Business owners and marketers were warned in May of 2020. Google announced their Core Web Vitals update last spring, and after some false starts on the exact date, they confirmed that the update will be rolled out in May of 2021.
Webmasters have basically had a year to prepare. But guess how many are leaving their SEO homework until the very last minute? You guessed it: Most.
In fact, as of August 2020, only about 12-13% of tested sites appeared to be ready for the Core Web Vitals. It seems that most webmasters will be doing their homework at the last moment, or have no plans to do anything.
The businesses that plan on updating their sites still have some time. And here is a broad view of what they should focus on.
5G coverage is expanding and our devices are getting faster. This means that web users are expecting a faster browsing experience. Google is well aware of this, so they have made speed a major part of the Core Web Vitals update.
Fortunately, the most common issue that plagues many slow sites is easy to fix.
“In a lot of cases, we see a given site’s speed being slowed down by a lack of optimized images. This means that the browser must resize that image to fit the screen for each visitor and uses up resources in the process,” said Paul Teitelman, one of the leading Toronto SEO experts and owner of Paul Teitelman SEO Consulting.
“Look at the file type. PNG files tend to be bigger. Your best bet is to resize the image for the space, and save all images without transparent backgrounds as JPEGs.”
Google transitioned to mobile-first indexing for the entire web in September of 2020. Simply put, this means that they will look at a given domain’s mobile site before they look at the desktop experience.
They first announced this move in 2017, but webmasters and site owners have still been slow to prioritize their mobile sites. It’s estimated that a quarter of the top-performing sites on the web are still not mobile-friendly.
At the very least, a site should pass Google’s free mobile-friendly test. However, with the mobile experience being a major part of the Core Web Vitals, it would be wise for site owners to audit and test their entire mobile experience.
Intrusive Interstitial Ads
Interstitial ads remain one of the most common ways for a business to drive customers to their free trial or mailing list. However, if you’re going to use one, you need to give the user an easy exit.
Google has given us some very clear guidelines to show us what is and isn’t acceptable in an interstitial ad, to ensure that users don’t feel trapped by an offer. Any violations will hurt your rankings.
How big will this update be? It’s poised to be the biggest in years. So, it’s in your best interest to take this seriously and take action right now!
FDA vote expected on Johnson & Johnson vaccine booster shots – CNN
13 more die of COVID-19 in B.C. as 667 new cases confirmed – CBC.ca
British Columbia announced 667 new cases of COVID-19 and 13 more deaths on Friday, the most deaths in one day since Feb. 3.
In a written statement, the provincial government said there are currently 5,128 active cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus in B.C.
A total of 367 people are in hospital, with 152 in intensive care.
Overall hospitalizations, which typically lag behind spikes and dips in new cases, are up by 1.9 per cent from last Friday, when 360 people were in hospital with the disease and about 27 per cent from a month ago when 288 people were in hospital.
The number of patients in intensive care is up by about 11 per cent from 137 a week ago and by the same percentage from a month ago when 137 people were also in the ICU.
The provincial death toll from COVID-19 is now 2,055 lives lost out of 196,433 confirmed cases to date.
As of Friday, 89 per cent of those 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 83 per cent a second dose.
So far, eight million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including 3.8 million second doses.
There are a total of 19 active outbreaks in assisted living, long-term and acute care. There has been one new outbreak at GR Baker Memorial Hospital in Quesnel. The outbreak at Good Samaritan Delta View Care Centre has been declared over.
The acute care hospitals currently affected by COVID outbreaks are Mission Memorial Hospital, University Hospital of Northern B.C., GR Baker Memorial Hospital, and Tofino General Hospital.
More than 90 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and three people have died as a result of an outbreak at a care home in Burnaby, and officials say the death toll is expected to grow.
The majority of cases at the Willingdon Care Centre are among residents, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control. Health Minister Adrian Dix said Thursday he expects the number of deaths will rise to 10 over the next several days due to a delay in data reporting.
New northern restrictions
More restrictions for the northern part of the province came into effect Thursday at midnight and will last until at least Nov. 19 in an attempt to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the region.
Restrictions in the region now include limiting indoor and outdoor gatherings to fully vaccinated people only, capping the number of people who can gather in any setting, moving worship services online, cutting off alcohol sales earlier at night and mandating masks and safety plans at organized events.
Health officials are strongly recommending people stay in their community unless it is essential for work or medical reasons.
To help reduce hospitalizations, new orders for <a href=”https://twitter.com/Northern_Health?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@Northern_Health</a> (specific areas only) will come into effect Oct 14 at midnight. Help keep your community safe – get vaccinated today.<br><br>Find a clinic: <a href=”https://t.co/vp7cpfUzcj”>https://t.co/vp7cpfUzcj</a><br>Learn more about the orders: <a href=”https://t.co/8Rz6gITRYu”>https://t.co/8Rz6gITRYu</a>
Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry continues to reiterate the importance of immunization to reduce the risk of illness and death due to COVID-19.
From Oct. 7 to 13, people who were not fully vaccinated accounted for 68.3 per cent of cases and from Sept. 30 to Oct. 13, they accounted for 76.3 per cent of hospitalizations, according to the province.
Anyone who has not yet received a shot is encouraged to do so immediately. Appointments can be made online through the Get Vaccinated portal, by calling 1-833-838-2323, or in-person at any Service B.C. location.
People can also be immunized at walk-in clinics throughout the province.
B.C. health officials are awaiting a federal review of COVID-19 vaccines for five- to 11-year-olds and are encouraging families to register their children now as they anticipate doses being available for this group by early November.
U.S. border town welcomes back fully vaccinated B.C. visitors, but travel hurdles remain – CBC.ca
Businesses in northern Washington state are welcoming back Canadian customers once the United States reopens its land borders, but a B.C. mayor says travellers may face hurdles.
The U.S. is allowing fully vaccinated travellers from Canada to enter the United States by air, land and ferry for non-essential travel starting Nov. 8.
Those entering the U.S. at a land border will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or attest to their vaccination status upon request by a border agent. Land travellers do not need to show a negative COVID-19 test, a requirement for air travellers.
Karen Frisbie, Chamber of Commerce president in Oroville, Wash. — a town of more than 19,000 residents bordering Osoyoos in B.C.’s South Okanagan — says her community has been quiet without Canadians travelling south to shop during the pandemic.
“We definitely miss our Canadian neighbours and look forward to having them back,” Frisbie said Friday to host Chris Walker on CBC’s Daybreak South.
Many border towns in Washington state struggled due to COVID-19 restrictions preventing Canadians from travelling across the border. The city of Blaine, for instance, said last August their finances were hit hard after several months without Canadian visitors.
Osoyoos Mayor Sue McKortoff says she can feel the happiness of Canadians who know they’ll be able to visit Oroville.
“A lot of the people in Osoyoos love to go to Oroville — they have their special places [and] restaurants [in Oroville], and they love to go down there for American milk and cheese and beer, and gas sometimes,” McKortoff said on Daybreak South.
But the mayor also strikes a cautious note.
“You still need a PCR test to come back to Canada,” she said, referring to a type of molecular testing. Molecular COVID-19 tests involve methods such a nose swab, or providing a saliva sample.
“You’re not going to go down there for a day, and [you] have to worry about having a PCR test in order to get back through the border.”
Canada still requires arriving travellers to present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of their entry to Canada, regardless of their point of entry — but labs could take more than 72 hours to issue a test result.
“We need to wait until all of those things have been solved a little bit better before people will even take the chance to go across,” McKortoff said.
LISTEN | Karen Frisbie and Sue McKortoff share their hopes and concerns about U.S. border reopening to Canadians:
Daybreak South5:24What will opening the U.S. border to Canadians mean to border communities? We go to Oroville, Washington and Osoyoos to hear more about the impacts on those cities.
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