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2021 is going to appear to be quite a big year for SEO, with Google looking to introduce some new algorithms and ranking factors that can impact the ranking of websites on their search engine. Thankfully, a lot of these changes are still a few months away, so there is still time to prepare if you have not done so already.

 

Core Web Vitals Ranking Factor

Core web vitals are a new way of understanding how good a website is in terms of loading quickly and in a correct way. There are three areas to web core vitals:

  • Longest contentful paint (LCP) – this is the time it takes for the page to load.
  • Cumulative layout shift (CLS) – this measures the visual stability of the page on load, on how things change and move.
  • First input delay (FID) – this measures the time to interactive and should be kept to a minimum

Google made clear that next spring, core web vitals will start to become a ranking factor in terms of SEO. It is not going to be a huge ranking factor, but something that will make the difference nonetheless.

 

Mobile Index Only

In 2021, Google will move every website to mobile indexing of web pages.

This transition has been coming and, most likely, will not affect most websites, since most websites have already been moved to mobile indexing.

If your site is not mobile optimized yet, especially for crawling, then make sure to put some time ahead in the next few months to do just this. Otherwise, you’ll very likely see a drop in rankings, especially for mobile.

 

More Passage/Contextual Ranking

Google gave the news that they will improve the way they show results for long-tail keywords, with a better algorithm to understanding passages in content.

With this, it is difficult to say how websites that have been targeting long-tail keywords might be affected:

  • They could see an increase in traffic, as they are already targeting such keywords, and the passage analysis should home in on such keywords
  • On the other hand, if the ‘big players’ are getting better contextualization for certain articles that gain most of their traffic from short-tail keywords, they might get an added bonus.

Either way, it is a good idea to make sure your content is as high quality as possible. But, as well as this, it will be interesting to see how this will affect the traffic for:

  • Websites targeting long-tail keywords – will they get an increase in traffic, or a drop, considering their ‘passage’ content is already targeted at such long-tail keywords
  • Websites targeting high traffic, shorter-tail keywords – it could be that with a better algorithm for passage content, bigger websites will be able to rank for long-tail keywords better if Google is looking at the content more in isolation for such keywords.

Luckily, I have websites that inherit both strategies. So, as soon as the update is rolled out, PPC.org will be one of the first places to find out just what this means for the internet.

Will created AskWillOnline.com back in 2010 to help students revise and bloggers make money developing himself into an expert in PPC, blogging SEO, and online marketing. He now runs others websites such as Poem Analysis, Book Analysis, Ocean and Beyond, and RestoringMamods.com. You can follow him @willGreeny.

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