5 Important Factors in Google’s New Page Experience Update for SEO
Google has always been on top when it comes to satisfying the intent of users and their queries. And to move a step ahead, now the search engine vanguard is planning to roll out yet another major algorithm update - Page Experience. As the name suggests, this update will be more inclined towards the “user-experience” signals.
After hearing the launch of Page Experience update, there has been a lot of back and forth in the SEO industry due to fear of negatively impacting the websites. And SEO professionals should not take this lightly because many previous updates have significantly influenced search results. For example, the Panda update initially impacted 12 percentage of US search queries right after its release.
And this new rollout might hit many of them hard who are lacking in delivering a decent user experience. So, how will you prepare for it? To make necessary enhancements, you need to know how it works and on which factors it depends. With that said, let’s first understand what Page Experience update is, how Google will implement it and on which factors it depends.
What is Google’s Page Experience Update?
In the official blog of Google, they defined it as an algorithm that will judge the web pages by measuring how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page. In simple words, Google will use various signals such as mobile-friendliness, Core Web Vitals, safe-browsing to determine the user’s experience with a particular web page.
When is Google’s Page Experience expected to come out?
Earlier in November 2020, Google said that the Page Experience update would roll out in May 2021. But afterward, they pushed it back to mid-June 2021. So, it just got released and has started impacting the websites.
How fast will Google implement this?
Page experience is not going to strike in one go, and indeed, it won’t play its whole part on the websites until the end of August, nearly a span of 2 and half months. Thus, you’ll see the changes gradually during this period.
How can you measure this “Page Experience" metric?
Every SEO professional needs to know how well they perform in the eyes of Google. Therefore, Google has introduced a new Page Experience report in the search console to help you analyze how your URLs are performing. The report will also give you actionable insights to improve the Page Experience signals.
Now let’s shed some light on how the SEO industry can prepare for this imperative update.
What are the Important Factors in Google’s New Page Experience Update for SEO?
1) You cannot afford a poor score in Core Web Vitals
Core Web Vitals are a set of real-world metrics based on page load time, interactivity, and visual stability. Popularly known as LCP (Largest Contentful Paint), FCP (First Input Delay), and CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift), respectively.
For maintaining a good user experience, Google has set a standard value for all three Core Web Vitals:
- Largest Contentful Paint: It should occur within 2.5 seconds when the page starts loading.
- First Input Delay: It must be less than 100 milliseconds
- Cumulative Layout Shift: The value of CLS should be lower than 0.1
Thus, scoring these values will give you an upper hand among your competitors when the Page Experience update rolls out.
How can you measure Core Web Vitals?
Open the URL in an incognito window in Chrome and inspect it. Navigate to the “lighthouse” section at the top and generate the report. (You can choose between mobile and desktop to get the separate report of each).
For example, below is the screenshot of Salesmate’s Mobile CRM landing page in which we have done a kickass job for on-page SEO. However, we’re lagging in many of the Core Web Vital metrics that culminates in poor page experience.
So, to improve the overall performance, you can follow the recommendations listed right below it. Landing pages are super important to capture leads, and hence you need to optimize them well.
Another alternative way to measure the Core Web Vitals is to visit Google page speed insights and simply paste the URL.
2) Prioritizing Security
No one wants to visit a malicious site. Google will give more priority to secure websites, and for website owners, it is no longer an option but a necessity. Chrome browser already pops up a warning sign every time you try to visit a malicious site. However, it allows you to visit the site after accepting the warning, but you should avoid putting your website in the red zone.
The first and foremost important step towards security is to secure your website with HTTPS.
Now, a safe browsing experience is a priority for users and so for Google, which is why it is included in the new Page Experience update.
3) Mobile Friendliness is More Important than Ever
Mobile usage is snowballing, and it’s not an unpopular stat. Optimizing your website for mobile is already impacting the rankings. But now, it will be more important than ever for you to make your website mobile-friendly as it will be a strong signal in the Page Experience update.
You can run this mobile-friendly test to know if your web page is mobile-friendly or not. Using AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) also enhances the mobile experience. However, Google will always prioritize the pages with a better experience, whether it is due to AMP or any other technology. But if you’re using AMP, then you’re likely to score well in page experience metrics.
4) Avoiding Intrusive Interstitials
First of all, what exactly is an intrusive interstitial?
In simple words, anything that prevents users from navigating or viewing the content they are looking for on a web page is considered intrusive interstitial.
Below are some images provided by Google to help you understand better.
It can be anything like sponsored ads or unnecessary popups. Thus, users should be able to access the content easily, without any interruptions.
5) Great Content will Remain the Bedrock
“Content is the king.” This is probably the nth time you’re reading this sentence, but insightful and interactive content is the bedrock if you want to dominate the search results. Google highlighted the importance of quality content in its official blog of Page Experience update by saying:
“While page experience is important, Google still seeks to rank pages with the best information overall, even if the page experience is subpar. Great page experience doesn't override having great page content.”
Yes, you’ve heard it right. Even if your web page has some poor Page Experience metrics but has excellent content that provides value to users, then you’ll still rank!
It doesn’t mean that you should consider Page Experience as a fifth wheel. Because in cases where the quality of content is somewhat similar, Google will strongly consider Page Experience metrics for search visibility.
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The Bottom Line
From technical aspects such as Core Web Vitals, mobile-friendliness, and website security to working on user’s satisfaction through powerful content without any intrusive interstitials, Page Experience will be a reality check for many SEOs.
With updates like Panda and Penguin, Google has become more stringent against spammy activities and various black hat SEO tactics. Likewise, with this Page Experience update, it seems Google will try to separate the wheat from the chaff by taking appealing user experience into consideration.
Therefore, if your web page has great optimized content but delivers a stinky user experience, then you're likely to face a downfall if your competitors are excelling in Page Experience matrics with somewhat similar content.
Written by our guest writer Raaquib Pathan, Salesmate.io
Raaquib Pathan is a content marketing specialist having expertise in providing insights into the latest sales and marketing trends. Honing his skills in SEO coupled with content marketing, he helps brands increase their reach and dominate search results. He is currently working with Salesmate, a CRM that helps people boost productivity and create swift workflows.