS to qualify as having a good page experience. 

HTTPS ensures safe and secure browsing by using encryption. If you still need to add HTTPS to your website, do so as soon as possible.

4 easy ways to improve page experience

Some page experience signals require more time, resources, and cost to get up to speed. 

However, for those webmasters who can’t make big changes to the technical performance of their web pages, here are some easy, cost-effective ways to improve your page experience signals right now. 

#1: Check your website theme

For those webmasters who use a template or theme from their Content Management System (CMS), it’s possible that your chosen theme is slowing down your page load times.

Look for themes that are designed to be fast loading and search engine optimized. This can be solved fairly quickly without having to make major changes to web servers or hosting.

#2: Compress your images

If you’re experiencing LCP errors, it’s likely one of your biggest image assets is not loading quickly. To resolve, save your images in the smallest possible files or use a tool to compress your images.

#3: Reduce Redirects

In general, it’s best to avoid redirects if you can. However, if you make updates to your website design or migrate your site, redirects could impact your page load times.

If you have web pages that do require redirects, avoid more than a single redirect to get to any resource on your website. Also, avoid adding internal links or link building to pages that have redirects on them.

#4: Consider changing your website host

If you have a shared hosting plan, it can affect site speed and load times because bandwidth and memory are shared across multiple websites.

It may be time for your website to switch to a dedicated server or cloud hosting as the sole website owner. You can also consider a content delivery network (CDN). 

What does the Page Experience Update mean for the future of SEO? 

Now that page experience is an official ranking factor, some might wonder how this could change the search engine landscape.

The great news is, search is becoming more democratic. 

As page experience signals carry more weight, other factors like backlinks become slightly less important. So if you are a newer brand that has a high-quality website with great content and a great page experience, you can compete with those competitors who have a stronger reputation.

If you want to show up for high-value keywords in your industry, investing in elevating your page experience signals can have a major impact on increasing your ranking positions, even if you’re still working on building your site authority. 

Google’s end goal has always been to rank the most relevant, highest-quality content for users. The Page Experience Update is the natural progression to making search results better for users and for those websites that prioritize quality. 

Image Credit: tranmautritam; pexels; thank you!

Manick Bhan

CTO + Founder

Manick Bhan is the Founder and CTO of LinkGraph, an award-winning SEO and digital marketing agency. Through his agency work, thought leadership, and speaking engagements, he helps brands of all sizes grow their digital presence. You can follow him at @madmanick.

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Fintech Kennek raises $12.5M seed round to digitize lending

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Google eyed for $2 billion Anthropic deal after major Amazon play


London-based fintech startup Kennek has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to expand its lending operating system.

According to an Oct. 10 tech.eu report, the round was led by HV Capital and included participation from Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One. Kennek offers software-as-a-service tools to help non-bank lenders streamline their operations using open banking, open finance, and payments.

The platform aims to automate time-consuming manual tasks and consolidate fragmented data to simplify lending. Xavier De Pauw, founder of Kennek said:

“Until kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built kennek to make them a thing of the past.”

The company said the latest funding round was oversubscribed and closed quickly despite the challenging fundraising environment. The new capital will be used to expand Kennek’s engineering team and strengthen its market position in the UK while exploring expansion into other European markets. Barbod Namini, Partner at lead investor HV Capital, commented on the investment:

“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space. […] It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole.”

The fintech lending space has grown rapidly in recent years, but many lenders still rely on legacy systems and manual processes that limit efficiency and scalability. Kennek aims to leverage open banking and data integration to provide lenders with a more streamlined, automated lending experience.

The seed funding will allow the London-based startup to continue developing its platform and expanding its team to meet demand from non-bank lenders looking to digitize operations. Kennek’s focus on the UK and Europe also comes amid rising adoption of open banking and open finance in the regions.

Featured Image Credit: Photo from Kennek.io; Thank you!

Radek Zielinski

Radek Zielinski is an experienced technology and financial journalist with a passion for cybersecurity and futurology.

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Fortune 500’s race for generative AI breakthroughs

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Deanna Ritchie


As excitement around generative AI grows, Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, are carefully examining the possible applications of this technology. A recent survey of U.S. executives indicated that 60% believe generative AI will substantially impact their businesses in the long term. However, they anticipate a one to two-year timeframe before implementing their initial solutions. This optimism stems from the potential of generative AI to revolutionize various aspects of businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to optimizing internal processes. In the short term, companies will likely focus on pilot projects and experimentation, gradually integrating generative AI into their operations as they witness its positive influence on efficiency and profitability.

Goldman Sachs’ Cautious Approach to Implementing Generative AI

In a recent interview, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti revealed that the firm has not yet implemented any generative AI use cases. Instead, the company focuses on experimentation and setting high standards before adopting the technology. Argenti recognized the desire for outcomes in areas like developer and operational efficiency but emphasized ensuring precision before putting experimental AI use cases into production.

According to Argenti, striking the right balance between driving innovation and maintaining accuracy is crucial for successfully integrating generative AI within the firm. Goldman Sachs intends to continue exploring this emerging technology’s potential benefits and applications while diligently assessing risks to ensure it meets the company’s stringent quality standards.

One possible application for Goldman Sachs is in software development, where the company has observed a 20-40% productivity increase during its trials. The goal is for 1,000 developers to utilize generative AI tools by year’s end. However, Argenti emphasized that a well-defined expectation of return on investment is necessary before fully integrating generative AI into production.

To achieve this, the company plans to implement a systematic and strategic approach to adopting generative AI, ensuring that it complements and enhances the skills of its developers. Additionally, Goldman Sachs intends to evaluate the long-term impact of generative AI on their software development processes and the overall quality of the applications being developed.

Goldman Sachs’ approach to AI implementation goes beyond merely executing models. The firm has created a platform encompassing technical, legal, and compliance assessments to filter out improper content and keep track of all interactions. This comprehensive system ensures seamless integration of artificial intelligence in operations while adhering to regulatory standards and maintaining client confidentiality. Moreover, the platform continuously improves and adapts its algorithms, allowing Goldman Sachs to stay at the forefront of technology and offer its clients the most efficient and secure services.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Google DeepMind; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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UK seizes web3 opportunity simplifying crypto regulations

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Deanna Ritchie


As Web3 companies increasingly consider leaving the United States due to regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom must simplify its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these businesses. The conservative think tank Policy Exchange recently released a report detailing ten suggestions for improving Web3 regulation in the country. Among the recommendations are reducing liability for token holders in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and encouraging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to adopt alternative Know Your Customer (KYC) methodologies, such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools. These suggestions aim to position the UK as a hub for Web3 innovation and attract blockchain-based businesses looking for a more conducive regulatory environment.

Streamlining Cryptocurrency Regulations for Innovation

To make it easier for emerging Web3 companies to navigate existing legal frameworks and contribute to the UK’s digital economy growth, the government must streamline cryptocurrency regulations and adopt forward-looking approaches. By making the regulatory landscape clear and straightforward, the UK can create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the global fintech industry.

The Policy Exchange report also recommends not weakening self-hosted wallets or treating proof-of-stake (PoS) services as financial services. This approach aims to protect the fundamental principles of decentralization and user autonomy while strongly emphasizing security and regulatory compliance. By doing so, the UK can nurture an environment that encourages innovation and the continued growth of blockchain technology.

Despite recent strict measures by UK authorities, such as His Majesty’s Treasury and the FCA, toward the digital assets sector, the proposed changes in the Policy Exchange report strive to make the UK a more attractive location for Web3 enterprises. By adopting these suggestions, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while ensuring a robust and transparent regulatory environment.

The ongoing uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in various countries has prompted Web3 companies to explore alternative jurisdictions with more precise legal frameworks. As the United States grapples with regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom can position itself as a hub for Web3 innovation by simplifying and streamlining its cryptocurrency regulations.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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