Google Page Experience - Update 2022
It is generally difficult to pin down what these Google ranking factors are, as Google is secretive about what exactly it uses to rank pages. However, that has changed since the Google page experience update. Google’s made it very clear how this update affects rankings, and we highly suggest that businesses should take advantage of that.
So, what is the Google Page Experience update, and what does it mean for your business? Keep reading to find out!
Google has a detailed developer document on page experience criteria, however, if I have to explain in it in short, these factors aim to understand how a user will interact with a specific web page: considerations such as whether the page loads quickly or not, if it has a mobile responsive screen or not, runs on HTTPS, the presence of intrusive ads and if content jumps around as the page loads.
Let’s understand the Google Page Experience update in detail
Page Experience is a major update Google made to its ranking algorithm, which it scheduled to finish rolling out in March 2022. The update turns website experience into a Google ranking factor.
Basically, Page Experience is a measurement of a user’s positive or negative interaction with on a page. Google uses various criteria to judge this, which we’ll cover below. The purpose of the update is to reward pages that provide a positive experience for users. This new update with Google Page Experience is extremely significant for businesses using their websites to generate leads as well as sales. Google indicated it’s a major ranking factor, and not just a tiebreaker.
Which Google Page Experience signals are featured in the update?
Though Google Page Experience technically counts as a single ranking factor, Google breaks it down into four primary signals. Each of these signals contributes to the overall Page Experience score that eventually determines rankings. We understand that these can get overwhelming to understand but don’t worry, we have got you covered! We have discussed the below aspects in detail.
1. Core Web Vitals
Page load speed has long been a major factor in Google rankings. If your page is taking too long to load, the user will bounce even before they can view the website. This was always known to many and has already been considered as an indirect contributor, it has now become evident. Slow-loading pages deters users from visiting, leading to lower rankings.
More specifically, Google considers page speed in the form of Core Web Vitals, which consist of three major elements. The breakdown of each of the three major components of Core Web Vitals is as follows:
Largest contentful paint (LCP)
Largest contentful paint (LCP) measures how long it takes for the largest piece of content on a page to load. The LCP considers the heaving piece of content on your page and counts how long it takes for it to load. Google stated that you should aim to keep your LCP at 2.5 seconds or less.
First input delay (FID)
First input delay (FID) focuses on interactivity. More specifically, it measures how long it takes for a page to respond when a user clicks on something while it’s still loading.
So, let’s say you open a new page, and as it’s loading, you click on a button. The length of time it takes for the page to process that action is that page’s FID. Google indicated that it’s best to keep your FID at 100 milliseconds or less.
Cumulative layout shift (CLS)
Finally, cumulative layout shift (CLS) looks at how much your page jumps around while it’s loading. You may have encountered this before — you’re loading a page, and you’re just about to click on something, but suddenly a new element loads in above it and pushes it further down the page. This type of shaky loading process is extremely frustrating, so naturally, Google wants to reward sites that avoid that issue. The less jerking around happens while your page loads, the happier Google will be, and the higher you’ll rank.
2. Mobile friendliness
To an extent, mobile responsiveness has always been a major Google ranking factor. Google uses a mobile-first index, and hence it has always ranked sites based on their mobile format. It has been evident that a site without a mobile responsiveness — or one that didn’t align properly on mobile wouldn’t rank high.
With the Google Page Experience update, mobile responsiveness has become a direct ranking factor. Hence it has become vital to ensure that your website is compatible for mobile phones as well. Google recognizes people use mobile devices for easy use of the Internet now, and it wants to reward sites that are optimized for mobile. The best way to optimize for mobile is to use responsive design, which restructures the elements on the page to fit the screen where it appears.
Next on our list of Google Page Experience signals is HTTPS. HTTPS is a protocol you can use on your website to help make it more secure. Many websites use a basic HTTP protocol, but since there’s no guarantee that those sites are safe, Google won’t rank them as high. However, when Google sees that a website uses HTTPS, it recognizes that that means a better Google website experience. As such, it rewards those sites by ranking them higher in search results.
4. No Intrusive Interstitial
Finally, Google evaluates and ranks websites based on the presence of intrusive interstitial. Intrusive interstitial are page elements that block users from accessing other parts of the page. Generally, that refers to things like pop-ups that cover up page content. More specifically, Google takes issue with interstitial that force users to see an ad before they can view their content. If your site features a pop-up when users start to leave a page, that shouldn’t hurt your rankings. Just don’t abuse the feature to an extent where the users cannot even view your content without first dealing with a popup.
What does the Google Page Experience update mean for your business?
Now that we’ve covered all the factors affecting the page experience and in turn your rank, that are included in the update, it’s time to get down to business: What does the Google Page Experience update mean for your business?
To sum it up, it means that you need to spend time integrating the above elements into your business’s SEO. A good SEO campaign should be doing most of those things already, but if your site falls short in any of those areas, be sure to re optimize and keep in mind the ‘don’t'. More specifically, you can:
- Limit redirects (to improve page speeds)
- Cache web pages (to improve page speeds)
- Use responsive design
- Use HTTPS
- Avoid intrusive interstitial
If you follow each of the above steps, you shouldn’t have an issue with your page rankings going down due to Page Experience. Sounds like a whole lot of things to do? Don’t worry, Bridcodes Global can help you optimize your Google website experience.
We work hard to ensure that all the key factors are taken into consideration and you have the best optimized website! We have happy clients and immense experience in this field, so you can rest assured you’re in good hands with our agency in #. We have experts and professionals who are well versed in best SEO practices.
With our SEO services, you’ll get help optimizing your web content for Page Experience and plenty of other Google ranking factors. You’ll also receive a dedicated account representative to keep you in the loop about everything we do for your marketing. Connect now and get started, the best time to start is now!