Google’s John Mueller answered a question about how to know if the Page Experience Update affected your rankings. Mueller explained what to watch for to know whether the Core Web vitals ranking factors are impacting site rankings and when it’s not.
Site Lost 20% of Rankings in Page Experience Update
A person shared that their site lost 20% of their organic search traffic after Google announced their page experience update was rolling out.
The drop in traffic was felt immediately.
They asked if fixing core web vitals issues will help regain traffic and how long it would take for the ranking signal to affect their traffic.
“Is it safe to suggest that the sit will regain traffic after we …fix the issues with core web vitals?
And also, how long will it take, do we need to wait… another huge update?”
How to Know if Page Experience Update Affected a Site
Google’s John Mueller offered a clear explanation of how to tell if ranking changes are due to the page experience update.
Mueller first asked if the change was felt immediately after the update was finished and the person asking the question affirmed that that was the case, that the change was felt immediately.
“I don’t think that would be related.
The reason I don’t think that would be related is because we started rolling this update out I think in July and it was finished at the end of August.
But the rollout was on a per page basis essentially.
That means if we saw that your website was slow for core web vitals you would see a gradual change over time …from July until August.
If you see an exact drop on that date, it seems like it’s probably something else.
So I don’t think it would be from the core web vitals. “
Both Gains and Losses from Update are Gradual
The person asking the question asked John Mueller if this gradual effect on rankings was also the same for sites that experienced increased traffic from the page experience update.
John nodded his head and affirmed that’s how the positive effects from the update would be experienced.
Updates Take Place Automatically
After affirming how the updates are experienced he next discussed how the updates happen automatically.
“The updates take place automatically.
So it’s something in search console you will see the data is always delayed I think 28 days but it’s like gradually updated.
It’s not that it has to wait for a bigger update.”
Google Page Experience Updates
John Mueller shared good information about how the Page Experience updates are felt. This is helpful for diagnosing sudden changes in rankings because now we know that the ranking effect, both positive and negative, are felt gradually.
This feedback is important because it shows that correlating an observation with ranking changes is tricky.
Many times a publisher or SEO may see that something has happened, followed by a drop in rankings. But sometimes these are just coincidences.
So it’s good to keep an open mind and not stop searching for other causes.
It can be unhelpful to assume that the most obvious reason, the one sticking out in plain sight, is the explanation for a ranking change.
Mueller also confirmed that moving forward these updates do not need a “bigger update” in order to refresh the ranking factors.
How to Know if Page Experience Update Affected Rankings
Watch John Mueller answer the question at the 14:40 minute mark