Google's upcoming Page Experience update will not be limited to mobile search results.
The overall user experience, when visiting a website is soon to become even more important as Google’s Page Experience update becomes an integral part of their ranking algorithm.
And the key news for many is that it will apply to both mobile and desktop search results.
Google announced the Page Experience update back in November, with the assumption from many that it would only apply to mobile search rankings.
Six months on, with the Page Experience update now within touching distance, there are strong indications that those original plans have changed and desktop sites will not escape the same treatment as their mobile equivalents.
While potentially, this is big news for many, it is also much more than hearsay. The latest information comes straight from Jeffrey Jose, a Google Search product manager.
Revealed during one of the recent sessions aimed at preparing users for the Page Experience update from Google I/O, Jeffrey had this to say.
“Today I am happy to announce that we are bringing Page Experience ranking to desktop. While we’re launching Page Experience on mobile soon, we believe page experience is critical no matter the surface the user is browsing the web.
This is why we’re working hard on bringing page experience ranking to desktop. As always we’ll be providing updated guidance, documentation, and tools along the way to help your pages perform at their best.
Stay tuned for more details on this.”
Jose’s carefully chosen words are the strongest hint yet that there will also be separate sets of criteria for the Page Experience update on mobile and desktop sites.
And with Google assessing each version separately, there will be no aggregate rating across both desktop and mobile... for now.
However this is something that hasn’t been ruled out for the future.
As it stands, if a site’s mobile version meets Google’s criteria, while the desktop equivalent is found lacking, the expectation is that the mobile site will still get its ranking boost.
With the initial rollout for mobile expected to begin around June, with gradual additions and ever increasing effectiveness added in gradually. The Page Experience for mobile sites is expected to complete around August.
Desktop site owners are expected to have a little more time to prepare, but as yet there are no dates set in stone.
Considering the array of different expectations users have when visiting a mobile page compared to its desktop equivalent, this is seen as both a welcome and common sense move by many site owners.
It is also one that many are working hard to prepare for, because there is also the significant factor of how differently a site’s pages are loaded on a desktop computer compared to mobile devices.
Jose wrapped up with a call to stay tuned for further details, reassuring site owners that Google will roll out further support, guidance and tools as we get ever closer to the Page Experience going live.