Google Page Experience Update: How User Experience Will Impact SEO Rankings

The Page Experience Update is a new Google search ranking change that is currently rolling out on Google Search. The rollout started in June this year. This update includes page experience ranking signals that evaluate the user experience of a website to determine the SEO rankings for a web page.

What is the Page Experience Update?

The Page Experience Update from Google introduces a new search ranking signal that will be used by Google ranking algorithms starting August 2021. Website pages that provide a good user experience to their visitors will receive favorable page experience rankings. This ranking signal will be used when determining SEO rankings.

The Page Experience update began to roll out on Google search on June 15, 2021 and is expected to be complete by the August 31, 2021.

How will the Page Experience Update Affect SEO Rankings?

Once the Page Experience update is fully rolled out, Google’s systems will consider all existing search ranking factors in addition to page experience when ranking pages in Google search results pages (SERP). There are estimated to be over 200 search algorithms used by Google to rank web pages.

Good page content that provides information relevant to the users search is still an important factor to determine search rankings. Providing a good user experience to site visitors will be one more ranking factor used to determine rankings on Google search.

According to Google, since the Page experience update is rolling out gradually through August, website owners should not expect any drastic changes to their search rankings. Instead, website owners should use the additional time to improve the user experience of their websites to compete for better SEO rankings.

What does the Page Experience Update include?

The Page Experience Update will consider several Page experience signals to measure the user experience of a web page. These signals include:

  1. Core Web Vitals

    The website page provides a good user experience. The core web vitals metrics are measured by loading time, interactivity and visual stability.

    • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP). This metric measures the page loading performance of the page. For a good user experience, the LCP or the largest content on the page should load within 2.5 seconds after the page first starts loading.
       

      Page experience update - largest contentful paint

      Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

    • First Input Delay (FID). This measures the page interactivity and responsiveness from the time the user first clicks on a link or button to interact with the page. To provide a good user experience, the FID should be less than 100 milliseconds.
       

      Page experience update first input delay

      First Input Delay

    • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). This measures the visual stability of the page. A web page should load without any unexpected movement of content. For a good user experience, the CLS should be less than 0.1.
       

      Page experience update cumulative layout shift

      Cumulative Layout Shift

  2. Mobile-friendliness

    The web page is mobile-friendly and easy to use on mobile devices.

  3. HTTPS security

    The website is secure and uses HTTPS security protocols.

  4. No intrusive interstitials

    The web page content is easy to access by the user without intrusive interstitials. This could include pop-ups or stand-alone interstitials that cover the main content and make it harder to access the content.

As part of the Page Experience update, the following changes have also been added,

  • The Top Stories carousel feature on Google search will now include all eligible news content. Using the AMP format will not be required for content to be included in the Top News carousel.
  • The Google News app and news.google.com will also include eligible non-AMP content.
  • The AMP badge icon is being discontinued and will no longer be used to highlight AMP content.

New Page Experience report in Search Console

A new Page Experience report has been added to Google Search Console to provide site-specific information on page experience. The page experience report is currently shown only for mobile searches.

The page experience report provides a summary of the user experience that your website provides to site visitors. Page experience metrics are determined for individual URLs and will be used by Google systems as a ranking signal for mobile search results.

This report combines the Core Web Vitals report with the other page experience signals such as mobile-friendliness, HTTPS and no intrusive interstitials being used.

The Page Experience report provides insights into the percentage of URLs on your site that have a good page experience. This enables you to identify the URLs that need improvements and make changes to improve the user experience.

To view the Page Experience report in Google search console,

  • Sign into your google search console account associated with your website.
  • In the left hand menu, click on Page Experience under Experience.
  •  

    page experience on search console

    Google Search Console menu

  • If you see “Not enough data collected for this property” on the Page experience page. It means that your website URLs do not have enough data collected to show the Core Web Vitals metrics.
  • If there is enough data collected, you will see a chart which shows:
    • The percentage of URLs with a good page experience.
    • The total search impressions that the good URLs received
    • Information on page experience signals including core web vitals, mobile usability, security issues, HTTPS and ad experience.

     
    To view an example of the Page Experience report on Google, go to this link:
    https://developers.google.com/search/blog/2021/04/more-details-page-experience

How to Improve Your Page Experience

To improve the page experience of your website, there are several factors to focus on. You may need the help of a web developer and technical SEO expert to audit your website and make some additional changes to improve user experience, page speed and website optimization.

  • Site Audit Run a full website audit to determine what your current site performance values are so you can determine which factors need improvement.
  • Improve Page Speed The page speed of your website is an important factor to improve user experience. Page speed is used for the Core Web Vitals metrics. Make sure your website loads fast and all images are kept small in size. Check your core web vitals and page speed on Page Speed Insights.

     
    53% of mobile site visitors will leave a mobile website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load (Google)
     

    Page speed insights showing core web vitals metrics

    Page Speed Insights

    For more information on how you can improve page speed, read our blog post on
    Speed Matters: 4 reasons why page speed impacts website SEO rankings and conversions

  • Website must be mobile-friendly A mobile-friendly and responsive website is essential today to provide website visitors with a good user experience. Test if your web page is mobile-friendly with the Mobile-friendly test.
  • Mobile friendly test

    Mobile Friendly Test

  • Website must have HTTPS security A secure website is one of the ranking signals that is used by Google to evaluate user experience. Google also flags websites that are not secure in the Chrome browser. Ensure that your website uses secure HTTPS protocols. Your web hosting company can help you obtain a HTTPS security certificate.
  • Disable pop-ups and interstitials Pop-ups and interstitials can make accessing content difficult for web visitors. For a good user experience, all pop-ups should be disabled.

Changes to the Page Experience Update

On 8/4/21, Google removed Safe Browsing from the Page Experience Report. Safe browsing is still very important to ensure that searching the internet is safe for users. However, it is not a ranking signal. Any issues with safe browsing on your website will still be flagged in Search Console reports.

Conclusion

The page Experience or the user experience of a website is becoming more important for SEO rankings on Google. This is clear with the rollout of the page experience update.

The Page Experience update is a new search ranking signal that will be used by Google along with their other search algorithms to determine the search or SEO rankings of web pages.

The Page Experience update is currently rolling out and will be complete by the end of August 2021.

Google just finished rolling out the mobile-friendly search index in March 2021 where they converted their entire search index to focus on mobile-friendly websites. This made having a mobile friendly website essential to get good search rankings.

This is a good time to evaluate your website user experience and make improvements to provide a good user experience to your website visitors. This will help to improve your SEO rankings when the page experience update completes roll out.

First Published: June 23, 2021. Updated: August 17, 2021.

References

Related Articles

  1. Speed Matters: 4 reasons why page speed impacts website SEO rankings and conversions
  2. 7 Reasons Why Mobile Friendly Websites Are Essential For Online Marketing
  3. Prepare for Google’s Mobile-First Indexing Change: Website and SEO Impacts
  4. Responsive web design: Why is it important?

Need Help with Digital Marketing and SEO?

Gold Mango Design LLC. helps businesses build a strong online brand and increase leads & conversions with digital marketing solutions. Our digital marketing services include Google Ads PPC (Pay per Click) Marketing & Management, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Local SEO, Mobile-Friendly Web Design & Web Development, Google Analytics, Digital Marketing consulting and more. We are located in Plano, TX right outside Dallas and serve customers in the USA. Contact us at https://goldmangodesign.com