Google recently announced that its Page Experience ranking update, which uses Core Web Vitals along with a number of other metrics to assess user experience quality, will be rolling out in May 2021. How can marketers best use the time between now and May to prepare for the change?
[caption id="attachment_497929" align="alignnone" width="300"] Image: Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com[/caption]
Back in May, Google officially announced that a new ranking signal would be coming to search: drawing on a variety of metrics, Google would begin to take the user experience of a webpage into account in search rankings.
Dubbed ‘Page Experience’, Google stated that the new signal would “provide a holistic picture of the quality of a user’s experience on a web page”, using a set of metrics known as Core Web Vitals along with some other measures of user experience. At the time, with many business owners still struggling to cope with the way that the Covid-19 pandemic had upended their normal operations, Google promised that the ranking change would not roll out until at least 2021, and that it would provide at least six months’ notice before the rollout.
That time has now come, with Google confirming that its page experience update will roll out in May 2021, and will gauge page experience based on the following metrics: Core Web Vitals, mobile friendliness, HTTPS security, safety of browsing experience, and whether the page in question features intrusive interstitial pop-ups. The announcement also revealed that Google will be testing a “visual indicator” that highlights which search results meet all of its criteria, with more information on this to be released in the coming months.
Google’s confirmation will no doubt have sent many website owners, developers and marketers into a frenzy of assessing their page experience and trying to determine how best to optimise for the new ranking signal. Between now and May, where should businesses be focusing their efforts? What should they prioritise, and what pitfalls should they beware of?
We spoke to four experts in marketing and SEO to get their tips and advice on how marketers and the teams they work with can best prepare for the ranking change.