What are the new SEO trends?
Back in 2020, Google began incorporating new metrics for measuring website loading time and overall user experience: Web Vitals. By summer 2021, these metrics would become part of their core algorithm update, which means they would be used to assess the overall user experience. Read about how Google has enhanced the user experience.
SEO trends 2022: Core Web Vitals
There is a subset of metrics every site owner should focus on, called Core Web Vitals. According to Google, “Core Web Vitals is a set of real-world, user-centered metrics that quantify key aspects of the user experience.”
Each Core Web Vital metric looks at a specific piece of the page experience puzzle and together they help both Google and the user make sense of the perceived site experience. Core Web Vitals are available in all Google tools that measure the page experience.
User experience affected by a wide range of criteria, including load time
Google SEO trends
But loading times are only part of the equation; the harder part is defining and measuring the overall user experience. This is about how a user experiences all those optimizations. A website well could load quickly, but it still may not feel fast, and the overall user experience may not be positive.
According to Google:
“Great page experiences enable people to get more done and engage more deeply. A bad page experience could stand in the way of a person’s being able to find the valuable information on a page.” Google still seeks to rank pages with the best information overall, even if the page experience is subpar. Great page experience doesn’t override having great page content. However, in cases where there are many pages that may be similar in relevance, page experience can be much more important for visibility in Search.”
The Core Web Vitals will evolve, but for now, Google identified three specific focal points:
- Visual stability
These focal points correspond with three new metrics:
- LCP: Largest Contentful Paint–This metric tells how long it takes for the largest content element you see in the viewport to load.
- FID: First Input Delay–The FID looks at how long it takes for a browser to respond to an interaction first triggered by the user (clicking a button, for instance)
- CLS: or Cumulative Layout Shift–This is a new metric that measures the percentage of the screen affected by movement—for instance, does stuff jump around on the screen?
These core metrics transcend load time. The Cumulative Layout Shift is about how all of the elements on the page work together. Do all of the images and text load together so you see the full page at once rather than its individual parts?
Combining new metrics with existing ranking factors
The launch of Web Vitals was noteworthy on its own, but Google stepped it up. Google is going to incorporate these new metrics into their existing SEO ranking factors to help with ranking pages.
Web Vitals helps make up the page experience ranking factors, including:
- Mobile-friendliness—whether or not your site is optimized for mobile.
- HTTPS—is your site using a secure connection?
- Interstitial use–does your site stay away from nasty pop-ups?
These new user-centered metrics take into account everything a user experiences on a website to try to come up with a more holistic view of your site’s performance.
New insights provide more comprehensive analysis
Of course, this is just another way for Google to get a sense of how good your site is and it might be easy to overstate the importance of this particular update. It’s still going to be impossible to rank a site with a great user experience but crappy content. While the quality of your content still reigns supreme in getting good rankings, the performance and perceived experience users have now also come into play.
Latest SEO trends 2022
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