“Today we’re announcing that the page experience signals in ranking will roll out in May 2021…” Google said in its recent announcement.
The Google algorithm is made up of hundreds of factors to determine which website should rank for a search term. The ‘page experience’ update will become part of the algorithm, although some elements are already factors, so the impact to the SERPs when it rolls out is still to be seen.
What is ‘Page Experience’ Update
So, what do we know about the planned update so far?
The update is there to help provide users with the best experience from sites they find on Google. Google’s mission is (and always has been) to show users the most relevant content for their search query.
The great image below, provided by Google, shows what is going to be included in the update
Core Web Vitals
The core web vitals are around speed. This isn’t new, however we are now being given more details about how fast the individual elements need to be for the site to be given top scores. We will be auditing client sites for each element of site speed.
Mobile Friendly has been around since before the mobile first update back in 2018 and Google has been moving all sites to the mobile index since then. From March 2021 Google will stop indexing desktop only sites and any sites which are m. will also struggle.
Safe Browsing and HTTPS
Safe browsing and HTTPS should be a given; everyone wants to be safe online, so this is just a check that all your settings are configured correctly.
No Intrusive Interstitials
Intrusive Interstitials is probably a term that you have never heard of – we hadn’t! – and it’s a bit of a mouthful. It means you should avoid using pop-ups and interstitials which can ruin the user experience.
Top Stories and AMP
Google has confirmed that the ‘page experience’ signal will be a ranking factor for stories on mobile and will replace the AMP (accelerated mobile pages). So not only does it affect the organic rankings, it will also affect top stories, which will have a big impact on publishers.
‘Page Experience’ Labels
There is chatter about Google testing labels on the SERPs to show whether the site has a good page experience, just like they have done in the past with page speed. We will have to watch this space.
Will Page Experience Make a Difference?
It must make a difference; Google has given us 6 months to prepare, this hasn’t come out of the blue, they started talking about it earlier this year. We don’t think you will suddenly rank much higher if you do everything right, but if you fail to do anything and are flagged as having a ‘poor’ page experience then you will suffer.
Preparation is key. All clients will be audited against these signals over the next couple of months and action taken to put them all in the best position. If you are not yet a client, get in touch and we can discuss doing an audit for your website to see where you stand.
Always remember, that Google’s aim is to deliver the best user experience for every search query, content is King!