Google announced that the Page Experience Update has finished rolling out. The announcement was largely met with a muted response. Nevertheless this is a big update and it will pay to pay attention to it.
Google Page Experience Ranking Signals
Google’s Page Experience ranking factors currently are comprised of four categories.
- Core Web Vitals
- No intrusive interstitials
Core Web Vitals has received numerous updates in 2021 that have had the effect of making the metrics fairer and more accurate.
In general those updates to the individual metrics that comprise the Core Web Vitals have led to improved website scores for most sites.
The seeming ban on intrusive interstitials was recently clarified by John Mueller. He said that interstitials that block users from the content when they first arrive on a site is what Google deems objectionable and a poor user experience.
Google Page Experience Update has Finished Rolling Out
Google’s Search Central Twitter account announced that the update has finished rolling out.
The page experience rollout is complete now, including updates to Top Stories mobile carousel. Changes to Google News app have started to rollout as well and will be complete in a week or so.
— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) September 2, 2021
The announcement only received three responses and 45 quote retweets.
The 45 quote tweets were devoid of much commentary and seemed to express a collective shrug from the worldwide search community.
Finally 💐 https://t.co/3ogI1C8HBY
— Manish Chauhan (@ManishK_Chauhan) September 2, 2021
C'est fini… https://t.co/c1GpvwV4cR
— ⭐Diegø̽̽̽̽⎠⑩⎠Arnaiz⎠ (@Diego10Arnaiz) September 3, 2021
Page Experience Update is Important
While relevance is the overall most important outcome for any search ranking, page experience factors still qualify as important ranking factors that merit consideration and attention.
The Page Experience ranking factors are real ranking factors, not the tiny nudge that some believe it to be.
The official Google Search Central page for the Page Experience ranking factors states:
“…in cases where there are many pages that may be similar in relevance, page experience can be much more important for visibility in Search.”
Core Web Vitals is More than a Tie Breaker
At some point in time the Core Web Vitals metric was commonly assumed to be small and relatively inconsequential. Perhaps the lack of impact from previous Page Experience factors like HTTPS and mobile friendliness led to that assessment.
But that’s not really the case with the entire Page Experience ranking factors taken as a whole, in particular with the Core Web Vitals.
According to Google they are more than just tie-breakers.
At the beginning of August Google’s John Mueller affirmed that Core Web Vitals is more than a tie breaker, that it is a significant ranking factor in itself.
In a discussion on Reddit where Core Web Vitals was being dismissed as relatively inconsequential, John Mueller joined in to inform the community that the Core Web Vitals ranking factor was important and worth paying attention to.
“It is a ranking factor, and it’s more than a tie-breaker, but it also doesn’t replace relevance.
Depending on the sites you work on, you might notice it more, or you might notice it less.
As an SEO, a part of your role is to take all of the possible optimizations and figure out which ones are worth spending time on.”
The Page Experience Update is Relatively Important
Many ranking factors are cloaked in mystery.
While we know that links are an important ranking factors, we don’t know which links will help with rankings and which ones do nothing.
The Page Experience ranking signals are different in that Google is entirely transparent and open about these ranking factors and provides useful tips for improving scores.
Given that the Page Experience Ranking Factors are the best documented ranking signals that do have a ranking effect, it makes sense to be prudent about assigning some resources to improving Page Experience Signals in order to put your absolute best effort to winning the top spot in the search results.