Google completes the Page Experience Update

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The Page Experience update has been a long time rolling, now though it is finally finished.

Here are a few reasons why it matters.

As I reported back in late June, Google’s much delayed Page Experience ranking adjustments had begun to take effect with a slow rollout planned for completion by the end of August.

Just a couple of days into September, we have the official announcement, via Google’s Search Central Twitter account; that the Page Experience Update has now completed.

Initially the response has been relatively muted; nevertheless this update was a considerable one.

- And definitely one worthy of attention...

Ranking Signals

The four pillars on which Google’s ranking factors are currently comprised are:

  • No intrusive interstitials
  • Mobile friendliness
  • Core Web Vitals

Core Web Vitals is perhaps the most frequently updated factor as Google strove to ensure metrics that were as fair and accurate as possible.

Intrusive Interstitials that block users from the content they want to see upon their arrival at a webpage are considered objectionable, as well as detrimental to the user experience.

HTTPS and mobile friendliness are also important factors...

Why the Page Experience Update Matters

It goes without saying that relevance is the most ‘relevant’ factor for any search ranking but those Page Experience factors are also important. These are real ranking factors meriting careful consideration and diligence, they aren’t the simple afterthought that some believe them to be in the past.

As Google itself states in their in their Search Central page dedicated to ‘Understanding page experience in Google Search results’:

“…in cases where there are many pages that may be similar in relevance, page experience can be much more important for visibility in Search.”

There was a time when many assumed Core Web Vitals metrics to be a mere drop in the ocean, due in part to a lack of perceived impact from other Page Experience factors, such as HTTPS and mobile friendliness.

However, when all these factors combine, spearheaded by Core Web Vitals, these factors are much more than a mere tiebreaker. As Google’s own John Mueller spoke about during a discussion around the importance of Core Web Vitals on Reddit:

“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.” 

While many ranking factors are shrouded in mystery, Google has handled Page Experience ranking signals much differently, with a degree of transparency and helpfulness that is universally welcomed.

These factors are, after all the best documented signals that have an impact, making it essential to devote time and resources to them to stand the best possible chances of making your way as high as possible in search results.

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