Google to introduce “Page Experience” as search ranking factor
From May 2021, Google will be including page experience signals in Google Search rankings.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, Google decided to give us all a heads up on the future algorithm update and what it entails… that way you can adjust your website so your traffic doesn’t take a hit when the update comes into play.
So, what’s the Page Experience update?
In Google’s own words, here is what it means…
“Page experience is a set of signals that measure how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page beyond its pure information value. It includes Core Web Vitals, which is a set of metrics that measure real-world user experience for loading performance, interactivity, and visual stability of the page. It also includes existing Search signals: mobile-friendliness, safe-browsing, HTTPS, and intrusive interstitial guidelines.”
In other words, they are looking for how usable your website is.
Why the update?
The purpose of this update is to make sure that sites that rank at the top aren’t creating experiences that users hate.
The simplest way to think about this update is that user-friendly sites will rank higher than sites that aren’t user friendly.
Google wants to help users find the most relevant and quality sites on the web. Their ultimate goal with these updates is to highlight the best experiences and ensure that users can easily find the information they're looking for.
How can you prepare for the new update?
You can start preparing now for user experience to become a ranking factor now. Google has released a variety of tools that can be used to help you get started with improving your page experience.
The first step is to conduct a site-wide audit of your pages to see where there is room for improvement. Google’s Search Console report for Core Web Vitals gives you an overview of how your site is doing and will delve deeper into issues.
Once you've identified opportunities, tools such as PageSpeed Insights and Lighthouse can help you with fixing any issues that you've uncovered. Take a look at web.dev/vitals-tools for a roundup of all the Google tools you may find useful to get you started.
Additionally, AMP is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways for publishers looking to achieve great page experience outcomes.
If you have any questions or concerns about your website’s user experience, or are looking for a digital partner to work with, feel free to drop us a line.Get in touch