A Quick Guide to Google’s Page Experience Update

businesswoman with questions about Google's page experience

Brands atop Google’s search query results may soon see a shakeup due to Google’s Page Experience algorithm update.

As a marketer, what should you know about this algorithm change? How can you be sure your website is fit and ready? What can you do to stay ahead?

Read on now to get quick answers to these Page Experience pressing questions plus the resources and expert advice you need to get your website in fighting shape to meet Google’s changing standards.

What Is the Page Experience Algorithm Update?

Do the websites that sit atop Google’s search query rankings truly belong there? Are they the reputable and trusted sites that include good info AND a high-quality user experience that visitors expect and want to see? That’s what Google’s Page Experience factor aims to determine.

One way Page Experience works is by evaluating Core Web Vitals – Google’s three user experience metrics that gauge how well a webpage performs based on load time, interactivity and stability. Another way is by looking at existing specific Google search signals, whether a webpage is safe to browse and secure, accessible, interactive and mobile-friendly.

When Did the Page Experience Algorithm Update Kick In?

Google started gradually rolling out the Page Experience rankings update globally in mid-June but said the algorithm wouldn’t be complete and at full power until the end of August.

This longer time frame will help Google monitor and tend to any unexpected issues that crop up as the rollout progresses but also will give website owners more time to improve or refine their webpages to make them more accessible, more mobile-friendly.

What 5 Tasks Should Marketers Do Now to Stay Ahead?

If you’re concerned about not being ready for Google’s latest algorithm change, this may give you more peace of mind. Google said the Page Experience algorithm update is a lightweight change so likely won’t dramatically affect your web traffic in most cases. Page Experience is just one of many factors that contribute to how your website ranks in Google’s search results. But to stay as competitive as possible, here’s what you should do now to keep your website in good working order:

1) Check if your site is mobile-friendly with this mobile-friendly test and your site page speeds with Page Speed Insights and make adjustments.

2) Ensure your site is free of malicious content by reviewing and following Google’s security issues report.

3) Enable your site for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS), which is the encrypted version of Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). This is proof to website visitors you’re serious about securing and protecting your site and all its data – all the passwords and credit card, user and personal info you handle and collect on the internet.

4) Test your Core Web Vitals with these popular web developer tools. These three Google measurements focus on the user experience and include the following:

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) measures your website loading performance, which is how fast your webpage loads from a user’s perspective from first click to when most of your page content appears. To offer the best user experience, strive to have your largest piece of content load within 2.5 seconds of the page starting to load according to Search Engine Land.

First Input Delay (FIP) measures your interactivity, for instance, how fast it takes a user to pick an option from your navigation menu, click and go to another page on your site or enter info into a form field. Per Search Engine Land, if you want to achieve a good interactivity score, ensure your site handles input within 100 milliseconds.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) measures visual stability, in other words, how quickly your website elements drop into place on your site when it loads. Of course, the goal is to have your page stay static so content doesn’t jump around and confuse and irritate users. Search Engine Land also suggests you  keep your visual stability score lower than 0.1. (With this in mind, it may be the right time to test if reducing your page pop-ups or removing your interstitials could improve your score.)

5) Tackle website housekeeping tasks to keep your website effective. Search Engine Land recommends you make your web content your highest priority. Also, work at improving your page speeds. Evaluate your web design and call to actions (CTAs) so they’re at their most compelling, be sure to set up your image alt tags and review and adjust your site navigation so it’s both simple and clear.

With a firm handle on what Google’s Page Experience is, how it works and what tasks you should consider knocking out to help you achieve more Google ranking success, keep track of your progress with the new Page Experience report available in the Google Search Console. As you do, or if you have any questions as you tackle any part of your digital advertising strategy, reach out to us for support or a complementary assessment.

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