A Guide to Page Experience Ranking Signals
Google announced in 2021 that it would include page experience signals as part of its search engine ranking criteria. Google seems to be focused on the experience that users get on web pages, resulting in this change to their ranking algorithm. If you have not heard of the page experience ranking signals or do not fully understand them, keep reading, as this article is meant to get you up to speed.
What Are Page Experience Ranking Signals?
If you have ever done SEO or tried to get a website to rank, you might already know that Google considers the content on your page when determining which keywords, search terms, and queries it should rank for. Now, Google is looking beyond this and including page experiences as part of its ranking factors.
Page experiences are a set of signals used by Google to measure the experience people get on a webpage, whether they are checking it out on their mobile devices or a computer. These signals look beyond the informational values that were previously used to measure this experience.
What Are These Signals?
The first signal you should know about is Core Web Vitals. These are signals related to visual usability, loading, and interactivity.
The largest contentful paint (LCP) is the loading performance.
The first input delay measures interactivity.
Cumulative layout shift measures the changes or shifts in content on the page. These shifts happen when more elements are loaded and the user loses their place on the page, clicks on an unwanted button, or takes an action they did not intend to.
The second signal is mobile-friendliness. We already know that Google checks how mobile-friendly a website is and uses that as a ranking factor. Now, this metric is one of the page experience ranking signals vital for website ranking.
The third signal is safe browsing, which deals with security. The issues checked here include deceptive pages, uncommon downloads, harmful downloads, and malware.
Next, we have HTTPS. HTTPS is technically part of safe browsing because it ensures all information absent between a user and a server is encrypted and secure. HTTPS has a massive impact on your raking and there is no reason your website should not be using it already.
Lastly, we have intrusive interstitial guidelines. Intrusive interstitials include ads or pop-ups that block a user’s access to content. These ruin the user experience, as they are very intrusive.
What Does This Mean For My Website?
Google rolled out the update in May 2021, which means your website is already being checked for these signals. If you have seen any changes in your ranking, you can request a Page Experience report from Google to see if there are any issues you would know about. Also, these signals will be updated annually, so you should request the report once or twice a year.
Google is big on user experience, wanting to ensure that all users get great experiences if they click a page on the search engine result pages. To this end, they use page experience ranking signals to see how user-friendly your pages and website are.