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Google Algorithm Changes: What’s Going On

This can come to the frustration of many people as they adapt their websites based on the previous versions of the algorithm, only to find out that it has been updated, and they must do so once again. Such is the story of professionals interested in SEO.

To remain high in the rankings, people and businesses would do well to pay attention to what each new Google algorithm update brings, as it can have meaningful consequences for websites. Only by staying up to date can professionals improve their SEO greatly, and subsequently allow their websites to appear higher in Google rankings.

The most recent update to the algorithm took place in July, and it focused on preferring websites that have great functionality. Websites are inherently designed for an intended audience, and it only makes logical sense for professionals to give that audience as great an experience as possible.

One clear way that this can be done is by improving the functionality of websites, as this links directly with the user experience. A website that has things like links to all important areas on the homepage, fast loading videos, and has useful information all over the page is always going to do better than a website that implements these features badly. For example, Macmillan Dictionary is a website that saw a 50% growth in visibility after the update, and that particular site demonstrates all of the aforementioned features.

People have the habit of enjoying convenience over most things, something that Google understands. This is why it came up with the concept of the Core Web Vitals, which consist of content loading speed, interactivity and visual stability.

When a website has these three ideas as its focus, it results in a great user experience as the idea helps guide websites into being infinitely more useful to the user and more convenient. The recent update just exacerbated how important the Core Web Vitals are to rankings, and so many more websites are beginning to implement these ideas to appear as high as possible.

Essentially, what people should take away from the recent update to the Google algorithm is that user experience is now more important than ever. This is something that affects all businesses that rely on their website to generate sales or opportunities to sell to customers. Previously, SEO was mainly concerned with providing useful, quality content to people as Google historically appreciates websites with this kind of original content. While this notion is still true, for websites to rank high at this time, businesses will need to also focus on making the website as functional as possible, in addition to providing great content.

Looking at the update at a deeper level, it has become apparent that Google has devised a way to make core parts of a website measurable, meaning it is easier to give websites a rating and assign them a ranking accordingly. Those interested in website design will already know of these three main areas: LCP, FID, and CLS. LCP refers to the Largest Contentful Paint, which is the point at which the page’s central content has loaded. FID means First Input Delay which is the time it takes before users can interact with the page. Lastly, CLS refers to Cumulative Layout Shift which refers to the cardinal sin of having a page move once it loads in. As Google will be measuring these aspects on all websites, it will be important for every professional who relies on their website to make sure that they rate well in these areas.

There is a range of things that businesses can do to improve their website’s functionality, which is something they should already be doing in light of the newest update. At its heart, providing good functionality is just about making the user experience as great as possible.

This is doubly beneficial, as it makes a business’s intended audience appreciate the good user experience and makes it more likely they will use the website again, while also bringing in new customers by allowing the website to appear higher on Google. Ultimately, until Google changes the algorithm once again, the best thing that businesses and professionals can do is to provide the best user experience possible alongside displaying useful, original content.

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