Next month, Google will begin rolling out the page experience ranking update (sometimes referred to as “Core Web Vitals”) to desktop search results. This update will include all but one of the current signals of the mobile version of the page experience update and will finish rolling out by the end of March 2022, according to Google.
Here’s what you need to know about this update and how it will affect your law firm’s website.
What is the Google page experience update?
Google’s page experience update (also called “Core Web Vitals”) is “a set of real-world, user-centered metrics that quantify key aspects of the user experience. They measure dimensions of web usability such as load time, interactivity, and the stability of content as it loads.”
The elements of this update include:
- HTTPS Security: HTTPS websites provide three key layers of protection, securing the integrity and confidentiality of data between the user’s computer and the site.
- Absence of Intrusive Interstitials: Intrusive interstitials – pop-ups and other types of interruptions that visually obscure web page content – are frustrating for users.
- Largest Contentful Paint: The amount of time it takes to load the largest element on a webpage.
- First Input Delay: The amount of time between when a visitor interacts with an element on your website and when your website responds appropriately.
- Cumulative Layout Shift: The visual stability of the elements on your website.
- Mobile Friendliness: Ensures users find it easier to get relevant, high-quality search results optimized for their devices.
(Note: This element is not included in the new desktop update. However, mobile-friendliness continues to be extremely important for web users, many of whom use mobile devices to access the internet.)
How will this Google page experience update affect my site?
The purpose behind the page experience update is to encourage the creation of pages that are accessible to all web users. Google wants to ensure that the internet is a place where anyone can access the information that they need, regardless of what device they are using, what internet speed they have access to, or what abilities they have.
Google’s announcement of the page experience update for mobile last year – and its announcement to add it to desktop search this year – highlight how important a positive user experience is to both web users and Google itself.
However, keep in mind that the page experience update is one of many factors that Google takes into consideration when ranking pages.
Google notes that:
“While all of the components of each page experience are important, we will prioritize pages with the best information overall, even if some aspects of page experience are subpar. A good page experience doesn’t override having great, relevant content.”
For attorneys, this should highlight the importance of high-quality educational pages that are free from distractions and frustrations.
Should I expect drastic changes in search results?
Webmasters should expect similar outcomes from the desktop update as that of the mobile update. Of its mobile update, Google noted:
“As we have said before, while this update is designed to highlight pages that offer great user experiences, page experience remains one of many factors our systems take into account. Given this, sites generally should not expect drastic changes. In addition, because we’re doing this as a gradual rollout, we will be able to monitor for any unexpected or unintended issues.”
How can LawLytics help me succeed with Google and my potential clients?
If you’re already a LawLytics member, you’re all set! Our platform is designed to ensure you create web pages the way Google wants. There is nothing for you to worry about, to do, or to buy to be ready for this February launch. Just like every other Google update, our engineering and product teams are ready. We’re always rolling out updates to ensure that LawLytics sites comply with Google’s best practices and are using cutting-edge technology.
If you’re not a LawLytics member and are looking to grow your firm’s online presence, LawLytics can help: The platform is built to provide everything you need to have a website that’s optimized for Google to attract and convert your ideal clients.
To see it in action, schedule a 20-minute interactive demo.