Google’s Martin Splitt offers last minute guidance to SEOs who are working hard to get ready for the Page Experience update.
During a live appearance on the Search Engine Journal Show, Founder Loren Baker asks Splitt what he would say to anyone worried their site wont be optimized in time for the mid-June rollout.
Splitt says there’s no reason to panic because the ranking boost provided by the Page Experience update is something Google refers to as a tiebreaker.
It’s a lightweight ranking signal. If all else is equal between two sites, meeting the requirements for the Page Experience update would give one site an edge over another.
The update is not going to be significant enough that site owners should drop what they’re doing and focus all attention on improving Core Web Vitals.
However, improving page speed and mobile usability are good things to work on regardless of whether the Page Experience update is a major ranking signal.
Splitt tells Baker:
“First things first, don’t panic. Don’t completely freak out, because as I said it’s a tiebreaker. For some it will be quite substantial, for some it will not be very substantial, so you don’t know which bucket you’ll be in because that depends a lot on context and industry and niche. So I wouldn’t worry too much about it.
I think generally making your website faster for users should be an important goal, and it should not just be like completely ignored. Which is the situation in many companies today that they’re just like “yeah, whatever.””
For in-house SEOs, Splitt says getting your company to care about the Page Experience update in any capacity is an accomplishment.
“I think when you can get your company to to shift from “yeah, whatever to “oh yeah, we need to get that done but we can’t get it done until June.” That’s the milestone, that’s the improvement that you want to have.
You want to have a commitment to make things better and you want to be the one who said, like, “hey this is going to be a factor in ranking, so don’t be surprised if we are seeing some changes in ranking.””
Splitt cautions SEOs not to oversell the Page Experience update because that could backfire. Take a reasonable approach to getting your company on board.
If nothing else, stress to your company that they should strive to meet all factors of the Page Experience update on projects going forward.
“I wouldn’t oversell it as “oh my god, we need to stop everything else and we need to focus on Core Web Vitals right now,” because that might backfire in the end as well. So you want to take a reasonable approach about this. You want to be like, “hey, be sensitive when we’re making new changes, especially if we start new projects.”
… For new projects, definitely advise them to look into Core Web Vitals from the get-go. For projects that are already in maintenance mode, or are already actively being deployed, I would look into making some sort of plan for the mid-term future — like the next six months, eight months, twelve months — to actually work on the Core Web Vitals and to improve performance. Not just from an SEO perspective, but also literally for your users.”
If there’s any question of whether it’s worth it to optimize for the Page Experience update, Splitt adds that making things better for users is never not going to pay off in some form.
Hear the full discussion in the video below: