This month–which included Google’s annual I/O conference–saw a lot of focus (unsurprisingly) on the upcoming Page Experience update, with new announcements and also clarifications about how the update will affect rankings boosts in general and desktop pages specifically. We also saw a relaunch of the Structured Data Testing Tool via Schema.org.
In other Google news, we’ve seen indicators of a few unconfirmed algorithm updates shaking things up, along with some of our favorite SEO tools beginning to roll out Core Web Vitals features and integrations.
Read on for our top stories and roundup of what else is new in search this month:
May’s Top Stories
Page Experience Update coming to Desktop: Google announced at the Google I/O conference that the Page Experience update will eventually come to desktop pages, in addition to the mobile page update which is still expected to begin in mid-June. Since they are beginning the process by rolling out to mobile first, there are no firm dates for the desktop rollout at this point. Google will provide further information at a later date, and we don’t expect this update to bring about a dramatic rankings shift in the short term — but in the meantime it won’t hurt to start thinking about how to bring page speed and Core Web Vitals improvements to your desktop version.
Core Web Vitals can improve ranking signals on a gradual scale: Another update via Google I/O–a clarification that Core Web Vitals scores aren’t all or nothing; ranking benefits will be gradually increased as pages approach “good” scores. This means that any improvements that can be made to pages for these three metrics can help that page’s rankings performance, rather than operating with a binary “pass/fail” model. Also, once you do hit that “good” score, micro-improvements won’t really move the needle in terms of rankings boosts — although we’ll always encourage making the page experience as fast and smooth as possible for the user’s benefit (and to optimize conversion!).
Schema.org relaunched Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool: After Google deprecated their Structured Data Testing Tool in favor of the Rich Results tool in July 2020, they decided to relaunch it as a Schema.org tool, at https://validator.schema.org/. The Google tool is specific to schema which is supported by Google, while the Schema.org structured data testing tool will be able to help with many more structured data types outside of those Google supports, and is intended as a more “general purpose” tool.
Industry News and Updates
- Google KELM Reduces Bias and Improves Factual Accuracy
- Google Ranking Algorithm Update; Is It Product Reviews Related? (Apr 30-May 1)
- Mid-May Google Search Ranking Algorithm Update Continues
- May 22nd Google Algorithm Update Is Off The Charts
GSC and BWT Updates
- Google Search Console Removes Rich Results Search Appearance
- Practice Problems Search Appearance Filters Now Available In Search Console Performance Report
Tech and Tools News
- Botify now has a Core Web Vitals integration (links available only to Botify customers):
- Moz also announced a “Performance Metrics” beta