One of the most anticipated algorithm changes of the year, Google’s page experience update, officially began the deployment process on June 15th, 2021. The page experience update was supposed to be fully integrated into the algorithms used by Google by the end of the month, but in reality, the rollout process was extended to the beginning of September and only affected mobile pages.
The page experience update is an evolution of Google’s algorithms that introduces the use of signals which can be utilized by the search engine to ensure an optimal browsing experience for users. The effect of the signals on your website can be found in the new page experience score in the Google Search Console. But what is the page experience report?
In a nutshell, it’s a new type of report introduced by Google in the analytics offered by the Search Console that can generate a score for the metrics recorded by your website in the last 90 days. A score rated as good determines a favorable user experience, which can prove vital to your site’s performance in the SERPs and can lead to greater visitor interactivity with the products or services you market.
Five signals can influence your score in the page experience report. Four were already present in an official form in Google’s algorithms even before this update, but one is new and has a significant impact on how your site may be represented in the SERPs.
What’s new is the introduction of Core Web Vitals, which are ranking signals that can be divided into three distinct elements. The first is the Largest Contentful Paint, which refers to the load time of the most significant graphic element present on the site. This does not refer to the site’s loading time but rather how long it takes for the most significant visual element, such as a picture, video, or gif within the text, to load. If the difference between them and the rest of your site is significant, you may consider eliminating the graphical elements altogether.
The second element of Core Web Vitals is the First Input Delay. This is the time elapsed before the user interacts with the site for the first time. For example, how long it takes a user on an online shopping platform to select a product or how long until it browses for a product category.
The third element of core web vitals is the Cumulative Layout Shift, which measures the incidence of the problem whereby the graphical elements of the site are moved right before the user clicks on them, which can seriously affect the page experience index. But although the core web vitals are the main new feature introduced with the page experience rollout, they are not the only signals that are taken into account.
The other signals used by Google’s algorithms are nothing new. But after the implementation of the latest update, for a site to score well in the page experience report, it must comply with all security measures designed to ensure an encrypted user experience. Along the same lines, the update reiterates the need to use HTTPS for all website pages and to employ user-friendly practices when showing ads. What does this mean? The new update discourages pop-up ads and ranks websites based on how seamless the ad experience is for the customers.
With the new update, mobile optimization further becomes one of the most important aspects taken into account by Google’s algorithms to determine the ranking of a website in the SERPs. A website that does not benefit from a satisfactory mobile experience cannot get a good score in the search console, and to make sure that your website meets all the necessary conditions for a good rating, you can check the generated tips in the mobile usability report of the aforementioned search console.
Regarding influence on site rankings, the June page experience update did not come with significant changes because its rollout was implemented gradually over two months. Besides this, the page experience rollout was not a core update, so changes in market volatility could not be immediately visualized, as we could observe with previous algorithm changes.
Instead, the page experience rollout was notable for the introduction of the Core Web Vitals, the implementation of non-AMP links to google news articles, and the unusually long time it took to complete the update deployment process. The rollout initially affected only mobile sites; for desktop devices, the update appeared only in March of 2022, and Google has stated that it plans for these page experience updates to be a yearly affair from now on.
To obtain analytics data on a website’s compliance with core web vitals, Google uses Real User Metrics, which it collects using the information provided anonymously by users in Google Chrome. It should also be noted that the page experience will only be a light ranking factor in differentiating pages in the SERPs and that Google will use it if it has to choose between the ranking of pages with similar content.
First and foremost, improving the SEO performance of your website should be left to a professional company with experience in the field. And GAMIT can be precisely the partner you need to take your website performance to the next level.
Your website’s score in the page experience report can be influenced by many factors, ranging from elements present in the Core Web Vitals to Security and Ad Experience issues. To check your score in the Core Web Vitals segment, a good idea might be to implement a short SEO audit with the help of Page Speed Insights or Lighthouse. If somehow your rating in Core Web Vitals is low, you will most likely need to change some URLs, and here the help of a professional SEO company can be more than beneficial.
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I am the president and co-founder of GAMIT. My business administration background is important in understanding our client’s necessities, so my expertise includes building comprehensive and all-inclusive SEO strategies for lead results. Our advanced SEO solutions are developed through extensive analysis and complete SEO improvement audits.