Google Announces New "Page Experience" Ranking Factor

In late May Google announced that a major update to its ranking algorithm will take place some time next year. "Page Experience" (how good the user experience is) will become a consideration when Google ranks pages for any given search term. If the user experience isn't good, websites won't be ranked as highly as today.

What is Page Experience?

Google defines page experience as a measure of how users perceive their experience of interacting with a web page (across all browsers and devices) and they believe that improving this for any given website will contribute to business success on the web. Google will use existing ranking signals such as page loading speed, mobile-friendliness and website security to measure this, as well as a set of "Core Web Vitals" which include load time, interactivity and the stability of content as it loads (for example, so that the content doesn't shift after loading as it often does on mobile).

Do I Need To Change My Website?

Google's way of measuring page experience seems like an accurate method of understanding how users perceive your website, and it therefore makes sense to follow these guidelines. After all, the easier and quicker users find your website, the more likely they are to be engaged with your content or make a purchase. You or your webmaster can investigate the Core Vitals for your website using Google's Search Console or PageSpeed Insights. However, as with all ranking factors, no single change will make your website suddenly ranking first, and Google says they will still "prioritize pages with the best information overall".

When Will This Change Happen?

According to Google, at least six months notice will be given before these changes are rolled out, and they will not be introduced before 2021.