Why ignoring new Google Page Experience updates could harm your business

June 17, 2021

A new Google algorithm roll out? You’ve got better things to think about in business right now, haven’t you?

Yes, many businesses have some very pressing and serious decisions to make as we ease out of lockdown; and their priorities may be elsewhere – but the Google Page Experience rollout is happening and you cannot afford to ignore it.

Don’t fall into the trap of disregarding this very important update simply because you don’t fully understand what it is or how it works.

Amy Bull, head of content at PR and digital marketing specialists Media Matters said: “The update was introduced last month, and while not the snappiest of titles, the review promises to do just what it says on the tin; add page experience to the factors that decide the ranking of pages within Google search engine results.

“If the page experience is positive (and you’re ticking lots of other SEO boxes too) then your pages may see an uptick in rankings – and hopefully organic traffic.

“As with all Google updates, there are a lot of ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ – you can never be too sure how the update will manifest itself in real terms, or how it will impact your organic search engine rankings and organic traffic.”

What does “Page Experience” mean?

If a page is slow to load, bombards you with pop-ups and has shifting layouts or lacks responsiveness on mobile, you might say that the page experience has been poor. You couldn’t find what you were looking for easily or had to wait to get it. We’ve all been on websites where the experience makes us give up quickly and bounce off the page.

There are many factors that impact page experience, either negatively or positively – and Google already uses some of these to contribute towards rankings within its results pages. For example, the mobile-friendliness of a page, whether it is HTTP or HTTPS, and a page’s loading speed are already used by Google to contribute towards rankings.

Yet, the Page Experience update takes this a step further and incorporates some new metrics that will also be used by Google – and in turn can be used by marketers to monitor their page experience. It looks at:

  • The time it takes for the main content of the page to have most likely loaded
  • The time it takes from when a user first interacts with a page, to the time when the browser begins processing that interaction
  • Whether there are unexpected (and irritating!) movements of the content on a page. For example, if you visit a web page and try to interact with a call-to-action or read particular content, and then something else loads on the page and the layout all shifts – moving what you were interacting with.

Why Google updates are important to know about

It’s vital to keep an eye on any updates Google is planning or is expected to release. Not least because it provides valuable intel that could help you optimise your website. But, most importantly, it averts any risk of your site becoming out of date or, worse still, contravening Google’s rules and being penalised as a result.