Google’s latest update, which began it’s initial rollout on June 15, 2021, includes a factor called Page Experience. Google announced this page experience update back in November 2020 and shared a few key features regarding the update in mid-April of this year, including:
- Gradual rollout began in mid-June this year, with final impact at its completion in August
- From June 17th onwards, Google has started using page experience signals as a ranking factor for the top stories carousel and section.
- The update will consider several page experience signals, including the three Core Web Vitals metrics: Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
- A new Page Experience report will be introduced in Search Console
What is Google’s Page Experience Algorithm Update?
Google’s Page Experience Algorithm update aims to better measure aspects of how online shoppers interact with a web page by placing more emphasis on user experience in determining ranking. With a gradual roll-out plan, Google is giving websites time to continually refine their website with page experience in mind. This page experience update is meant to ensure that the top-ranking websites are those that users are happy to engage with.
At a quick glance:
- The page experience algorithm update includes using existing Google Search signals such as mobile-friendliness, safe-browsing, HTTPS, and intrusive interstitial guidelines.
- It also includes metrics in Google’s Web Vitals that have to do with a site’s loading speed, interactivity, and visual stability.
- For site owners and others, understanding these signals and making the necessary changes should be a priority.
- Necessary updates include optimizing for mobile, improving page speeds, CTAs, and alt text for images.
The new report in Google Search Console will look like the one shown in the image below:
Jeffery Jose, Product Manager at Google, tweeted that the page experience update will also impact desktop ranking, though the roll-out will start on mobile.
Overall, while this update should not drastically impact rankings, it is important to optimize your site for easy navigation and with your online customer top of mind.
How Will The Update Impact E-Commerce Websites?
Google is adapting its algorithm to show first the sites that users love the most, which is quantified by a good, frictionless user experience. The page experience update will place more emphasis on a website’s user experience.
For an e-commerce site, it is important to make sure that the user journey — beginning with the search for a specific product or brand and ending in the final checkout — is seamless and as frictionless as possible. Analyze your web pages, starting with the most popular pages such as the homepage, main category, and product pages, to identify any gaps and fix them.
Some of the focus areas you should check are:
- Page load time — make sure your website is mobile-friendly and loads quickly
- 404 errors — ensure there are no 404 pages
- Website design — analyze your website design and make it intuitive, especially to those who are new to online shopping (if you’re unsure exactly what is intuitive, consider surveying your customers for what they like and don’t like about your site)
- Competitor’s experience — check out your competitors’ website and compare them with yours to find areas of improvement
As always, you can reach out to the experts at NetElixir for assistance in optimizing your page experience. Our SEO Team approaches your SEO channel with a hyper-focus on attracting new users to capture user intent (UI) and buyer behavior along every touchpoint of the funnel.