Google is constantly evolving its algorithms and making updates to improve search results and user experience. Here are some of the recent updates that have impacted search engine optimization (SEO) and website rankings.
Core Web Vitals Update:
The Core Web Vitals update rolled out in June 2021, focuses on measuring and improving user experience on websites. It includes three key metrics: Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). Websites that prioritize fast loading times, interactivity, and visual stability are likely to see improved rankings.
Page Experience Update:
Page Experience is an ongoing Google update that combines existing ranking factors with new elements to evaluate user experience. It incorporates Core Web Vitals, mobile-friendliness, safe browsing, HTTPS security, and absence of intrusive interstitials. Websites that provide a positive and seamless browsing experience are rewarded with higher visibility in search results.
In October 2020, Google introduced Passage Indexing, allowing the search engine to better understand specific passages within a webpage. This update enables Google to surface relevant content from deep within a page, even if the overall page may not be as relevant to a user’s query. It helps users find answers more efficiently and provides opportunities for long-tail keyword optimization.
BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) is an algorithm update that enhances Google’s ability to understand natural language and context. Rolled out in late 2019, BERT improves the interpretation of complex search queries by analyzing the full context of words rather than relying solely on individual keywords. This update impacts search results by delivering more accurate and relevant information to users.
Mobile-First Indexing is an ongoing transition where Google predominantly uses the mobile version of a website for indexing and ranking purposes. With the increasing use of mobile devices, this update prioritizes mobile-friendly websites, ensuring that they provide a seamless and optimized experience across different screen sizes.
E-A-T and YMYL:
Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T) are crucial factors in evaluating content quality, especially for Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) pages. Google places high importance on trustworthiness and expertise for websites providing health, financial, or other sensitive information. Websites that can demonstrate expertise, authority, and trust are more likely to rank higher in search results.
In February 2021, Google introduced Passage Ranking, which focuses on ranking specific passages within a webpage rather than just the overall page content. This update aims to provide more precise and relevant results by honing in on the most relevant passage for a user’s query. It helps websites gain visibility even if their entire page may not be as relevant to the search query.
Staying updated with Google’s algorithm changes is essential for website owners, marketers, and SEO professionals. These updates underline the importance of user experience, relevance, and quality content. Adapting to these changes and aligning with Google’s guidelines can help websites maintain and improve their rankings, ultimately providing users with a better search experience.