djbaxter

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Google is currently putting together the final changes for a search algorithm update that they’ve announced will land in May 2021.

The update is being called the Page Experience update because of its focus on usability rather than things like keywords or search relevance. Google has already provided some information on the update, which aims to measure and potentially rank the experience that a user encounters when visiting a page.

The fact that Google have given so much warning about the update says all you need to know about how seriously to take it. We know it’ll impact organic search results but as of yet, there’s no word on whether there will be any specific impact on Google My Business rankings.

At the very highest level, the update will for the first time implement the Core Web Vitals that Google defined in 2020 into the search algorithm. The aim of those metrics is that users should have a web experience that is straightforward, reliable, safe, and works great on any device.

The Page Experience update is ultimately the leveling up of those metrics from a ‘request’ to a ‘demand’, in that, theoretically at least, your local business site will perform worse in search if a comparable competitor is performing better in Core Web Vitals.

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MoneypennyCO

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Hey guys, just watched Moz' latest video on WCV and they are saying that Google has decided to give webmasters more time to prepare for the roll out and will be giving 6 months notice before they do. Does anyone have a link to where Google now states this? We were under the impression that it would definitely happen in May 2021.

 

djbaxter

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Everything else I've seen says to expect it to start rolling out in May 2021. But the video you posted is dated today, March 4, 2021.

The video claims that Google has postponed it and promises 6 months notice before it takes effect but I don't see any reference for that.

So who knows? Did the official announcements from Google and elsewhere get it wrong? Or have they changed their minds because of COVID-19? Or did Moz get it wrong?

Flip a coin?
 

MoneypennyCO

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Everything else I've seen says to expect it to start rolling out in May 2021. But the video you posted is dated today, March 4, 2021.

The video claims that Google has postponed it and promises 6 months notice before it takes effect but I don't see any reference for that.

So who knows? Did the official announcements from Google and elsewhere get it wrong? Or have they changed their minds because of COVID-19? Or did Moz get it wrong?

Flip a coin?
Another Google mystery. :)
 

djbaxter

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I'm not a big fan of Moz generally so I'll wait until their claim is confirmed somewhere else.

I guess I'm also increasingly suspicious of any claims about anything that don't link to a credible source. The video doesn't seem to even mention where it came from.
 

djbaxter

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Eric Rohrback

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If you're getting errors for Core Web Vitals in GSC....

For chrome dev tools nerds out there (like me), there is a better browser to diagnose issues. Use Google Chrome Canary. It's a developer-focused browser which does have an option to trigger a Core Web Vitals score & highlight to show you exactly where things like layout shifts are happening. Being able to spot the layout shifts exactly where they happen and compare to the network waterfall helped me find a few rogue fonts that were loading after the initial CSS load, which were actually the primary fonts pages were using (weird, I know). Probably because the site has been getting Band-Aids and updates upon updates.

Since this is primarily a mobile-focused update, emulate a phone size with the browser, and throttle the speed down to a typical download speed for your country. Use this resource to find the average download speeds.

When you emulate the device, look at Google Analytics and find the most common screen resolution size then Google that number (e.g, 123x123) to find what phone is using that screen resolution. Only reason to do that is because I found it a little quicker than comparing in GA.

Now that you have all that set up, run it all through Canary and you'll be able to spot check any problems & find where to fix. Usually is prerendering/preloading something or another.
 
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