Page Experience To Become A Major Ranking Factor in 2021

While Page Experience is not an entirely new subject it is becoming an official weighted factor when it comes to Google Search Rankings. This update is called the Google Page Experience update and will go live later in 2021, giving plenty of time to prepare. Here’s what you need to know.

What is Page Experience?

Somewhat self-explanatory – Page Experience is how Google perceives a user will experience the page. Is it enjoyable and natural or are there factors that get in the way of what the user should be encountering? Officially, page experience is a combination of existing search ranking factors, including the mobile-friendly update, Page Speed Update, the HTTPS ranking boost, the intrusive interstitials penalty, safe browsing penalty, and scores around speed and usability. These scoring and usability components are grouped under what Google collectively calls Core Web Vitals.

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): measures loading performance. To provide a good user experience, LCP should occur within 2.5 seconds of when the page first starts loading.
  • First Input Delay (FID): measures interactivity. To provide a good user experience, pages should have a FID of less than 100 milliseconds.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): measures visual stability. To provide a good user experience, pages should maintain a CLS of less than 0.1.
Google Core Web Vitals Graphic

Prepare for this update.

While not live today, Google promised to give an official six-months notice before it goes live. There is not an official notice yet. These changes are sure to roil rankings across the web. However, you can prepare now. We are working with our clients to create a baseline of the 3 Core Web Vitals and will then fine tune any problems that are flagged. We use the new Core Web Vitals report in Google Search Console and GTMetrix Reporting.

GTMetrix Screenshot of Ally Marketing Report

Closing Thoughts.

While Page Experience will now be weighted in a ranking, Google has made it clear that (great) content is king, even if a page has a poor page experience. “While all of the components of page experience are important, we will rank pages with the best information overall, even if some aspects of page experience are subpar. A good page experience doesn’t override having great, relevant content. However, in cases where there are multiple pages that have similar content, page experience becomes much more important for visibility in Search,” Google wrote.

We are constantly monitoring changes and making sure our clients are prepared. Rankings are a serious business and deserve serious attention. If your company or organization needs some attention, drop us a line