What to Expect from Google in 2021

With the second week of February rolling in, the new year is officially in full swing. And with a new year, comes new expectations from Google moving forward. 2020 wasn’t the year anyone expected, one thing that has stayed constant  is the amount of people using Google to research, shop, and guide decision making.

Google is reported to change its search algorithm 500-600 times each year, most of which are small and seemingly insignificant changes. Given Google handles over 2 trillion searches a year, I think it’s safe to say the only constant with Google is change.

With most businesses left scrambling to adapt their digital presence in 2020, Google’s view and favor on websites is of utmost importance going into the uncertain landscape of 2021. Google saw a record number of searches in 2020 and those businesses who were able to quickly pivot and adapt their web experience were those that were able to maintain and grow in 2020.

Some are even saying that 2021 will be the most important year in history to invest in website health and online visibility. While there will be many small core algorithm updates in 2021, Google’s largest and most significant update will be the page experience update. This means businesses, no matter their size or type, need to prioritize this update in their Q1 marketing mix. Below is a quick overview of Google’s Page Experience Update as well as recommended next steps for your business.

Page Experience Update Overview

While Google’s priority on page speed is not a new ranking factor, In May 2020, Google announced the new algorithm update that will be focused on measuring how users experience the performance of web pages.

Google explained that they wanted to give webmasters plenty of time to update their websites before it would be made an official new ranking factor. On Nov 10, 2020, Google announced the new update will deploy in May 2021, nearly a full year after their original announcement.

To better help developers prepare for the new factors that will affect SEO ranking come 2021, Google has put together detailed documentation, outlining what will help improve the overall user experience.

Additionally, Google has launched Core Web Vital Skates core feature report, a self-assessment tool, on the Google Search console to help ahead of the transition. Google says the self- assessment will “measure dimensions of web usability such as load time, interactivity, and the stability of content as it loads”.

Recommended Next Steps

The complexities and analysis of where your website is at, what needs to be done to be competitive in your individual market, and the overall execution can be time intensive and generally risky if not completed by a professional.

If you are interested in a free and comprehensive Page Experience Audit, please contact our team at Techwood Digital. Our team has already successfully assisted over 50 clients in adapting their web design and platform to accommodate the Page Experience Update over a year in advance.

Morgan Sopocy

Morgan Sopocy

Partner and Director of Account Management