Experts are saying that due to the huge increases in online e-commerce caused by the pandemic, changes that Google was planning to make in five years’ time are instead being brought forward to this year in a bid to keep up with the increasing volumes of traffic and changing user behaviours.
Keeping up with these changes can be tricky but luckily you can hire a Google Shopping Agency to put you ahead of the competition. But what kind of changes can we expect in 2021?
Changes To Broad Match Modifiers
Perhaps the biggest change of the year so far is the changes Google is making to broad match modifiers and phrase match types. These changes were announced on the 4th of February and are being implemented as of the 18th of February, with the effects of these changes predicted to be visible around July 2021. Essentially, Google is tightening the broad match modifier, and loosening phrase match, merging the two match types into one.
For example, the words ‘resume’ and ‘services’ entered as broad match modifiers would previously have shown your ad to anyone searching for ‘customer services to put on a resume’ or ‘which services to put on resume’, both of which would likely be irrelevant to your business offering resume services. The update will change this, meaning that your ad would no longer be shown in this instance.
Similarly, phrase matches such as ‘long sleeve dress’ will now show your ads to people searching for ‘long sleeve lace dress’ or ‘long sleeve black dress’, both of which are still relevant to your business selling dresses. The update means that your ads will be shown in this instance.
The reason for this change is that Google aims to serve users the best quality content that it can find, and the elimination of broad match modifiers means that the quality of the content is refined even more so.
The introduction of Google Page Experience
Google announced that this May they will be updating their algorithm to include a factor that they call ‘page experience’. This refers to the overall experience that a user has on a webpage, accounting for the loading speed, mobile-friendliness and quality of the content. This change emphasises Google’s position on user experience, aiming to serve the most relevant and high-quality content to its users every time.
Those who fine-tune their landing pages according to this update, by optimising for mobile and improving loading speeds, may see an improvement after this update, leaving those still formatted for desktop with large image/video files far behind.
It’s also predicted that the number of backlinks a site has will have less impact on it’s ranking position in Google, in fact, if a site gains a large number of backlinks in a short space of time, this could even be detrimental to the site’s rankings.
As Google continues to improve its own service by serving its user the content they want to see as quickly as possible, it’s important to prepare for any upcoming changes well in advance in order to stay on top. The good news is that it’s easy to prepare for these updates when you know they’re coming. Reading Google updates and relevant articles are a great way to stay ahead of your competitors and consistently improve your website.