Google has officially confirmed the launch of ‘Page Experience Signals’ will be an important part of a big algorithm update coming up in May 2021. The Google Page Experience update will arrive about a year and a half after it was announced and is expected to have an impact on the way websites and their content is conceptualized, designed, and created.
The Google Page Experience algorithm update will take expected user experience into consideration for ranking in search results indicated Google in an official announcement: “Today we’re announcing that the page experience signals in ranking will roll out in May 2021”. The search giant will begin a test soon by showing a “visual indicator that highlights pages in search results that have great page experience.” Needless to add, websites would certainly realign their strategies to ensure they grab the visual indicator, which could be a badge displayed alongside the search result.
What Is Google Page Experience Update?
Google has always relied on several “signals” that indicate how well a website is able to address the queries of a user. Collectively, these signals are a strong indicator of the experience of a specific web page. Some of the signals include how quickly the page loads, if it’s mobile-friendly, has secure HTTPS, if it has intrusive interstitials, and whether content jumps around as the page loads.
May 2021: Page experience signals will be a ranking signal in Google Search. Also…
"In addition to the timing updates described above, we plan to test a visual indicator that highlights pages in search results that have great page experience." 👍
— Ilya Grigorik (@igrigorik) November 10, 2020
Google had indicated that the Page Experience Update will be made up of several existing Google search ranking factors, including all of the aforementioned ones. The search giant will also include a safe browsing penalty, while refining metrics around speed and usability. Collectively, the entire package is referred to as Google’s Core Web Vitals.
— Nebojsa (Cookie Duster) (@CookieDuster_N) November 5, 2020
It is these signals and the target website’s ability to offer a better user experience that’s based on the parameters that will be part of the Google Page Experience Update. Alongside the update, Google will also allow non-AMP content to become eligible to appear in the mobile Top Stories feature in Search. In other words, any page that meets the Google News content policies will be eligible, and the search giant will prioritize pages with ‘great’ page experience, whether implemented using AMP or any other web technology, as it ranks the results.
Google Will Include New Visual Indicators Rewarding Websites With Good Page Experience:
Google has indicated that it will test various ways to display a “visual indicator” in the search results that will inform a searcher if a specific search result is expected to have a great experience. While there would certainly be new types of indicators, such visual signals aren’t new. Google has displayed such types of visual indicators before with AMP icons, slow labels, mobile-friendly labels, and more.
Explaining about the new methods, Google wrote, “We believe that providing information about the quality of a web page’s experience can be helpful to users in choosing the search result that they want to visit. On results, the snippet or image preview helps provide topical context for users to know what information a page can provide. Visual indicators on the results are another way to do the same, and we are working on one that identifies pages that have met all of the page experience criteria.”
Google Page Experience Update to launch May 2021 with new labels in search results https://t.co/y2GzxczXjm
— Barry Schwartz (@rustybrick) November 10, 2020
Websites that are keen to understand the Google Page Experience Update and get a head start should consider going through the search giant’s Core Web Vitals report in Google Search Console. It is interesting to note that websites that have been adhering to Google’s guidelines pertaining to website design, layout, content, and other backend processes for the last few years, could benefit significantly.
Google once actively pushed for the need for an AMP version of the website. However, moving ahead, AMP won’t be required for articles to show in the Top Stories carousel in search after this update launches in May 2021. Although not a primary deciding factor, Google Search will “link to that cache-optimized AMP version to help optimize delivery to users,” mentioned the company.