In May 2021 Google will launch the Google Page Experience update and at that time a variety of factors will come into play that may drastically impact your organic rankings.
Until recently most SEO’s had assumed that this would be a blanked update affecting most results, but we have recently learned that, for now at least, it will only impact Mobile Searches. Desktop based searches will not be affected. Google has compiled an FAQ related to the update and core web vitals.
This may be a sigh of relief for some site owners in certain situations, but even for those who rely mostly on desktop traffic, improving your core web vitals will still be an SEO must.
What is the Google Page Experience Update?
The Google Page Experience Update, slated to launch in May of 2021, is a new ranking algorithm designed to rank sites based on their user experience. The factors determining user experience include a variety of metrics including Core Web Vitals, Mobile Friendliness, Page Speed, HTTPS, Intrusive Interstitials and safe browsing.
How Will the Page Experience Update Affect my Website?
This depends. First, having a good score across these metrics will be important no mater what your industry, but how it impacts a site upon launch will vary.
Sites with poor scores who rely on mobile search traffic will in all probability see their traffic drop with this update. Improving scores will be imperative to maintaining (and potentially growing) you search base when the update launches. Sites with good scores on mobile will most likely see an increase in traffic.
For those sites that rely primarily on desktop based traffic things get interesting. If you rely primarily on desktop driven traffic and your site currently scores poorly on mobile, possibly not much will change. Your traffic may remain steady. If on the other hand you work to improve your mobile scores, when the update launches you may find yourself with new traffic and growth that you had not expected. For desktop dominated sites with poor mobile scores, there is a notable opportunity here for positive change.
To get a sense of how urgently you need to address your core web vitals scores refer to your Google Analytics or other web stats data. If you find that your site gets a large percentage of your sales and traffic from mobile users, then you will want to make these improvements a priority in order to at the least maintain what you have.