GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 49 - April 2021

For iGaming affiliates, understanding what it all means will be vital for maintaining current visibility and revenue streams BY LARISSA GREEN G o o g l e Preparing for 2021 Experience Page ust when you thought 2021 couldn’t throw us any more curveballs, Google’s hotly anticipated algo- rithmupdate is on its way. Not due to hit until May 2021, the update will include a new factor called Page Experience, which will have a huge impact on search rankings and potential traffic to your website. For affiliate webmasters, understanding what this means and the signals Google will be looking for will be vital for maintaining current visibility and revenue streams, but it will also present a fantastic opportunity to make gains in visibility and shake up competitors. With that, it’s safe to say the countdown is officially on! If you haven’t already, making necessary changes now should be a priority. So, let us define the facts and uncover what affiliate webmasters need to do to ensure there are no big surprises inMay. WHAT IS PAGE EXPERIENCE? For once, this update has not been given an obscure animal name that bears little relevance to the true nature of the rollout. This time, the title explicitly describes what the update will assess — how users interact with a web page. According to Google, “ The page experience signal measures aspects of how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page. Optimizing for these factors makes the web more delightful for users across all web browsers and surfaces, and helps sites evolve towards user expectations on mobile. We believe this will contribute to business success on the web as users grow more engaged and can transact with less friction.” So, we can surmise that the better experience you serve to your users and the more interaction you have with customers on your website, the better rankings you will achieve. It feels like we’ve already been conditioned to this way of think- ing as Google already uses search signals as part of its algorithm that come under the umbrella of “page experience,” namely, mobile-friendliness, page speed, safe browsing and intrusive inter- stitials. Beginning inMay, it will also include further elements of Google’s CoreWeb Vitals: loading, interactivity and visual stability. It has also been confirmed that when this new update goes live, Google will be testing “visual indicators” in the search results as a way of informing a user about the experience they’re about to receive, much like the mobile-friendly labels and AMP icons. Illustration by wan wei/Shutterstock, Macrovector/Shutterstock, TarikVision/Shutterstock 41 G P W A t i m e s . o r g