Page Experience: A Mandatory Google Ranking Factor to Consider for Website Owners

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Google has recently announced its latest algorithm that will rank the webpages on several new factors in addition to its existing factors. Google is set to introduce this new update. Initially, only the site loading speed used to factor in Google Rankings. But now, Google has introduced more metrics to rank webpages on user experience. Moreover, the new algorithm will also consider secondary details like whether the page runs on HTTPS or whether the page is mobile-friendly. Page experience will be a deciding factor in the rankings that determine how your website is going to do in terms of Google search results.

Google will be introducing Core Web Vitals with this update that seeks to enhance user’s experience with your site. AMP is no longer a requirement to feature in Google’s Top Stories section, although AMP sites will definitely rank better.

What is Page Experience?

Smooth online experiences engage users better and encourage them to spend more time on the web. Page experience primarily focuses on aspects that measure how user-friendly your page is and whether it is mobile friendly. With a significant number of online searches originating from hand-held devices, it is now imperative that webpages must be optimized for mobile screens on a priority basis. That will ensure increased traffic to your site.

With JavaScript being heavily used in UI, the sites become more complex and Google’s new update aims to take into account whether your page is HTTPS friendly, if you get a greater number of unwanted ads and also how interactive your page is. How your site performs on these metrics will determine its rankings and affect your site’s position on top search results.

Existing metrics that evaluate user experience

At present, Google measures page experience based on a few user-centric metrics. Known as core web vitals, these metrics measure user experiences on its stability, its loading speed and how interactive your page is.

  • LCP or Largest Contentful Paint: This metric basically measures the loading speed of your site. It will evaluate the time it takes for the largest element of your site to load on the screen.
  • FIP or First Input Delay: How interactive your site is can be measured using FIP. FIP assesses how long it takes the browser to respond to the first event on your page that has been triggered by the user, clicking a button for example.
  • CLS or Cumulative Layout Shift: The visual stability of your website is currently assessed using the Core metric CLS. This metric measures the percentage of the screen that moves around in response to movement. Essentially it evaluates if your site jumps around the screen a lot.

New metrics introduced by Google

The existing metrics already works excellently in determining rankings. Now Google is all set to upgrade its current algorithm further with some key metrics which are –

  • Security

With our increasing dependency on digital media, the importance of online security cannot be stressed enough. Malicious bugs are always scouring the internet for weak links which is why Google intends to add on to its existing security requirements. The new update will also consider security certifications while evaluating user experience.

  • Mobile-friendliness

Mobile user experience makes a difference in the success of your site. An increasing number of internet surfers prefer mobile to do their online research. And that is why Google new rankings will now be heavily based on whether your site is optimized to mobile screens or not.

  • HTTPS connection

HTTPS connection will provide your users/viewers with secured web experience and will be an important new metric where you can improve especially if you own an e-commerce website or your website supports any type of commercial transactions or financial transactions.

  • Interstitial Use

Intrusive interstitials lead to poor user experience, especially in mobiles where the screen size is smaller. Unwanted popup makes users lose interest in your page and thanks to the latest update; the use of interstitials is set to decrease as the update will measure your interstitial use as well.

Search Signals o Page experience

Top New Page Experience Tools for Your Consideration

Google is focused on improving web users experience and introduced a whole new set of updates that will aim to smooth online experience for users. Here are some tools that will help you understand page experience better.

  • Lighthouse in DevTools
  • PageSpeed Insights
  • Web Vitals Chrome Extension
  • Experience section in DevTools Performance panel

In Conclusion

Google has always been forthright about its aims and operations which is why they have announced Core Web Vitals this year itself before formally introducing it effectively in 2021. Google has given its website owners plenty of windows to optimize their site to Google’s latest update.

Google has recognized the need to introduce new and upgraded metrics that can measure user experience better. And now they are putting their plans in motion with this update and ensuring that the site owners and their SEO consultants have enough time to make the necessary updates in their pages.

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