Data Visualization

2021: The Year of Big Google Updates

By September 14, 2020 August 30th, 2021 No Comments

Big changes are afoot in the digital world in 2021. Namely, two major marketing functions will be seeing foundational changes to tools and processes from Google, as Big G implements Web Vitals as a ranking factor and also replaces legacy Google Analytics with its new App + Web platform. 

As Q4 begins, we recommend accounting for both of these changes in your 2021 marketing and analytics plans. 

Web Vitals: A major change to how Google ranks websites

We wrote about some of the details on Web Vitals that we already know. In short, this is the rare algorithm change that Google has chosen to announce far ahead of time, presumably to help everyone get ready, because it’s going to be big! 

Web Vitals is made up of 3 core components: 

  1. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): The time from when a page starts to load to when the largest element on that page finishes loading. 
  2. First Input Delay (FID): The time from when a page starts to load to when the user can click, scroll, or otherwise interact with the page. 
  3. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): How much the core content of the page shifts due to late-loading elements on the page.

You can already check out how you score on these 3 metrics in Search Console’s Core Web Vitals report. These reports are live and functional, so we recommend checking those out soon to get a sense of how much this update may impact your site and rankings.

App + Web: Google Analytics for the next decade 

Google Analytics has stayed remarkably unchanged since its widespread adoption in the digital analytics industry. That all changes in 2021 when Google replaces it with App + Web, its new digital analytics system.

At face value, App + Web doesn’t look dramatically different from the current Google Analytics UI, but the devil is in the details; users will be required to manually re-add certain events from Google Analytics to App + Web, and there will be very little that automatically transitions from GA over to App + Web. 

Google has been coy on when App + Web will officially launch, only saying “sometime in 2021.” Considering that 2021 is barely 3 months away, and Google has a history of launching products suddenly and before they are quite fully baked, we recommend looking at App + Web as the new standard as soon as Q1 of 2021. 

We wrote about the updates and how to start getting ready, and we definitely suggest getting familiar with these changes over the next few months. There will be plenty of webmasters and analysts left surprised when App + Web officially launches, and it’s definitely to your advantage to stay ahead on this one!

As always, our team is ready to help consult or manage any aspect of these changes, from SEO to App + Web and everything in between. Contact us for a free consultation on how these changes may affect your site, and how our team can complement yours in preparing for a wild ride in 2021.