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The latest Google ranking factor: page experience

The first article in our Google Page Experience Update series.

Google currently uses about 200 factors in its sophisticated algorithm for ranking websites and pages — with less than 20 of those qualifying as dominant factors. The newest addition to the mix, introduced in mid-June 2021, is a set of metrics that gauge the overall page experience provided to the visitor/user.

The goal of this Google update is to favor pages that provide an exceptional user experience in terms of page load speed and interactivity, overall visual stability, mobile-friendliness, security and other technical attributes.

A brief description of Google page experience.

The introduction of these new metrics makes it more advisable and imperative than ever to fine-tune a site for maximum interactivity, speed of use, stable visual performance, and secure mobile-friendly access across today’s diverse landscape of smart devices.

The crux of the Google page experience update — part of its ongoing mission to speed up web response that is being hampered by elements like duplicated content, non-optimized images, bloated code and on-page apps that hog valuable resources — is the addition of three significant factors they call Core Web Vitals to measure loading performance, interactivity response time and page stability (layout, images, buttons, etc.) when loading.

How Google page experience metrics can affect your site.

These page experience metrics do not consitute a ranking score on their own. But they will play an increasingly important role in the overall Google algorithm over the next few months and beyond. The resulting scores will have an effect on the ranking of individual pages and your site’s overall search position. This can include ranking downgrades for your pages that currently earned higher rankings.
Good news: Content is still king.

The paramount consideration for Google rankings will be the quality and relevance of your content. Great content will still rank well, even if accompanied by a subpar page experience. And a superior page experience won’t make up for poor content.

For a deeper look at the Core Web Vitals metrics themselves — along with steps you can take to analyze and improve your Google page experience rankings — watch for the succeeding blogposts in this 3-part series:

  • Understanding Core Web Vitals for Google page experience.
  • How to improve and leverage Google page experience for your site.

Neptune Web is a full-service Boston-area interactive web and digital marketing agency with expertise in Website Design, Web Development, Digital Marketing Strategy and Execution.

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