Page Experience


Page Experience will become a Google ranking factor from May 2021. Google uses various metrics to determine the performance of a website and assesses the user experience based on this. The "Page Experience" ranking factor also includes metrics regarding the security of websites.

Background[edit]

Internet usage has changed enormously in recent years. More than half of all search queries are now carried out on mobile devices. This change has resulted in numerous adjustments to Google's algorithm, which has an important impact on ranking factors. Besides performance, mobile friendliness and SSL encryption are also important aspects of page experience.

SEOs have been aware for many years that Google takes user signals into account for ranking purposes. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Google has now officially confirmed that performance factors are a ranking factor. [1]

The Core Web Vitals were announced in May 2020. These are key metrics for assessing the performance of a website. They are integrated into tools such as Google Lighthouse or the Google Search Console. On the basis of these values, Google also presented "Page Experience" as a ranking factor in May 2020.

The individual metrics for page experience will be re-evaluated year after year. The ranking factor will be successively adapted to technical requirements and user behavior.


How is the page experience measured?[edit]

Google regularly measures page performance to determine the page experience. The following parameters are relevant:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): This measures when the largest content element within the viewport is loaded. Google states that the LCP should have a value of 2.5 seconds to provide a good user experience.
  • First Input Delay (FID): This parameter measures the time from the user's first interaction with the website until the browser can respond to the input. The FID should be less than 100 milliseconds.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): This metric indicates how the visible area shifts when the Web site loads. The CLS should be less than 0.1.
  • Safe Browsing: Site security data is used for the page experience. For example, Google checks whether the page contains malware.
  • HTTPS: Google checks whether the website is encrypted by SSL.
  • Mobile Friendliness: It is important that the website is optimized for mobile devices.
  • Interstitials are not a disruptive factor: To provide a good user experience, users must be able to easily consume the content. Therefore, interstitials should not interfere.


How can I improve the page experience?[edit]

SEOs and webmasters can continuously improve the page experience by monitoring and analyzing all relevant parameters.

  • Google Search Console: Central data on Core Web Vitals can be found in the Google Search Console. A first important step is to register your website there. The Google Search Console also contains reports on mobile friendliness and loading speed.
  • Google Lighthouse: This Google tool allows you to check all relevant metrics for the page experience.
  • Mobile Friendly Test: With the free test, webmasters can check whether the website is suitable for mobile devices and receive tips for optimization.

There are different ways to optimize the page experience, for example:

  • The page speed can be increased by compressing images.
  • Page speed can be improved with browser caching.
  • Adjustments on the server can shorten the loading times.

One of many ranking factors[edit]

The page experience is only one of many ranking factors. However, the introduction of this ranking factor is an important signal from Google to webmasters worldwide. With the help of the data provided by the corresponding tools, website operators have a tangible database for sustainable optimization and identification of errors on the website.

Other factors also remain important - such as unique content and backlinks offer users relevant added value.


References[edit]

  1. Evaluating page experience for a better web Google Search Central. Opened 30.11.2020