Google is currently dishing out their new page experience update, albeit very slowly.
Apparently the process will be somewhat drawn out, with the final touches coming in around the end of August 2021.
Due to the relaxed nature of the rollout, there’s no need to fear sudden and huge ranking changes in the search results.
“While this update is designed to highlight pages that offer great user experiences, page experience remains one of many factors our systems take into account… Given this, sites generally should not expect drastic changes,” noted Google in a recent release.
One of the most immediate changes this update brings is one to the Top News feature. Now, AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is no longer a necessary requirement for pages to be included in this Top Stories carousel. This change is currently live at the time of writing. In addition to this, Google is increasing the use of non-AMP content in their Google News updates and also removing the AMP badge from search results.
But what actually is the Page Experience Update? This update takes into account a number of different features that actively contribute to an optimal browsing experience. Google considers each of these elements and gives the website an overall ‘page experience’ score. You can actually view your own sites score in Search Console on the new page experience report tab.
The signals are as follows –
- Mobile usability – A page has to have zero mobile usability errors.
- Ads – A site will be punished for using distracting and interruptive ads. Ads that also negatively effect the user experience will also be punished.
- HTTPS usage – You must serve a page via HTTPS to get a decent page experience rating.
- Security – Any issues pertaining to security instantly disqualify a site from a good page experience rating.
- Core Web Vitals – These are your speed, responsiveness, and overall visual stability. If any of these are lagging behind, you’ll suffer under page experience.
If you’re somewhat nervy and worried that your sites are not ready for this update you’ve got some breathing room. Currently, this update only applies to mobile only search results with the desktop update coming at a later date, presumably sometime after the end of August. Google have also come out in order to alleviate fears by adding that this ranking signal is said to only be a “tie-breaker” at the moment.
That being said, now would be a good time to perform a full SEO Site audit just to ensure your site is optimised and ready for this update.
Digital PR Executive
This article was written by JJ Lee, Digital PR Executive at Digital Funnel.