In an online session at SEODay 2022, Google Search Advocate John Mueller spoke about the impact of page experience on search engine rankings and changes to how the search engine scores sites.
One of the changes revealed was that Google now bases desktop search results on a site’s desktop experience – and mobile search results on a site’s mobile experience.
He also discussed the three primary metrics the search engine uses in determining experience scores: largest contentful paint (LCP), first input delay (FID), and cumulative layout shift (CLS).
“This is not a tie-breaker,” Mueller said. “It won’t make or break your website in terms of search, but it is a factor that comes into play in regards to ranking between different results.”
Google has also added a new page experience metric, “interactivity to next page,” or INP.
Google initially announced INP at I/O 2022, and while Mueller was clear that it is not a direct rankings factor, he discussed INP as something that may play a role in the future.
Search Console Insights Provides Easier Way To Track Search Rankings
Mueller spent the first part of his presentation discussing the benefits of Search Console Insights. Using Search Console data, alongside analytics, users can generate custom reports and get a different view of the data.
He specifically mentioned using BigQuery and Data Studio as “a way of connecting different data sources together and creating really fancy reports.”
Google is also working on expanding its Search Console APIs, Mueller said, which will allow users to connect these APIs to code on their sites.
Possible uses Mueller mentioned include monitoring top queries and checking to see if specific URLs are indexed.
Videos & Images Take On More Prominent Role In Search
At I/O earlier this year, Google previewed a set of video reports coming to Search Console: a response to a growing appetite for this type of media in search results.
“We see that people love videos and authentic images in search results, so we try to show them more,” Mueller said.
In this growing trend, he included web stories, a collection of pages that often have videos. To facilitate their use, Google now offers a WordPress plugin for creating them.
Authentic Product Reviews Factored Into Rankings
Ecommerce has been trending upward, with the global market expected to surpass $5.5 trillion this year. In its algorithm, Google includes what Mueller termed “authentic reviews” to accommodate digital shoppers better.
“People have high expectations of reviews they find online, so we’ve also worked specifically on updates to algorithms with regards to ranking these product reviews,” he said.
Other Updates From Mueller
At SEODay, Mueller said Google has slightly changed its terminology, with the term “title links” now being used to refer only to the title of a search result.
The search engine giant has also added a new robots meta tag, “indexifembedded.”
Users can leverage the meta tag when embedding content on the main page and want to control the indexing of that embedded piece of content.
Mueller also said Google’s blog was the best source of information on any SEO-related topic.
“With any kind of bigger update… it’s sometimes really tricky to tell folks what they should be looking at specifically,” he noted. “So we have a fairly comprehensive blog post .”
Featured Image: BestForBest/Shutterstock