Page Experience comprises signals that measure users’ experience when they interact with a web page. This assessment goes beyond the quality of the web content and the amount of information the web users can get, evaluating how the users truly feel when they interact with a web page. Google launched this initiative in 2020 and planned to adopt it fully by August 2021.
Google has implemented this web optimization and ranking algorithm this year, which will assess Core Web Vitals. Core Web Vitals refer to a series of standards each web page ought to meet to rank well in Google search engine results pages. These standards measure quick accessibility to web pages, responsiveness, and visual stability.
Page Experience integrates some other existing search signals, including mobile-friendliness, safe browsing, Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS), and intrusive interstitial guidelines. Most of them are current search signals and are necessary to be adopted for the new Page Experience algorithm. When these signals are good, they provide easy access to web pages for users and ensure search integrity by downgrading questionable web pages. We will discuss all of these in this article.
Core Web Vitals
Core Web Vitals is the series of metrics Page Experience uses in determining the loading time of web pages, user interaction, and visual stability. Page Experience uses these three factors in measuring the accessibility and responsiveness of web pages, and it uses different indexes (called Core Web Vitals) to determine them. Core Web Vitals include:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) used when analyzing how quickly web pages load;
- First Input Delay (FID) is used to determine the interactivity or responsiveness of web pages, and
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) is used to determine a web page’s visual stability.
Factors Considered By Page Experience In Determining User Experience
The following are the factors Page experience measure using Core Web Vitals in an attempt to determine user experience:
Loading of Web Pages
For a web page to rank higher on Google search results pages, quick accessibility to the page is essential. With Page Experience, the faster the page loads, the higher the likelihood of the page ranking higher when there is a related search on Google. To measure how quickly a page loads, Page Experience uses Largest Contentful Paint (LCP). The web page content must fully load within 2.5 seconds of clicking the link for a good page. If the page loads above 2.5 seconds but below 4 seconds, it scores the web page fair. Anything over 4 seconds is poor.
After loading a page, the user should be interested in interacting with the web page immediately by clicking on a link or viewing an image. Whatever form the user’s first interaction takes, Google wants such interaction to be swift and done within a blink of an eye. First Input Delay (FID) measures the responsiveness of the web page to the first interaction of the user. For the web page to get a good grade when First Input Delay carries out its analysis, it must be interactive, and the web user must interact within the first 100 milliseconds. Any interaction between 100 milliseconds and 300 milliseconds is fair, and interactions above 300 milliseconds are poor. SEO, web designers and developers should do their best to ensure their web pages meet this requirement.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) is a tool Page Experience uses to measure the visual stability of web pages by examining the number of layout shifts that occur when users browse the page. Layout shifts refer to the changes that appear on a web page when browsing through it. These changes could mean movement of text, resizing of images, the clicking of wrong links, etc. While it may be tough to make a web page void of these changes, you can minimize the frequency of these layout shifts. This is why CLS measures the visual stability of the page. When the web page has a score less than 0.1, the web page is good; and a score above 0.1 but below 0.25 is scored fair. It is scored poorly when the score is above 0.25.
Existing Web Signals Used By Page Experience
Page Experience also integrates several existing signals to proffer an effective way of ranking web pages in the Google search engine. Some of the signals are important because they provide security and safety for the users. They include:
Page Experience conducts a Mobile-Friendliness Test on a website to determine if the web page is mobile-friendly enough for mobile phone users. Most of the earliest websites and web pages were developed to have the desktop mode as their default viewing mode. However, with most users accessing the internet for information through their mobile phones, building web pages that accommodate this structure and adopt a mobile-friendly mode for users is essential. The quick adaptability of a web page to a mobile phone user increases its ranking prospect in the Google search engine.
Safe-browsing is another vital signal Google uses to determine its web page SEO ranking, and with its integration into the Page Experience tool, the effectiveness is heightened. The tool probes the content of web pages to ensure they do not contain malicious content that would adversely affect the user’s experience. The absence of intrusive interstitials enables users to easily access the content of a web page on their mobile. These intrusive interstitials could be in the form of pop-ups that cover the whole page and leave the users frustrated when they cannot access the information or contents they needed at that time as quickly as they would want. Nonetheless, some pop-ups, such as the requirement of age to access the web page, are allowed.
Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS)
HTTPS is a signal used to determine the security of a connection made on the internet. Web browsers and the Google search engine encourage websites to use trusted organizations’ certificates so that the search engine can determine the website’s identity.
Page Experience is one of the hundreds of signals Google uses to determine a web page’s ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). However, it is a tool that promises to affect rankings on Google search results positively. With the combination of the new Core Web Vitals with several existing signals, Page Experience is more efficient at doing the existing individual or grouped signals previously.
While a great page content might override Page Experience in several search results, you cannot diminish the importance of a good Page Experience. It makes a web page (no matter the content) so efficient and easy to use.
March 27, 2022 at 2:52 pm
Well explained, now I understand better what this Page Experience thing is all about and how it affects my website’s SEO.
October 30, 2022 at 9:02 am
The main takeaway after reading this article, is to not underestimate or take for granted the importance of a good page experience.
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