Google Page Experience Update: Definition and TipsVanda Williams
A poor digital user experience, or page experience, will have direct negative effects on your Google page rankings, resulting in a decline in traffic, and ultimately, conversions and revenue.
From May 2021 onwards, Google’s ranking algorithm will evaluate page experience, alongside other search metrics, to calculate and rank the general responsiveness and experience of websites appearing in its search results. In this post, learn more about Page Experience and how you can better prepare for the new Google update.
What is page experience?
Page Experience is all about how enjoyable it is for users to visit and navigate your site. To better understand how a user will appraise the experience of a specific web page, Google will evaluate a certain set of signals. Page Experience is comprised of several existing Google search ranking factors, with refinements to metrics around speed and usability, including:
- Page speed update
- Mobile-friendly update
- HTTPS ranking boost
- Intrusive interstitials penalty
- Safe browsing penalty
This means that if your web page loads quickly, is mobile-friendly, runs on HTTPS, has intrusive interstitials, and your content doesn’t jump around while the page loads, then your website is sure to rank well on the search engine results pages.
Visual indicators of Page Experience
Not only will Google be evaluating the page experience of a given website, but it will also give users a preview, or “visual indicator” of a website’s expected page experience before they click on the site.
Although Google has shown these types of visual indicators before with AMP labels, mobile-friendly labels, slow labels, and more, there’s no way of knowing exactly how long the visual indicators will last. Ultimately, it comes down to the data and whether Google decides it is worth displaying in the search results.
How to prepare for the Google Page Experience update
As with most search engine updates, it isn’t really clear how big of an impact the Page Experience update will have on rankings. Since many of the Page Experience signals already factor into Google’s search algorithms, many SEO experts believe the effects will be minor.
However, with the launch of visual indicators, many marketers will advocate for their companies to pay more attention to Page Experience signals, and how their page is being perceived.
That said, you can start preparing now for user experience to become a ranking factor as the update rolls out. A great tool for this is Core Web Vitals in Google Search Console. You can use the Core Web Vitals function to see how your pages perform based on real usage data, which will help you better optimize your pages.