On May 28th, 2020, Google announced on their Webmaster Central Blog of upcoming ranking signals for Google Search based on various aspects of page experience – a combination of Core Web Vitals and previous UX- related signals.
Introducing upcoming ranking signals for Google Search based on various aspects of page experience–combining Core Web Vitals and previous UX-related signals.
Read our pre-announcementhttps://t.co/L3IrB2dOnM
— Google Webmasters (@googlewmc) May 28, 2020
This initiative went live on June 5th, 2020. Optimizing for quality of user experience is key to the long-term success of any site on the web. SEO specialists and site owners need to track user experience metrics such as speed, visual stability, and responsiveness. Whether you are running a business, you’re a marketer or developer, Web Vitals can help you quantify the experience of your site and identify opportunities to improve.
Focus on page experience metrics
Core Web Vitals were introduced on May 5th, 2020, to offer webmasters unified guidance on quality signals that are essential to a great user experience. The Core Web Vitals measure three important aspects of user experience, which include loading experience, site interactivity, and visual stability of page content. Google announced that while the current Core Web Vitals metrics measure these critical aspects, an update was necessary on an annual basis to improve their understanding of user experience going forward. The update now combines Core Web Vitals with existing signals for page experience to provide a holistic picture of the quality of a user’s experience on a web page. As part of the update, Google also plans to incorporate the page experience metrics as part of the ranking criteria for top stories feature in search on mobile.
Removal of AMP from top stories eligibility
Another major update would be the removal of the AMP requirement from Top Stories eligibility. While Google states that they still support AMP and will continue to link to these pages when available, removing this requirement will give more site owners that offer exceptional user experience, an opportunity to rank on top stories. The search engine has also performed some updates on their developer tools to optimize page experience.
Is it the right timing?
With the understanding that many website owners are still dealing with the effects of COVID-19, Google states that the ranking changes will not be implemented until next year. The search engine promises to provide website owners with a 6-month notice before any of the mentioned changes are rolled out. This announcement is meant to enable website owners to acquire the tools they need to get started. Additionally, Google made the announcement earlier in May before effecting it in response to the request of webmasters who need to be notified regarding ranking changes as early as possible.
What you need to know about the page experience signal
A website that is optimized for a better experience is more delightful to users and is likely to contribute to business success. Such web pages help users transact more and with less friction. The annual updates to the core web vitals will continue focusing on real-world, user-centered metrics that quantify key aspects of user experience. As webmasters, we need to follow these vital updates and continue to deliver better web experiences in line with Google’s recommendations.