Google’s Page Experience Update is officially underway

page experience update banner

With the June 2021 rollout of the core update confirmed as complete, Google has announced that the initially delayed rollout of the Page experience update began in earnest on June 15th.

The page experience update, originally announced way back in November of 2020 and more recently delayed in May for reasons as yet undisclosed, was announced via social media in a recent tweet from Google’s own Search Central Twitter account.

The official account, aimed at sharing news and resources to help people build better sites, went on to confirm that Top Stories would begin using this signal by Thursday, June 17th, with the slow rollout expected to be done and dusted by some time near the end of August.

Google announcing Google page experience update rolling out

So, officially, Thursday, June 17th, marked the end of Google using Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) as a Top Story eligibility factor, with page experience stepping in, in its place.

Those concerned that they will miss out on those highly sought after spots on the carousel of top stories should take heart. However, you do not need to meet all core web vital metrics to be in with a chance of claiming a coveted spot for the ride.

The rollout itself has been a long time coming; from as far back as mid-April, in fact, with the timeline now looking something like this:

November 2020

  • Google announces that page experience ranking changes will go live in 2021
  • To help publishers and site owners prepare for the changes, a gradual rollout was also announced, along with details included in the planned update, a new Page Experience report available in Search Console and support for signed exchanges for all content on Google Search

Mid-April 2021

Google adds the new report in Search Console called the Page Experience Report, combining the (then) current Core Web Vitals report with other components, such as:

  • The more secure HTTPS protocol
  • The presence of intrusive interstitials (popup ads that block part or all of a mobile landing page)
  • Safe browsing status
  • Mobile-friendliness

Mid-June 2021

  • Page Experience ranking adjustments begin to take effect with a slow rollout planned to complete by the end of August
  • Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is no longer an eligibility factor for Top Stories

End of August 2021

  • Page Experience Update is expected to be completed and fully live

As yet, not much has been seen in terms of any actual significant shifts in rankings themselves, with minor or very few fluctuations expected as a result of the update. However, as things stand on forums, tracking tools and community feedback, all is quiet. 

Barry Schwartz over at RustyBrick tweeted a poll:

Page experience update poll

Whether this will remain to be the case between now and late summer, only time will tell.

Google has gone to some lengths to help make it as straightforward as possible to build great websites as part of their vision to create a web ecosystem that users enjoy, the tools in place, and the available resources.

Between now and August 2021, we will all see the results of those efforts.

READ: How does user experience affect SEO?

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