Google has announced to roll out a search algorithm update by 2021. Google's new 'Page Experience Signal' ranking factor comprises numerous metrics from Google's new Core Web Vitals report data to metrics like web safety, interstitials, and mobile-friendliness.
According to Google's Webmaster Central Blog, page experience is to be assimilated as a new, accumulated ranking signal in the Google algorithm for ranking search results by 2021. Acknowledging the hurdles several website owners are currently facing due to the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Google will be pronouncing the rollout of this new update at least six months ahead of launch. This should provide enough time to webmasters, online marketers, and SEOs to come to grips with the latest ranking factor and prepare their websites accordingly.
If you're still confused about the update, fret no; read on to learn everything about Google's new page experience update and how it affects SEO.
What is Google's new page experience?
Google's new page experience signal measures numerous facets of how users perceive the experience of interacting with a website or web page. Optimizing for these aspects makes the web more pleasing for users across all web surfaces and browsers and helps websites evolve towards mobile user expectations. It is believed that new page experience rollout would contribute to business success on the web as web users would grow engagement and can transact with less friction.
As mentioned earlier, it will comprise numerous metrics from Google's Core Web Vitals.
About Core Web Vitals
Core Web Vitals are a set of user-centered, real-world metrics that quantify chief aspects of the user experience. They gauge web usability dimensions such as interactivity, load time, and the stability of content as it loads.
Google will be combining the signals derived from Core Web Vitals with their existing Search signals for page experience, including safe-browsing, mobile-friendliness, intrusive interstitial guidelines, and HTTPS-security to provide a holistic image of page experience.
What will the new page experience entail?
Apart from the existing metrics of Core Web Vitals, the new page experience ranking factor coming out in 2021 will entail the following elements:
Visual Layout Stability (‘Cumulative Layout Shift' from Core Web Vitals)
Responsiveness ('First Input Delay' from Core Web Vitals)
Load Speed ('Largest Contentful Paint' factor from Core Web Vitals)
Use of HTTPS Encryption
No intrusive interstitials
Safe and clean website code (safe browsing with no Malware)
Why is the new page experience signal so important?
Do you ever wonder what websites Google wants to rank at the top? Maybe websites with buttoned-up on-page code or perhaps a website with the optimal backlinks?
You'd be surprised to know that those are only partially true.
Google merely wants those websites to rank at the top that are most loved by users. For instance, when you think about athletic shoes, which brand first comes to mind? If we had to guess, we bet you'd say, Nike. Likewise, if you were to get a credit card; American Express, MasterCard, or Visa would instantly come to mind.
This is one reason why brand queries - the number of users who search for a brand name on Google and click on a website - impact rankings. Bear in mind that as a brand grows, so will its SEO traffic. But we are sure you already know that.
Here's the catch, though; most sites do not have large or big brands, and Google is very much aware of this. Thus, there's nothing to worry about even if you don't have a large brand and can still rank on top.
Understanding how page experience will impact ranking
Once Google's new page experience signal rolls out next year, it will join the plethora of signals that Google cogitates while generating Search results.
While page experience is crucial, Google still plans to rank pages with the best overall information, even if its page experience is subpar. You must remember that an excellent page experience does not supersede exceptional page content. However, in scenarios where several pages are similar in relevance, page experience can perhaps be much more critical for visibility in search.
How to optimize your page experience?
Here are a few resources that can help you optimize, measure, and monitor your page experience:
Learn about different tools that can help you report and measure Core Web Vitals. These tools measure FID, LCP, and CLS.
Check if your page is mobile-friendly.
Check if your website has any safe-browsing problems by utilizing the Security Issues report.
Check if your website's connection is safe and secure. If the page is not served over HTTPS, figure out how to secure your website with HTTPS.
Ensure that you are not using interstitials in a manner that makes content less accessible.
Prepare Your Website for the Google Update
There's no denying that the importance of providing your website visitors with an optimal user experience, and the necessity for it is only going to become that much more vital.
If you love a website and everybody else loves that website too, then Google would eventually ensure that the website ranks high on the search result. On the flip side, if everybody feels a site has a terrible user experience, then Google would not rank that site as high on search results in the long run.
Just like any other algorithm update Google does, you should expect to see multiple revisions of Google's new page experience signal over time. Thus, avail the opportunity and fix any usability issues you might have.
Baltimore SEO Company
We at Pendragon Consulting, a Baltimore SEO company, can help with your content strategy and SEO; get in touch with our experts today and let’s work together to make sure that your website and SEO can withstand the coming Google update.
For the latest updates on digital marketing, check out our blog section here.