In May 2020, Google announced that page experience would factor into ranking signals starting in May 2021. They have since pushed the rollout date back to June 2021. Normally Google does not alert the community of an upcoming algorithm update. The fact that they announced this update, called the Page Experience Update or the Core Web Vitals Update, so early and then had to deviate from their rollout schedule indicates that this is an update developers and website owners must be prepared for. Right now we are a month away from one of the biggest updates Google has ever released. Here’s what we know and how you can get ready.
We have been preparing our clients for this update for several months. If you’re optimizing on your own, you have until mid-June to prepare. This gives SEO and web masters another month to improve upon their properties.
“We’ll begin using page experience as part of our ranking systems beginning in mid-June 2021. However, page experience won’t play its full role as part of those systems until the end of August. You can think of it as if you’re adding a flavoring to a food you’re preparing. Rather than add the flavor all at once into the mix, we’ll be slowly adding it all over this time period.”
— Google Developer Blog
What is the Page Experience Update?
The Page Experience Update adds Core Web Vitals as ranking signals to Google’s ranking algorithm. Google will also be looking at users’ behavior on a website and decide whether the users find the content on ranked sites relevant to their search term. Meaning speed, usability, and overall experience of your website must to be optimized to stay competitive. Use Google’s tools and reports below.
The Page Experience Update will also include a change for Google News. They will be expanding the use of non-AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) content across news.google.com and mobile apps. They will also remove AMP badges , which indicate AMP pages.
What Steps Should You Take To Get Ready For The Page Experience Update?
First make sure you have an account at Google Search Console, and you have connected your website. You will find the page experience report below. This will give you your current grade in relation to Google’s page experience metrics. If you do not get enough traffic, you might not see any data.
Page Experience in Google Search is Evaluated and Graded Using the Following Factors:
How will this impact your rankings? Nobody knows yet, but nobody wants to take a chance either, right?
Mobile Usability: Get to zero errors before the update
Security Issues: Any security flaw will disqualify all of your URLs from good status.
HTTPS use: This metric will not be used to calculate page status, but it will help you realize how many pages have HTTPs.
Ad Experience: This will rate whether your website advertising tactics are distracting, interrupting or harming the user experience. If your site is not tested, you have nothing to worry about.
The Page Experience Chart
Good Urls: This tells you how many URLs are passing the page experience metrics and how many are not.
Total Impressions of Good URLs: This tells you how many impressions your Google URLs receive on Google Search.
This report helps you compare your website against signals which are essential in providing a great user experience on your website. This report was made to be usable for both the novice and advanced user, allowing everyone to benefit from the tool.
The metrics below make up core web vitals.
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): measures loading performance. This reports on how long it takes to load the largest text or image on the users screen. Get within 2.5 seconds to stay in the green.
First Input Delay (FID): measures interactivity. This measures a user’s first interaction with the website and the time it takes the browser is actually able to process the event. Get within 100 milliseconds or less.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): measures visual stability. This will measure how often your layout shifts unexpectedly as the page loads. Maintain a CLS of 0.1. or less.
Just remember something about this report. It’s not about speed. It’s how fast can the user actually interact with the website without interference. For most businesses, you will need a developer to help you optimize your website.
How big will this update be?
We have no clue, but Google’s early announcement and development tools indicates that it will be big. This is the first time they are integrating these attributes of a website into ranking factors. You have just been given another month, don’t wait until the update comes out! It could take quite some time to recover.
Content Reigns Supreme!
Great content is Google’s primary goal. They want to provide a great experience for those using the search engine day in and out. All of these factors play into your website’s content. Were talking text, images, and features of your website. Don’t settle for passing on the new reports. Take a deep look at your website and make sure its easy to navigate, organized well and that your content is helpful, informative, and better than your competition. You want customers to find your website and stick around. All of the factors above help you achieve this goal. Thank you Google.
As always, Google will release the update and we will see the true impact and how well it was implemented. Think ahead with your SEO. If they are factoring in all of these metrics into your rankings, future updates are likely going to dig deeper into these new ranking factors. Keep an eye on your google search console and watch the reports change over time. These are tell tale signs telling you what is coming next.
Here is Google’s post giving website owners more time
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