Google Starts Launching Page Experience Update
SEO consultants and even online businesses have been busy preparing their websites for the first half of Google’s latest algorithm update. Now, the search engine company has told top SEO consultants and webmasters that they have begun rolling out the rest of their Page Experience update, and it will be complete by the end of August this year.
Google’s update will slowly roll out to users worldwide, and top stories have already started using the signal. The company released an announcement, stating that page experience will not play its full role as a part of the system until the end of August. They described it as adding flavouring to a food they are preparing – instead of adding all the flavour into the mix all at once, they are adding it slowly over time.
Therefore, websites should not expect to see a significant change from this update. They also warned that the gradual rollout process will mitigate any sudden spikes or drops. Last November, Google first announced that their Page Experience update is set to launch this year.
Since then, a lot of information has spread regarding what the update will entail. But many website owners will be pleased to know that Google will not be releasing any surprise features in the ongoing update that could seriously harm their rankings.
What Is The Page Experience Update?
The Page Experience update includes several signals, which aim to create the best browsing experience for users. Google will assess each signal and give each website an overall “page experience” score. Businesses and webmasters can see their scores in Search Console on the new page experience report.
Many SEO consultants know what the Page Experience update entails by now. Below are some of the signals included:
Mobile usability: A web page should have no mobile usability errors.
Ad experience: A website should not use advertising techniques that might interrupt or distract a visitor, or anything that would harm the site’s user experience.
Security issues: All security issues will disqualify all the website’s pages from getting a “good” status.
HTTPS usage: SEOs should serve a web page over HTTPS so that it would become eligible for “good” page experience status.
Core Web Vitals: This is another crucial factor, which consists of three measurements: cumulative layout shift, first input delay, and largest contentful paint. SEOs must familiarise themselves with the Core Web Vitals and address them by making the necessary changes to their websites.
- Cumulative layout shift involves the arrangement of a web page’s elements. It seeks to correct the issue of web page layouts suddenly changing as they load, which can be disruptive for user experience. A site’s score for this metric should always be below 0.1.
- First input delay involves interactivity, focusing on the amount of time it takes for a web page’s elements to provide their intended features, such as clickable buttons, drop-down menus, and so on. A web page should score less than 100 milliseconds in this area.
- Lastly, the largest contentful paint refers to the amount of time it takes for the page’s largest piece of content to load; these are often visual elements. A page should score lower than 2.5 seconds for this, ideally.
The new update will no longer require web pages to run AMP to be eligible in the Top Stories carousel; this has become effective as early as Thursday this week. Moreover, Google will expand the usage of non-AMP content to Google News and will remove the AMP badge icon from their search results.
Google Page Experience Update Will Apply To Desktop
The Page Experience update was previously thought to only apply on mobile search. However, Google was clear that it is also applicable to desktop search results. This information was announced during a session on preparing websites for the said update from Google I/O last month.
When the search engine company announced the update last November, everyone initially thought that the update would only impact mobile search rankings. However, Google changed their plans, and they have confirmed that they will bring the update to the desktop version.
Google Search product manager Jeffrey Jose said that page experience is crucial – whether it’s on mobile or desktop search results. Therefore, they have worked hard to bring the page experience ranking to desktop. He also reassured the SEO community, saying they will provide updated documentation, tools, and guidance along the way to help everyone improve their site performance.
Although they did not announce it publicly, it seems there will be a separate set of criteria for the Page Experience update on desktop search results. This makes sense since users have different expectations when they visit a desktop page compared to its mobile version. Moreover, web pages load differently on computers versus smartphones.
Right now, the Page Experience update works only on the mobile version of search results but will roll out to desktop at a later date. Google implies that the desktop launch will most likely happen much later than people expect; probably after August or later in the coming months. This is something that the SEO community expects since Jose did state that Google will provide further guidance and documentation before they launch the desktop update, which might take more time.
For SEOs and online businesses who are not yet prepared for the Page Experience update, Google said not to be alarmed, because the ranking signal is going to be a “tiebreaker”. The SEO community will only learn more about the update during its gradual launching because it will be too early to notice any changes.
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