According to Google, the Page Experience algorithm update is now being rolled out to desktop search results.
Google has announced a date for when the page experience update factors will be available on desktop. It stated that the rollout would begin in February 2022 and be completed by the end of March 2022.
This update aims to improve user experience by prioritising pages with high-quality page performance, such as fast load times and a non-shifting, stable page. Since 2010, Google has prioritised fast pages and has had some page experience metrics — mobile-friendliness, HTTPS security, and intrusive interstitials — but with the Page Experience update for 2021, Google is now introducing three new metrics to measure both speed and overall page experience. Core Web Vitals are the name given to these new metrics.
What is Google Page Experience?
Beyond the quality of the page content, Page Experience is a set of signals that show how the user perceives the experience of visiting a page. Page Experience will be a Google ranking factor, alongside Core Web Vitals. As a result, you’ll need to include them in your SEO strategy. For mobile indexing, page experience is now considered a ranking factor.
What Are Core Web Vitals?
They are a collection of key metrics that reflect a user’s interaction with a page. Metrics such as page load time, interactivity, and content stability are monitored. The elements of Core Web Vitals are Large Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), HTTPS security, and mobile-friendliness.
The elements of this update include:
- HTTPS Security: HTTPS websites provide three key layers of security, ensuring the integrity and confidentiality of data transmitted between the user’s computer and the site.
- Largest Contentful Paint: LCP metric is a main, user-centric metric for measuring perceived load speed. It indicates when the main content of the page has likely loaded—a fast LCP helps reassure the user that the page is beneficial.
- Absence of Intrusive Interstitials: Users are irritated by intrusive interstitials, which are pop-ups and other types of interruptions that visually obscure web page content.
- Cumulative Layout Shift: Cumulative Layout Shift is a metric that measures a page’s visual stability (CLS). This metric tells Google how many elements on a page move, shift, or appear/disappear as the page loads, especially if they do so in an unexpected way. This happens when you try to scroll down to read more of an article on a website and the page keeps shifting back to the top of the screen every few seconds. Although diagnosing this can be difficult for developers, there are tools available to help identify problematic elements on a page.
- Mobile Friendliness: The majority of Google searches are conducted on mobile devices. Organic rankings will be impacted if a site is not mobile-friendly. For crawling new websites, Google already uses mobile-first indexing as the default. This means that when it comes to indexing and ranking. Google favors the mobile version of a website’s content. Mobile compatibility is a must in order to prepare for the update. This can be checked using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test or the Mobile Usability dashboard in Google Search Console.
How will this Google page experience update affect my site?
The goal of the page experience update is to encourage people to create pages that are accessible to everyone on the internet. Google wants to make the internet a place where anyone can find the information they need, no matter what device they’re using, what internet speed they have, or what abilities they have.
Last year’s announcement of Google’s page experience update for mobile – and this year’s announcement that it will be added to desktop search – demonstrate how important a positive both web users and Google value experience.
Google quote: “While all of the components of each page experience are important, we will prioritise pages with the best information overall, even if some aspects of page experience are subpar. A good page experience doesn’t override having great, relevant content.”
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