So, what changed in SEO in 2020?

Well, Google makes thousands of changes to its algorithms every year, did you know that?

To go into more detail Google changes its algorithms 9 times a day on average. In the latest year, they’ve announced 3,200 changes to their search engine.

For the majority of these changes, we won’t see the impact of the organic search performance on a website. Google updates its core algorithms every quarter of the year, and this is what will significantly impact our day to day searching.

While you need to keep up with the constant changes to SEO, to stay ahead of the curve, and to future proof your optimisation, the fundamentals, do however stay the same.

In this article we will discuss the most important changes of SEO in 2020 and why you need to keep up to date with them.

Changes to SEO in 2020

A visual graphic of the core web vitals for SEO on Google

Core Web Vitals

Core Web Vitals were introduced in May 2020, they’re are a set of metrics that Google uses to rank your website, it’s related to the overall experience your website and content gives the user once they appear on your page.

Core Web Vitals comes in differing factors, Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS).

What are they and how do they have an impact on my rankings?

LCP is how long it takes your website to react to a user requests, for example, the time it takes from the user clicking a link to the extra content loading. Go check out your score using Google PageSpeed Insights.

FID is the time it takes for the user to interact with your website once they’ve loaded it, for example: clicking on one of your pages, entering their email into a contact field, or selecting a link to another destination. Google ranks this as important because it wants to see how interactive your website is to real-life users.

Lastly, CLS. This core web vital examines how visually stable your website is once it’s been loaded and when the user is moving around. For example, if sections of your website move around as the user is loading in your score will be bad in Googles eyes.

Googles basics of page experience are trying to categorise quality for the user, their guide is an excellent read.

Why do you need to know what core web vitals are?

Broadly speaking, Google crawls your website with a checklist of what it needs your website to fulfil so it can calculate whether your website is quality, or not.

The more you fulfil the higher your website will rank on their search engine and the recent update in May seems to have given us an indication on 3 of its widely expected list.

SERPS

A user searching google, a visual representation of the featured snippet.

Arguably the most visible change in recent years that Google has brought to the search engine – featured snippet highlighting.

Instead of your search or enquiry loading up with multiple websites that are linked to your search, it will now showcase a featured snippet. The featured snippet will highlight in bold the multiple words it thinks are answering your search or query the best.

Now here comes the exciting bit…

When you click on the featured snippet it will load the webpage, but not to the top of the page as it would previously, it will take you directly to the answer you require, and yes it’s highlighted in yellow.

This could potentially affect on-page engagement and decline the users time on your page, but the most important thing is quality content. When using analytics, this should be taken into consideration.

We’ve discussed only a minority of the changes Google made in 2020, however, I do feel these two are the most important ones throughout the year, they’re visible to the user’s eye, or are a game-changer to us in SEO (Core Web Vitals).

Other updates in the year, Image Search and Passage Indexing and language processing.

What Do We Offer?

Here at GrowTraffic, we do exactly what it says on the tin, maybe not tin, but you get the gist. We’re an award-winning digital marketing agency and web traffic growth experts based in Lancashire and Yorkshire.

We specifically specialise in SEO, but we do, however, offer an array of digital marketing services including social media management, email marketing and content marketing.

If you’re looking for more information send us an email at [email protected]. Alternatively, if you’d like a chat, give us a call on 0161 007 0121. For more tips and advice on SEO, head over to our blog page.

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