Google has confirmed that its Page Experience ranking update, which uses Core Web Vitals along with a number of other metrics to assess user experience quality, has begun "slowly" rolling out. What can marketers do to prepare for this change?
[caption id="attachment_520768" align="alignnone" width="500"] Editorial credit: Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com[/caption]
In May 2020, 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.
In November 2020, Google provided a timeframe for the rollout (initially set for May 2021, this was later pushed back to mid-June) and confirmed that the update would 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.
It was also revealed that Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP, would no longer be a requirement to feature in the Top Stories carousel, as long as articles met the Google News policies. Google is also planning to phase out the AMP icon that visually distinguishes AMP content, and has said that it will "continue to test other ways to help identify content with a great page experience" (it had previously hinted at a "visual indicator" to highlight search results with a good page experience, but details on this are still pending).
On 15th June, Google confirmed that Page Experience was "slowly rolling out" with the rollout due to be completed by the end of August. With AMP no longer a consideration and a possible visual indicator for good Page Experience on the horizon, what can marketers do to optimise their website experience according to Google's metrics?
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 prepare for Page Experience.