Last November, Google gave first notice concerning a page experience algorithm update that would begin to affect ranking systems. This past August, the rollout was slated to complete—at least for the mobile experience. Before the alarm bells start to go off, here’s a helpful primer on the Google page experience rollout and what it means for your SEO.
What All Is Involved in the Google Page Experience Rollout?
This particular algorithm update is all about making an optimal browsing experience for users. To this end, the update involves a number of key signals, all of which inform a Google-developed ‘umbrella’ page experience rating. This rating can be accessed by site owners within Search Console—under the new page experience report.
What signals is Google using to assess web pages? A mix of Core Web Vitals (LCP, CLS, & FID), a page’s mobile usability, security status, HTTPS use, and ad experience. ‘Good’ page experience scores apply to pages that appropriately comply with Core Web Vitals, avoid any and all mobile usability issues, are free of security concerns, are served over HTTPS, and don’t use advertising tactics that disrupt good UX.
How Pressing Is It for My SEO?
We can probably guess your next question: How will this update affect my SEO—and its success? Again, there’s no reason to be alarmed. The good news is that, from the looks of it and what we’re being told, this new page experience algorithm will be akin to a tiebreaker between pages. So there’s no need to panic if your pages aren’t completely up to snuff with what Google deems a “good” user experience. But it’s definitely something to work toward.
In fact, per Google, this rollout affects solely mobile search results as of now. We’re still far off from the update applying to desktop—at a date still as of yet undefined.
What Should I Be Focusing My Attention On?
When it comes to SEO, there’s definitely no reason to ignore technical aspects (like page experience) outright. This can be detrimental to how you rank later on. But relevance is still king when it comes to ranking. Relevance often boils down to quality content, and its usefulness for your audience’s intended use and purpose.
What we’re saying here is this: You need to focus on the quality of your site’s content if it currently leaves something to be desired. That’s how to build a ground-up SEO campaign where you can then devote time and resources to stepping in line with Google’s preferred UX guidelines. Content should address audience needs, keep them informed, and help them accomplish their intended goal. This can take time to fully flesh out and realize, especially if current on-page content is scant, shallow, or too summarized.
In effect, SEO is a long game that pays dividends down the line. However, doing some much-needed work upfront helps set you (and your pages) up for success. Contact our SEO experts to talk about what we can offer you from a content, as well as technical, perspective!