Google rarely provides the SEO community with significant advanced notice of an impending change to their algorithm. Events such as mobile friendly where advanced notice was provided proved to be a significant impact for website owners that were not prepared, and a solid improvement in visibility for those that were ready.
Google initially began their ranking algorithm by focusing on the popularity of a website. Popularity still plays a role in the ranking of websites, but how it is measured has changed over the years. As Google evolved, they decided that if they were going to refer their customers to a website, the experience their customer received and the ability for the customer to fulfill their intent should matter. Google began to roll more factors into the algorithm that tied back to the customer experience and began providing more data and tools for webmasters.
Google recently provided notice of a page experience change. The notice informed the community that the change will be coming next year and at least six months’ notice of the change would be published. When a notice of this magnitude is received by the community, we must explore it thoroughly and prepare.
I am always excited when Google begins rolling out new tools or changes to existing tools. Aside from patent registrations, tool changes or additions are significant indicators of an impending change. The change may have little or no impact on the ranking factors overall, but you can guarantee that the change is designed to identify characteristics that indicate a solid customer experience.
Customer Led SEO has always been my approach because it is the one infallible SEO strategy. Focusing your SEO efforts on ways to improve the experience and reduce friction from the search results all the way to the customer fulfilling their intent is working ahead of the algorithm. As Google has evolved, websites that were focused on the experience have consistently been rewarded.
Failure to acknowledge the impending change will result in loss of visibility. Preparing for the change and building a program around maintaining the requirements associated with the change may give you an advantage over your competitors and undoubtedly improve your customer experience for all traffic sources.
Stay tuned as I will be posting details on how to prepare for the change and best practices for ongoing management.
Details around this critical change can be found here: