Hello everyone! Google is updating their algorithm in some pretty major ways and in this post, I wanted to talk about how you can update your site and what to expect. As always, if you enjoy today’s post, be sure to applaud it and if you want to see more posts like this one, a follow would be absolutely wonderful! Now, let’s get right into it.
Okay, so you may be wondering… what important things are in this update?
- Web Vitals:
Web Vitals are parts of your site like the CLS (cumulative layout shift). The CLS is what is important in this update. Google no longer likes sites with shifting parts while it is loading.
As you can see from my screenshot, my Cumalative Layout shift is 0.094. It isn’t a perfect 0 showing that there certainly is room for improvement.
- Search Console:
Google made updates to the Google Search Console. These include page experience reports and updates to stats. I don’t use Search Console because it isn’t available for free WordPress sites, but it is something to keep in mind and that I wanted to make note of.
Google is continuing to push out the old http and bring in the new https. Your site will rank lower if it uses http and not https.
- Mobile Optimization
My site has pretty bad mobile optimization. I have improved it by about 30 points but am still working to improve. Now in the update, you need to have a good mobile site to be considered a “good” site and have higher search rankings.
- Ads, Ads, Ads
Good news about those annoying website ads, they need to go. Google is looking at the ads on sites to see if they are distracting and if so, you will rank lower in results.
Back to Web Vitals:
Web Vitals are the most important parts of this update. I mentioned one of the changes above but by far the most important change is the LCP (largest contentful paint). I suggest that you first look at the FCP (first contentful paint). This is the time it takes for the first part of your site to load in. Now look at your LCP (largest contentful paint), this is how long until your site fully loads. My blog is pretty bad right now (I’ll talk a bit more about that in a moment). Loadtimes have become more important, and you should probably be checking yours. I recommend web.dev by Google, that is where all the screenshots from this post are from.
Back to my site and why it has such a slow time. The biggest reason is that I have render blocking resources. I mentioned earlier that I can’t do a ton about that while having a free Wordpress plan. What I can change is the image sizing! I run a photography blog which means my site is filled with very big photos. The biggest change I need to make is to the two on my home screen.
How to Resize Photos:
I am going to show you how you can resize these photos. I am going to use two new photos for the home screen and make them smaller using only FREE software. This is my photo selected in the file manager (Windows 10).
I have a software installed called windows file converter, I am going to convert it into a small png. I know that png’s are not the best files for loadtimes, but I have found that they are better than a larger jpeg.
This photo went from a 6 mb jpeg to a 1.7 mb png. I updated my homepage and started the audit.
Now comes the difficult decision… This made my LCP worse up to 16.1 seconds, but my performance is now up 10 points and my CLS is now at a score of just 0.004! It is certainly your decision, but I think that the good out ways the bad, and I am keeping this as the main photo for now.
Http vs Https:
I actually noticed that I was running these tests on a http version of my site and not the https. I tried using the https version and my performance was way, way down! It went from a 39 to a 14! But also, my performance score went from a 39 to 28 on the http version of the site…
It is kinda odd the way this works. Either way, I hope that you found this post useful. Links to all the sources are down below! Thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you next time when I talk about Google I/O (super pumped)!
-Digital Wonders & Smiles
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