Google Search will start ranking websites based on “page experience” next year
Google Search is responsible for a huge amount of web traffic. Anyone that runs a website knows how important it is to rank highly on Google. So it’s always a very big deal when the company changes the way it ranks websites. Today, Google announced a new ranking algorithm that will start taking “page experience” into consideration.
“Page experience” is all about how users perceive the experience of interacting with a webpage. Simply put, if Google thinks people don’t enjoy using a website, it will not rank it as highly in Search results. There are a number of metrics and considerations used to understand how a user perceives the experience.
Some of these considerations include page loading speed, interactivity, and the stability of content as it loads. Google calls these things “Core Web Vitals.” In addition, Google is using some existing signals, including mobile-friendliness, safe-browsing, HTTPS, and intrusive ads. All of these things together make up the “page experience” secret sauce.
If you’ve ever accidentally tapped the wrong thing because content on the page was jumping around, that’s something Google Search would consider a bad experience. It’s important to note, however, that page experience isn’t the only thing that matters when it comes to ranking. The company says it will still rank pages “with the best information overall, even if some aspects of page experience are subpar.” In other words, delivering the information that the user is looking for is still ultimately the goal. But if there are pages with similar content, page experience becomes a differentiating factor.
Google says these changes will not be going live this year. The company will give 6-months notice before they go live sometime in 2021. If you have a website, it’s time to get ready for the changes.