What to evaluate ahead of Google’s Page Experience update
Google revealed that the page experience signals in ranking will go live in May 2021.
Google unveiled the Page Experience update in May, coupling that announcement with a new set of metrics called Core Web Vitals and laying out its plan to remove the AMP restriction on its Top Stories carousel.
With roughly six months remaining before the impact manifests in the search results, marketers may think that there’s plenty of time to prepare in the new year. However, there are many considerations to evaluate and conversations to have with stakeholders before the work can even begin. Here’s what you need to start thinking about now so that your site is prepared when the update rolls out.
The page experience update’s impact on and off the search results page
Many of the page experience criteria, such as mobile-friendliness, HTTPS, the presence of intrusive interstitials, page speed and browsing safety are already Google search ranking factors, meaning that sites should already be optimizing with those aspects in mind.
If you’re not familiar with the Core Web Vitals, the performance metrics –Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) First Input Delay (FID) and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) — that Google is incorporating as ranking signals in the Page Experience updates.
However, as quality content has become more ubiquitous, a technical advantage may be a deciding factor in the rankings with this update.
In the day-to-day for SEOs. In addition to its potential impact on the search results, the page experience update may also affect the way SEOs approach optimization by providing them with a set of quantitative metrics to strive for.
The page experience update may also speak to the evolving nature of SEO as a profession.
Why you need to start planning and evaluating the tradeoffs now
While the update is still half a year away from launching and may take a while to roll out fully, that time cannot be taken for granted.
Some of the factors included in the page experience update, such as page speed, are already core tenets of SEO, and should always be part of the conversation.
When the page experience update goes live, Google will also open up the Top Stories carousel to non-AMP pages. This may further incentivize publishers to invest in improving their page experience metrics so that they can be more competitive in the search results, increase their odds of landing content in the Top Stories carousel and deliver a more positive experience to their visitors while potentially bringing in more ad revenue.