–Susan Jones, Webmax
The Google Page Experience update is set to launch mid-May, as announced recently by the search engine giant. As a massive influence on the daily online interactions of much of the globe, their changes impact almost every business in the world.
This update will highlight the user interaction and provide an increased role, it will also ensure that businesses will need to address all of their digital elements. What was previously a design consideration over a ranking one, now the enjoyment of your pages will show the worth of your site, in a manner of speaking. While the planned rollout is in May 2021, the company will also test results showing a visual indicator that highlights pages in search results that have great page experience. It is an interesting development that puts the onus on brands to create their own unique interactions.
To understand how a user will perceive the experience of a specific web page, the algorithms at play will evaluate a set of signals which can deliver data where needed. These include signals such as how quickly a page loads, whether or not it’s mobile-friendly, runs on HTTPS, has intrusive interstitials (think pop-up ads) and whether content jumps around as the page loads – even image quality and sizing can come into the picture.
Made up of several important existing metrics that take charge within the search ranking design already, including the Mobile-friendly update, Page Speed Update, the HTTPS ranking boost, the intrusive interstitials penalty, safe browsing penalty, while refining metrics around speed and usability. These refinements are under a vitals list (overall user experience vs. random pages one by one) and are arguably the most influential factors when regarding the SERPs (search engine results page). Together in ratio they can show the best possible reflection of the user experience.
Visual Indicators Of User Experience Within SERPs When the update goes live, it will test various ways to display a “visual indicator” in the search results that will inform a user if a specific search result is expected to have a great experience or not. These types of visual indicators have been seen in this space before with AMP icons, slow labels, mobile-friendly labels, and more. It is hard to say how long the user experience indicators will last, it depends on if Google decides, based on the data, if it is worth displaying in the search results. Testing will tell soon. You may even see these icons and labels in the search results within this year.
How To Prepare For The Change?
You can start preparing now for user enjoyment to become a ranking factor now by studying the overall performance and metrics within the Core Web Vitals report in Search Console.
Getting a sense of how your site is performing in these areas will show you many ways to improve before the more data-driven analytical elements are available with the update. AMP won’t be required for articles to show in the Top Stories carousel in search after this update launches in May 2021, but will still come into play in some regard to user optimised delivery and experience factors.
Many SEO experts expect the overall impact will be relatively minor since many of the signals already factor into current search algorithms. However the visual indicator being announced will give SEO’s a bigger speaker to advocate for their companies to pay more attention to Core Web Vitals and other experience signals, so it is doubtful there will be complaints from that side.
Have you caught up on the latest news around the Google page experience update? Be sure to find out all you can to ensure your business is prepared beforehand. Whether a small business or large corporate name, service provider or casual user, you need to know how best to utilise this system.
Susan Jones is the CEO and Founder of WebMax Marketing Ltd. based on Vancouver Island BC Canada