Page Experience Update: How Will It Impact Rankings?
Google’s Danny Sullivan recently answered some questions from SEO specialists, specifically about the ranking impact of the Page Experience Update. To be released in May 2021, the new update uses Core Web Vitals as a ranking factor, and even the best SEO specialists are wondering how it will affect their current strategies.
In a Search Central Live Fireside Chat, Sullivan explained more about this new update and posted detailed information on Twitter.
An SEO asked about how the Core Web Vitals will affect their rankings, wondering if the impact on the metrics will be subtle or significant. To this, Google’s Martin Splitt replied that he did not know.
Moving on with the questions, the person asked how the Page Experience Update would impact their rankings, and all Splitt could say was “it depends”, before Sullivan explained the update in more detail.
Sullivan’s answer reassures SEO specialists and webmasters that the update will not cause a huge disruptive change. According to him, even in the past, Google never intends to make huge changes that would cause confusion in the SEO community, even though they say that they may start using the Page Experience Update as a ranking factor.
Sullivan reassured everyone by saying that this is just one ranking factor out of many and that Google’s goal has never changed. Their ranking algorithm always aims to present the most relevant websites for user queries.
He also said that the new update should not be a huge concern for the SEO community, and that businesses and webmasters should understand that Google is ensuring that everything is coming in a moderated fashion.
However, Sullivan noted that as time goes by, more and more content will be optimised for page experience. If multiple webpages are relatively equal in terms of other ranking factors, the pages that have better page experience will likely rank higher.
Sullivan said that the update is not something that SEOs should “freak out” about, but it is crucial for them to pay attention and consider it when coming up with new SEO strategies. For this reason, Google is highlighting the Page Experience Update.
Later on, a person tweeted about the insights they gained from the Search Central Live Fireside Chat, wondering if they understood the matter correctly. They asked if the Page Experience Update will have a softer effect at first, and eventually have a bigger impact on rankings over time.
Sullivan later responded that change in the search results will not happen overnight and that it’s not as if they simply press a switch and then everything completely changes. He said that is not how rollouts of this nature work.
As an example, Sullivan referenced Google’s previous mobile-friendliness factor. In the past, Google released the mobile-friendliness ranking factor, and there were a lot of webpages that had to be changed to meet the requirements.
So even though it’s a factor, it does not make sense to rely on it too much, at least at first. However, like any other factor, it might become much more valuable over time.
As of now, the SEO community seems to be split when it comes to the new ranking factor update. Some people take it seriously, while others simply tell their publishers to do their best to comply with it and nothing more. Regardless, it is crucial for your website to ahead of its competitors when it comes to SEO.
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