Will Front End Design & Website Development Change With Google’s 2021 Core Update?
Web design & front end development should complement and adhere to current Google algorithm core updates, and ranking factors. More often than not, website developers consider the larger more drastic algorithm changes over the five to six hundred smaller tweaks made during the year.
Google core updates can be changes to the inner workings of Google itself. The complex multi-factor algebra determines best practice web builds and SERPs. These tend to only be released a couple of times a year at the most.
Just because these updates are relatively infrequent does not mean they should be ignored. For instance, 100% mobile-first indexing was part of a core update in March 2021.
In theory, if you were to design a website that does not work on smartphones or tablets, Google would dock you points.
If you didn’t redesign an existing site, you may not get penalized right away, but your site gets easier to knock off the top spots by eagle-eyed SEO techs.
What Is The Expected Page Experience Algorithm Update?
Originally planned for May 2021, Google has pushed back it’s the latest algorithm update to either June or July. However, it’s unlikely to play a full part until mid-August.
A source stated that “We’ll begin using page experience as part of our ranking systems beginning in mid-June 2021. However, page experience won’t play its full role as part of those systems until the end of August. You can think of it as if you’re adding a flavouring to the food you’re preparing. Rather than add the flavour all at once into the mix, we’ll be slowly adding it all over this time period.”
From what we know so far, the approaching core update includes the below points. We know this because a new page experience report is now available on Google Search Console.
- Mobility Usability – URLs must be free of mobile usability errors to meet the requirements for good status.
- Security Issues – Any security issues, like an unsecure server, disqualifies all URLs on the site.
- HTTPS – Pages must use encrypted hosting / HTTPS to be eligible for good page experience.
- Ad Experience – On page advertisements must not be too distracting, interrupting for users. In the event of a site being flagged as bad user experience, all pages on the site will receive a low page quality score.
The core web vitals will consider:
- Loading – Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
- Interactivity – First Input Design (FID)
- Visual Stability – Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
Current Website Design Best Practices, With SEO In Mind
Web design and SEO work hand in hand. A knowledge of one without the other can have a knock on effect and damage visibility online. Experience with both enables ensures your website meets strict algorithm guidelines, combining ranking factors on page development.
For example, did you know that long form content now plays a part in one of the three pillars of SEO? E.A.T? Today’s users demand more details and relative information than ever before, most likely because of the sheer amount of competition.
When we design websites, we focus on algorithmic demands with SEO best practice and user experience. Amongst bespoke elements, custom design & branding, we pay close attention to the following.
In March 2021, 100% mobile first indexing began to be rolled out. Now, it’s far from surprising that Google yet again focuses on the importance of mobile users.
The vast majority of searches are completed on smartphones, as high as 60%. For food and drink related keywords that percentage increases to 72%!
100% mobile first indexing actively blackmarks websites that are not mobile friendly, reducing page quality score which can see a drop in ranking. We design all our websites to be fully responsive on IOS & android systems, along with the most popular screen sizes.
Site Speed – WiFi, 4G & 5G
When the majority of users are searching on mobile devices, it is crucial to ensure that site speed is as fast as possible.
Research shows that users will leave a website in three seconds if it fails to load.
There are Plugins which offer advanced caching & preloading options. Ultimately though, keeping your website lightweight is the best way.
Work like compressing images, embedding maps & videos, and removing plugins that aren’t needed, removing unused/irrelevant code, or taking down old pages or blogs can help keep your website fast.