30 Seconds Summary: The biggest Google update of the year is the Page Experience Update. Core Web Vitals is part of that update and is a ranking factor to keep in mind, especially when optimizing images. AMP is no longer the only way to take advantage of top story features on mobile. From 2021 onwards, any news web page can become a top story. Combining AMP’s privacy issues with operating costs, AMP can disappear within a few years. Currently, EAT is not a ranking factor. Also, I don’t know if it will be EAT in the future.
2020. Is history happening around us and Google? Now, Google continues to improve its search algorithm. Over the years, Google has been trying to stay ahead of us, so there have been many major algorithm updates. 2020 was no exception. News about page experience updates and AMP news arrived all at once. The debate about whether EAT is needed for ranking is ongoing. How did Core Web Vitals change the search game in 2021?
Let’s take a look at each of these innovations and see which ones will change the way SEO works and which will sooner or later become opaque.
1. The Importance of Core Web Vitals for SEO
Core Web Vitals was part of the Page Experience update and caused the biggest uproar.
There’s a lot to learn about Core Web Vitals, but in summary, it’s summarized in the three biggest issues on our web pages.
LCP maximum content full paint. Handles the load speed of the largest single object on the page. First input delay for FID. This means the page’s reaction time to the first user input (after clicking, tapping, or pressing a key). CLS Cumulative Layout Shift This is a measure of how much content on a page jumps after loading content. Impact of Core Web Vitals on Rankings
Of course, some SEO experts believe that the entire page experience update isn’t special and can even do the following: […] Distracted, distracted […] From the core mission of communication and storytelling.
And, indeed, most of the page experience updates are just an assembly of things that have been known for some time: using HTTPS, mobile-friendly, controlling page speed, and more.
However, Core Web Vitals are a bit different and can affect SEO practices in unexpected ways. An important factor that has already changed the ranking is the cumulative layout shift.
As most SEO experts know, for some time an important part of image optimization has been
But as SEO experts, we didn’t have to worry about the page jumping a lot because it didn’t affect the rankings. Now that CLS is officially announced as a ranking factor, things will change for many websites and SEO experts.
To avoid layout shifts, you need to make sure that all web pages are coded with CLS in mind and that all images have the required space predefined.
Of course, it’s too early to say overall, and SEO work on the Web needs to be done here. However, if you’re not used to focusing on technical SEO, Core Web Vitals, a ranking signal, can have no impact on your day-to-day operations.
However, if you’re doing complex technical SEO, Core Web Vitals will definitely change the way you work in unexpected ways.
2. Importance of AMP for SEO
The relevance of AMP today is an open issue. It’s always great as a quick and easy way to speed up pages, but privacy concerns have been repeated over and over again since the technology began.
But in 2020, Google announced that in the same page experience update, it would no longer be necessary to create an AMP page to use the SERP features of the top story.
It’s a huge step for anyone trying to get as many SERP features as possible, especially for news websites.
Impact of AMP on ranking
Believing in John Muellers, AMP is not a ranking factor. It seems simple and clear. But of course things are not that simple. Because AMP has a significant increase in page speed, speed is an important ranking factor.
Thanks to AMP’s pre-rendering and some serious design limitations, AMP web pages often actually succeed at page speed, even if they aren’t actually ranking.
However, the Top Stories SERP feature was a big advantage of using AMP for news agencies with websites, and it was easy to understand why. Check the percentage of pages occupied by Top Stories results.
Top stories not only automatically get the top 1 rankings in SERP, but also display the logo of the website that posts them, which stands out even more from the boring old blue link SERP.
This means that for several years, news websites have been forced to use AMP to access top story SERP features on mobile.
On the other hand, supporting the AMP version of a web page requires considerable resources, as it basically maintains the entire additional version of the website.
In addition, pages that are properly speed-optimized may not require AMP to improve speed.
It’s hard to imagine that AMP will decline completely in the next few years, but the privacy issues of AMP combined with the cost of maintaining it may signal the end of widely used practices. Hmm.
Now that Top Stories are available on non-AMP pages, there’s virtually no reason to compromise user security for the speed gains of proper optimization.
3. The importance of EAT for SEO
Expertise. Authority. Trust. All completely positive words and something we should strive for in our professional life. But what about search optimization?
Coming directly from Google’s Quality Evaluator Guidelines, EAT has been a town story for some time now. Let’s take a look and see how the method of optimizing for search changes.
Impact of EAT on ranking
For most of us, they really aren’t.
Indeed, quality evaluator guidelines provide valuable insights into Google’s ranking process. However, EAT is one of the important factors that is not important. One of the reasons is that these are vague and abstract concepts and that Google doesn’t exactly want us.
As the official Google representative has informed us, EAT itself is not a ranking factor.
Then, in response to a follow-up question, Google’s John Mueller repeated that point, and Google’s Vice President of Search Engineering Ben Gomes confirmed that quality evaluators did not directly affect page rankings. did.
However, in reality, so-called YMYL websites often cannot be ranked without some degree of expertise and authority. A very popular example is that it is virtually impossible for a real doctor to rank a website that provides medical advice without writing an article.
The problem here is that expertise, authority, and credibility are not easily interpreted by search algorithms that only understand the code.
And at this point, there doesn’t seem to be a surefire way for Google to translate these signals into rankings. However, you should read the quality evaluator’s feedback before updating each algorithm.
While using EAT to rank websites may seem like an indisputable advantage to searchers, there are some concerns that cannot be easily resolved.
Who accurately determines the EAT signal? The introduction of these factors creates a system where smaller, newer websites are punished by ranking for unreliability that they couldn’t realistically acquire.
Responding to both of these concerns requires time and effort on the part of search engines.
In the current situation, EAT is not something to keep in mind when doing day-to-day SEO operations.
Imagine a fancy scenario where a webmaster / SEO expert has free time. Next, you may want to work on EAT and strive to stay ahead of the curve.
On the other hand, there is no evidence that Google actually uses EAT. Or, even if used, these signals are a major ranking factor. For this reason, EAT should not be prioritized over traditional SEO tasks such as link building and technical optimization.
In addition, take this into account. The entire Quality Evaluator Guidelines are 168 pages long. However, a comprehensive explanation of what EAT is and why EAT is calculated in a particular way requires more pages.
At the time of this writing, Core Web Vitals seems to be the most important ranking news actually announced in 2020. However, the search is a very unstable field. What worked two weeks ago may not work today, and what worked today may not work for most people.
The problem is further complicated by fighting unequal battles. Providing a complete and detailed image of how rankings work is not a search engine and should not be abused.
That’s why it’s important to stay on top of the daily optimization news and pulse of change. With constant efforts from the SEO community to find the best way to top rankings, you can fill that gap and make sure you know which trends are most important and which ones can be overlooked.
Aleh Barysevich is the founder and CMO of SEO PowerSuite and Awario.
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