Preparing Your Website for the Google Page Experience SEO Update

Google’s mission is to give searchers relevant answers faster and with fewer disruptions.

The search engine began prioritizing website usability by adding page speed as a ranking factor in 2010 to encourage fast-loading pages. 

And now, it’s introducing new experience metrics to evaluate pages for search. 

Known as the Google Page Experience update, this landmark algorithm improvement will reward webpages with more pleasing user experiences.

And unlike Google’s typical surprise release fashion, it’s giving website owners an advanced notice to prepare for these changes.

What Is Google Page Experience?

Google describes the Page Experience updates as “a set of signals that measure how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page beyond its pure information value.”

In short, Google is using key web usability metrics to compare pages when content is roughly equal.

These updates build upon Google’s existing user experience recommendations, like mobile-friendliness, safe browsing, HTTPs and no intrusive interstitials. 

But with Page Experience also comes a new set of signals, known as Core Web Vitals.

Together, these improvements aim to:

Understanding Core Web Vitals

Core Web Vitals is the new set of requirements that measures web experiences using the following criteria:

To understand how your website fares, Google has updated its developer tools to score pages against the Core Web Vitals recommendations: 

How Will User Experience Standards Impact Rankings?

While the true weight of these updates is unknown, Google’s historic approach to page experience suggests it’ll have a major effect on organic rankings.

Unlike previous updates, Google is giving website owners advanced notice of the change. The updates are set to roll out some time in 2021, and Google will notify the public 6 months in advance. 

Google’s transparency about page experience standards and updates to developer tools also suggests the update will be monumental.  

If you’ve overlooked user experience improvements in the past, now is the time to heed these warnings.

However, it’s important to note that a good page experience is not a substitute for underperforming content. 

Google has made it clear that user experience metrics will help search algorithms rank pages with similar content, but it won’t lift pages with weak content. Strong content that answers the searcher’s intent will continue to be the gold standard for organic search. 

How to Prepare for Google Page Experience

Page experience will be just one of the hundreds of ranking factors that Google uses to generate search results.

But if your website relies on organic traffic, you should take these warnings seriously. 

Of course, it won’t make financial sense to rebuild your website to score perfectly, so it’s important to prioritize fixes for top-ranking pages and those that score below competitors. 

At Human, we can help you audit your site and prioritize improvements to maximize your website’s ranking potential.

Chat with our team to start preparing your site for the Google Page Experience update!

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