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How Google’s New SEO Guidelines Have Changed Website Rankings

In the fast-paced world of digital marketing, keeping up with Google’s search algorithm updates is crucial for maintaining and improving your website’s ranking. Google’s new SEO guidelines have brought significant changes that impact how websites are evaluated and ranked. Understanding these changes is essential for any digital marketing agency looking to help clients achieve optimal search visibility. Let’s delve into the key updates and how they are reshaping the SEO landscape.

1. Core Web Vitals: Focus on User Experience

User Experience Matters

Google’s Core Web Vitals update is all about user experience (UX). These metrics measure how quickly your page loads, how soon it becomes interactive, and how stable it is as it loads. Here are the three key components:

– Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): This measures loading performance. Your page should load within 2.5 seconds to keep users happy.

– First Input Delay (FID): This measures interactivity. Your page should be ready for user interaction within 100 milliseconds.

– Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): This measures visual stability. Your page should have a CLS score of less than 0.1 to avoid annoying users with unexpected layout shifts.

How It Affects Rankings

Websites that meet these metrics are likely to rank higher because Google now prioritises pages that deliver a smooth, efficient, and engaging user experience. So, focusing on optimising these elements is a must.

2. Mobile-First Indexing: Mobile Usability Is Key

Shift to Mobile

Google now uses the mobile version of your site as the primary version for indexing and ranking. With more people using mobile devices, your site needs to be mobile-friendly.

Best Practices

– Responsive Design: Make sure your site looks great on all devices.

– Mobile-Friendly Content: Optimise fonts, images, and navigation for mobile users.

– Page Speed: Ensure your mobile pages load quickly.

3. E-E-A-T: Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness

Quality Content Is King

With the latest core update, Google has placed a stronger emphasis on the “Experience” aspect of E-E-A-T. This means that Google is now more attentive to content that demonstrates personal experience or firsthand knowledge. User-generated content, reviews, testimonials, and case studies that reflect genuine experiences are gaining more traction in search rankings.

Content Tips

– Author Credentials: Highlight the qualifications and expertise of your content authors.

– Backlinks: Build links from reputable sources to boost your authority.

– Transparency: Clearly provide information about your business and practices.

– Quality Over Quantity: Google is prioritising high-quality content that demonstrates strong E-E-A-T principles over large volumes of mediocre content.

4. AI and Machine Learning

Smarter Search Results

Google uses AI and machine learning algorithms like BERT and MUM to better understand search queries. These technologies help Google deliver more relevant results by understanding the context and meaning of searches.

How to Optimise

– Natural Language: Write in a natural, conversational tone that answers user questions fully.

– Contextual Relevance: Create content that covers topics thoroughly.

5. Zero-Click Searches and Featured Snippets

Quick Answers

More searches are ending without a click as users get answers directly from the search results page. Featured snippets, knowledge panels, and rich results provide quick info without needing to click through.

Snippet Strategies

– Structured Data: Use structured data to help Google understand your content.

– Concise Answers: Give clear, concise answers to common questions.

– FAQs and How-Tos: Create content likely to be featured in snippets.

6. Local SEO Enhancements

Local Search Importance

Local SEO is more important than ever, with Google placing greater emphasis on local search results. This is crucial for businesses relying on local customers.

Local SEO Tips

– Google My Business: Keep your profile up-to-date.

– Local Keywords: Use local keywords in your content and metadata.

– Reviews and Ratings: Encourage positive customer reviews.


Google’s new SEO guidelines are changing the way websites are ranked. There’s a clear focus on user experience, mobile usability, quality content, AI-driven relevance, and local search optimisation. Staying ahead of these changes is essential to maintaining high search rankings.

At Sleepi Digital, we’re here to help you navigate these changes and improve your website’s performance. Contact us today to see how we can help you achieve your digital marketing goals.