Will Google update its search algorithm this year and if so how will that impact your site’s SEO?

The search engine giant has a history of publishing updates on a continual basis. Failing to prepare and adapt your website before the changes go live could see you slip down the rankings.

This article examines the 2021 Google algorithm changes and what you need to do to reach that number one spot.

We reveal how the Core Web Vitals update in May will shake up the SERPs. How page experience will play a vital role in Google algorithm updates in 2021 and beyond. And why optimizing your site for mobile will boost your SEO.

Read on to learn all about Google’s plans and how to capitalize on them.

Google Algorithm Changes 2021

There are some major updates coming in 2021 that will shake up the search engine landscape.

Top of the list is the full integration of the Core Web Vitals. These signals will officially integrate with Google’s algorithm in May. They measure page quality and user experience (UX), something Google’s keen to promote.

However, a full raft of changes is expected to go live this year including:

  1. Core Web Vitals
  2. Page Experience
  3. Publication of engaging content
  4. Structured data schemas
  5. Niche expertise

Keep reading to find out what each of these means to your business. And how to prepare your site to best profit from them.

1. Core Web Vitals

Google has always attempted to measure a web page’s quality.

Previous versions of its algorithm concentrated on the number of backlinks or keyword density. Over time, the company has honed its rating system to reflect how its users actually view and consume content. Especially how slow-loading content impacts them using the site.

Core Web Vitals makes things more objective by offering three ways to measure page quality:

  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
  • First Input Delay (FID)
  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

What do these terms mean? And how do they affect the user when they visit your website?

Page Quality Metrics

The CLS vital measures a page’s stability or how long it takes to settle.

Consider a page with multiple adverts or information that’s loaded on an ad-hoc basis. If a user starts to read content which then gets shifted down due to an image loading it becomes frustrating for them.

The same problem lies with how long it takes for the user to interact with the page.

When they press a button but nothing happens is it because they didn’t tap it correctly? Or is the page still trying to process all the script files in the background?

This First Input Delay measures interactivity. It combines with loading performance or LCP to measure user satisfaction.

All three of the vital signs are easy to measure with the right website audit tool. Google will penalize poor loading speeds and clunky interaction very soon so beware.

2. Page Experience

Core Web Vitals form part of the Web Vitals initiative to calculate quality. The term that encompasses all these factors is called Page Experience. And it will dominate search throughout 2021.

Back in 2015, Google rolled out an important update to promote mobile-friendly web design. As the majority of its visitors used their mobile phones to access Google Search, the change aimed to reflect that.

That trend’s set to continue in 2021, with Google promoting responsive websites.

Statistics already prove that responsive sites with fast rendering times produce 75%-327% more income. That means if your site uses bulky graphics that require pinch-and-zoom to view, you’re missing out.

Other Page Experience factors center on security.

Make sure your website uses an SSL certificate. All of your URLs should start with HTTPS: and provide a safe and secure customer journey.

3. Publication of Engaging Content

Google’s quality guidelines always stated that pages that offer engaging content should rank high.

The Google algorithm updates 2021 engagement factor is set to continue. However, that doesn’t mean writing random copy that has little to do with the user’s search intent.

New updates analyze a user’s behavior based on their interaction with your site. High bounce rates indicate that they didn’t find your articles appealing and left almost immediately.

Drive Social Media researches keywords for our clients before we write content for their blogs.

Our quality content strategy maps out a successful SEO campaign. That includes publishing on targeted off-site blogs that produce the best leads.

4. Structured Data Schemas

Schema markup helps search engines analyze the content on your website more effectively. That will continue in the new 2021 Google algorithm changes, especially for snippets.

A featured snippet displays directly within Google search and usually appears at the very top.

You don’t pay to be there and Google decides which sites to use. However, you can increase your chances by adding the right structured data to your pages.

Structured data schemas or markup structures exist for lots of different content types like:

  • Product schemas
  • Questions and answers
  • How-to pages

Ensure that your web development team knows how to implement them correctly. If they don’t, then contact the experts at Drive Social Media who do.

5. Niche Expertise

Tied with adding fresh, engaging content is niche expertise.

Because Google values a professional piece rather than opinion, sites that write with authority will get rewarded in 2021. That means creating content with a technical slant to your industry with reputable links to reliable sources.

Build several pages on a particular subject and make sure to link them around a few keywords. Google will recognize this theme and if it finds it viable it will boost your rankings for those keywords.

Google Algorithm 2021 Updates and Drive Social Media

Google algorithm changes will affect all websites throughout 2021 to some degree.

If your site is fast, responsive, and offers engaging niche content you’re ready for any updates. But if you’re struggling to reach page one on Google Search, it’s time to say goodbye to your old strategy. It’s time to call in the professionals.

Drive Social Media offers comprehensive SEO services designed to preempt Google algorithm changes.

Our team of experts knows what the search engine wants and what helps boost your rank position. From keyword-focused blog strategies to on-page SEO, we position your site to gain the best traffic.

Get in touch with one of our offices in St. Louis, Nashville, or Miami.

We also provide PPC and social media advertising services to suit your budget with a solid ROI. If you’re a small to medium-sized business then take advantage of our expertise today.