Shopify Ecosystem

Introduction To The June 2021 Google Algorithm Update

introduction-to-the-june-2021-google-algorithm-update

Google updates its search engine ranking algorithm numerous times yearly; however, the changes usually go out without chatter in most cases. With the inception of the search engine and PageRank algorithm Google has announced different core algorithm updates and in June 2021, Google plans to release its new “Page Experience” update, which includes three Core Web Vitals considerations.

These new Core Web Vitals: Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID) and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), are targeted at improved user experience by monitoring and improving loading speed, responsiveness and stability.

As Google prepares to release its new algorithm update in June, you can find all you need to understand the Core Website update to prepare your Shopify store for the update rollout and when it goes live this summer in this article.

What Are Google Core Web Vitals?

Before considering the new core algorithm update, it is important that you understand what Google Core Vitals are. These Core Web Vitals are Google’s “page interface” redesign which includes a new collection of user experience-based ranking signals to go live in June 2021.

Google Core Web Vitals tracks a variety of real-world user interactions with your site to calculate your average page speed and performance scores, affecting your page rankings in search results.

Largest Contentful Paint measures how easily the largest and most significant piece of content in the site visitor’s initial viewport. This piece of content must load in less than 2.5 seconds to pass a Core Web Vitals test. LCP is responsible for 25% of your site’s Google Performance Score.

First Input Delay assesses the speed it takes a website to respond to user input, i.e. button clicks. To pass the Core Web Vitals test, your web page must respond in less than 100 milliseconds, and this makes it responsible for 25% of your Google Performance Score.

Cumulative Layout Shift, the third Core Web Vital, assesses the consistency of the website and whether items shift out of place as new ones are loaded. To pass a Key Web Vitals test, the web page must receive a score of less than.1. In addition, it accounts for 5% of your Google Performance Score. More information about the details can be found here.

A passing score for any of these indicators is required to pass a Core Web Vital evaluation and obtain a ranking boost. Furthermore, each of these three metrics would be weighed against pre-existing page experience metrics such as mobile-friendliness, secure browsing, and the absence of disruptive interstitials.

How The New Core Web Vitals Impacts Site SEO

Since Core Web Vitals scores will become a lightweight ranking metric, there will be an opportunity to customize the website for successful scores from an SEO perspective. Additionally, Google intends to display a badge alongside individual search results that pass the Core Web Vitals evaluation, signaling to users that they should expect a positive experience on these sites. Furthermore, through all marketing platforms, a positive user interface reduces bounce rates while increasing retention rates and, eventually, sales.

How The New Core Web Vitals Update Impacts Site Conversions

As an eCommerce store owner, poor page experience would affect your organic search results and your other marketing channels. Numerous studies have shown that there is a relationship between good user experience and conversions.

Longer page load times have also been proven to be a major cause of increased bounce rates, and poor user experience makes it even more difficult for your site to rank. In this new Google algorithm update, Google will add a badge in search results to sites with good page experience (American Eagle), and then it would be clear to see if users would respond or ignore sites with poor experience. 

“We believe that providing information about the quality of a web page’s experience can be helpful to users in choosing the search result that they want to visit. On results, the snippet or image preview helps provide topical context for users to know what information a page can provide. Visual indicators on the results are another way to do the same, and we are working on one that identifies pages that have met all of the page experience criteria. We plan to test this soon and if the testing, is successful, it will launch in June 2021 and we’ll share more details on the progress of this in the coming months.”- Google.

Measuring Core Web Vitals

In the new Google Core Web vitals update, you can monitor data using:

  • Google Page Speed
  • Lighthouse Report
  • Google Search Console Page Experience Report

You can also view a more in-depth report on field data (real-world user experiences) and lab data (controlled environments with predetermined network and device settings).

Google Pagespeed Insights Tool

You can test to see if your e-commerce store passes or fails the Core Web Vitals assessment by using the Google Pagespeed Insights Tool. Visit this URL, input your URL, and the results would show the scores of each Core Web Vitals and if your store passes this assessment using aggregate data collected over 28 days before the test.

Google Lighthouse Report

To measure your Core Web Vitals scores using Google Lighthouse, open the URL on a Chrome browser, right-click on the window, click on “inspect”. Next, click on “Lighthouse” and “Generate Report” in the window that pops up on the right, choose the performance score. This is an open page with numbers for each Core Web Vital and how they are calculated.

To view the overall page experience and Core Web Vitals report, click on “Experience”. You’ll find all the percentage of your store’s URLs with good page experience and poor URLs that need improvements, as well as their specifics.

Google Search Console Page Experience Report

To view the performance of your Shopify store across all 7 metrics and Core Web Vitals through field data from Chrome User Experience Report, use the Google Search Console Page Experience Report. This report shows performance data strictly from the lab.

Improving Your Core Web Vitals

Doing this on your Shopify store is not as easy as you would think, and in fact, you should get as much help as you can if you’re not a developer. Consider hiring experienced Shopify experts like EcomExperts to help you improve your store’s Core Web Vitals ensuring a great page experience for users. 

EcomExperts is a world-renowned Shopify development agency that provides maintenance and development services, helping Shopify store owners reach page speeds of over 90+. With us, you’ll be right on track to ensuring your site remains fully optimized even with the Google new Core Web Vitals update.

Special thanks to our friends at Recart for their insights on this topic.
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