In May 2020, Google announced that it would be rolling out a new user experience update — commonly called Page Experience update.
Google started rolling out this update in June 2021 and expects to complete it in August 2021. So far, the update will only affect mobile search results; the rollout for desktop search is in the pipelines as well.
What’s so special about Page Experience update, and why is it so important?
Read on to learn more:
Page Experience Update 101
The Page Experience algorithm update introduces a new set of metrics — Core Web Vitals — that measure how users interact with a webpage. These parameters focus on creating an optimal user browsing experience.
Google assesses these parameters and gives the website a page experience score, which website owners can view on Search Console.
Understanding Core Web Vitals
With the Page Experience update, Google will add three new user metrics that were highlighted by Google Chrome’s User Experience Report. These include:
1. Loading Experience
Loading experience is measured through the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) — the time it takes for the most critical and relevant content to load. An LCP of less than 2.5 seconds is optimal.
An LCP higher than the optimal indicates problems with the website such as large images, limited web hosting bandwidth or multiple unnecessary files.
You can speed up your website to improve the loading experience by:
- Optimizing images
- Choosing a reliable and capable web host
Interactivity is measured through First Input Delay (FID) — how long it takes for the page to respond to user input. The ideal FID is less than 100 milliseconds.
FID matters to some pages more than others. Login pages, sign-up pages and other pages that require user input require an optimal FID score.
3. Virtual Stability
Virtual stability is measured through Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) — measure of website’s stability after the webpage loads. Aim for a CLS score below 0.1 for better stability.
If a webpage’s elements move around as the page loads, it indicates low virtual stability. Unlike other metrics, it’s difficult to pinpoint a reason for low virtual stability.
Common reasons include:
- Slow computer
- Poor internet connection
- Problems with web font rendering
- Unspecified image dimensions
To improve virtual stability on your end, ensure proper web font rendering and ample space for image elements.
Page Experience: What It Means for Your Website
As of writing, Google still regards information relevance as a top consideration for ranking on search engine page results.
To optimize your WordPress website for Page Experience, do a website audit to:
- Check current page experience
- Monitor website performance
- Check mobile-friendliness and usability issues
For measuring your Core Web Vitals, you can also use Google Developer Tools. They will help you make the necessary tweaks to improve website performance.
Final Thoughts: Google’s Page Experience Update — What You Need To Know
Google’s Page Experience update is here.
Google will start rolling it out for mobile users worldwide in the upcoming days. The update for desktop users will follow soon too. Still, there is no need to panic.
Page experience is a minor ranking factor right now. You should, however, start working on it as Google desires to provide an optimal search experience to its users.
A smooth user experience not only gets you on the first page on SERPs but also builds your brand.
Part of a great website experience is choosing a reliable and capable web host.
Sign up for a Bluehost web hosting plan today.