Google Algorithm Update 2021: What it means for ecommerce

Google Algorithm Update 2021: What it means for ecommerce brands. Google is about to launch a new algorithm update that favours the page experience. You need to act quickly, improve your on-site experience, and rely less on organic search for growth. The Google Algorithm is the way Google assesses the relevance, quality and usability of a webpage. It’s a number of algorithms that work together in a complex system. 

Google wants to promote content that demonstrates a high level of Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. This is called the “E-A-T” method. When your page has these qualities it is more likely to be found and ranked highly when someone enters a relevant search query in Google.  

What’s the new 2021 Google Algorithm update?

Google announced in November 2020 that in May 2021 they will launch their new Algorithm update. The update will be primarily concerned with improving the page experience by favoring high-performing websites with strong UX. 

To accomplish this Google will be looking at three vitals: Loading, Interactivity, and Visual stability. 

These vitals are measured through Google’s three new metrics: 

  1. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) is Google’s page loading metric. It measures the number of milliseconds it takes for the largest content block on the page to load which triggers the page to appear fully loaded to the user 
  1. First Input Delay (FID) is Google’s page interactivity metric. This metric measures how long it takes for users to be able to interact with a page by clicking buttons on that page
  1. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) is Google’s page stability metric. It measures how long it takes for all parts of the page to be completely loaded so that when a user clicks anywhere on the page there are no unexpected elements moving around from one rendered frame to the next. 


Google Algorithm Update 2021: What it means for ecommerce brands. Google have launched a new algorithm update that favours the page experience

How the page experience update will influence ecommerce rankings 

SEO is extremely important for your ecommerce brand. 39% of global ecommerce traffic comes from search. It is important for your brand to capitalize on this because organic search brings qualified traffic in without being too costly.  It’s also vital for brand discoverability and acquisition.

This new Google algorithm update encourages you to think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions. It’s not just about a generic SEO approach. UX will now be a more significant component in deciding how high you rank. 

If two sites answer a search query, the one that has a bad or slow UX will be displayed second. This will result in a drop in traffic and acquisition. 

But, because the impact of the algorithm is relatively transparent you can be proactive now and ensure that you achieve optimal ecommerce rankings. 

Focus on the customers you already have

Google’s Algorithm update, along with changes to third-party data sharing, may make it harder for new customers to find your brand. You’ll become one among many and will be stuck competing for your customers’ attention.  

Instead, focus on the customers who already know and love you and encourage them to return, make repeat purchases, and long-term contributions to your bottom line. 

There is tremendous value in solidifying your existing customer base. For example, 53% of customers who make a second purchase go on to make a third and 80% of your sales come from the top 20% of your customers. The value of loyalty should not be underestimated. 

Here are some ways to focus on bringing existing customers back and reduce reliance on discoverability through SEO. 

🔁 Kick-off a re-engagement campaign: Check out your data and look at the customers who haven’t shopped from you again within a particular time frame. Reach back out to them to remind them that you’re there and bring them back to your store and start re-engaging. 

Connect with your existing customers emotionally: When your existing customers find a brand through a Google search, there is most likely a lack of emotional loyalty and connection. 

But, if they’ve shopped with you once, they already trust your product and store experience. It pays to leverage the emotional connection with your customer too. Satisfied shoppers spent an average of $275 a year at apparel stores between 2016 and 2018, compared to $699 for emotionally connected shoppers. Make the most of your bond. Personalised product selection solutions, using predictive analytics technologies like SwiftERM, identify consumer’s future behaviour ranking every SKU by greatest likelihood of that individual consumer to purchase from all the SKUs you have listed, in order of greatest likely buying propensity.

Keep building this trust and differentiating from the market by showing customers how you’re emotionally aligned.  

Adapting to the update 

The full impact of the update is yet to be seen. In time we’ll see how the new algorithm changed the landscape and forced ecommerce companies to adapt. What is clear is that ecommerce retailers must do what they can now to be reactive. 

Focusing on the page experience and the customers you already have are the two key areas that will mean you take a proactive approach to adapt to the 2021 Google algorithm update. To succeed and take advantage of the update you must create a dependable connection with customers and build loyalty. 

We hope you enjoyed this article, intended to help improve our client’s profitability. It reflects the care SwiftERM offer. If you haven’t already done so, then please enjoy a FREE month’s trial of our predictive personalisation software on your site, and let us know what you think. Register, call us on 0207 998 3901, book a call with us or Zoom ID 964 515 7464 


Other articles of interest below:
(Index to all articles here)


Customer identity and access management (CIAM)
Accelerated Mobile Pages v Progressive Web Apps
Brand ambassadors the ultimate guide