Google Clarifies Page Experience & Core Web Vitals Related To Search Rankings

Mar 13, 2024 - 7:51 am 4 by

Google Traffic Light

Google has updated the Understanding page experience in Google Search results help document to clarify how page experience and core web vitals are used or not used as signals for search rankings. In short, core web vitals are used in a limited way, while other page experience signals are not directly used as ranking signals.

Google updated the ranking section of the document. It now reads:

What aspects of page experience are used in ranking?

Core Web Vitals are used by our ranking systems. We recommend site owners achieve good Core Web Vitals for success with Search and to ensure a great user experience generally. Keep in mind that getting good results in reports like Search Console's Core Web Vitals report or third-party tools doesn't guarantee that your pages will rank at the top of Google Search results; there's more to great page experience than Core Web Vitals scores alone. These scores are meant to help you to improve your site for your users overall, and trying to get a perfect score just for SEO reasons may not be the best use of your time.

Beyond Core Web Vitals, other page experience aspects don't directly help your website rank higher in search results. However, they can make your website more satisfying to use, which is generally aligned with what our ranking systems seek to reward. Therefore it's still worth working to improve page experience overall.

It used to read:

What aspects of page experience are used in rankings?

There are many aspects to page experience, including some listed on this page. While not all aspects may be directly used to inform ranking, they do generally align with success in search ranking and are worth attention.

Are Core Web Vitals important?

We highly recommend site owners achieve good Core Web Vitals for success with Search and to ensure a great user experience generally. However, great page experience involves more than Core Web Vitals. Good stats within the Core Web Vitals report in Search Console or third-party Core Web Vitals reports don't guarantee good rankings.

So yes, core web vitals are used for ranking but Google did say in the new documentation, "trying to get a perfect score just for SEO reasons may not be the best use of your time."

This in addition to what John Mueller of Google posted on LinkedIn about Core Web Vitals "it's not going to make your site's rankings jump up" - here is the full message:

Yes! Google Search does use Core Web Vitals for Search. However … it's not worth over-focusing on tweaking the scores just for SEO. I know, it's rare that you can measure something more or less objectively for SEO, but don't let it get to your head. You don't need to obsess over each fractional point there. Getting those last few percent can be a ton of work. If you want to spend that time to reach those last points, know that your site's SEO generally won't change because of that. A perfect score is a fun technical challenge, and you'll learn something along the way, I know the feeling (I worked on mine too), but it's not going to make your site's rankings jump up.

There has been a lot of flipping back and forth on this messaging from Google. Google said in February We don’t confirm any of the things [page experience or core web vitals] as a direct ranking factor - now they confirm core web vitals as a ranking factor. This goes back to the confusion (which is still there despite Google not wanting to believe it) around how the changes to get helpful content guidance and page experience documentation from a year or so ago. Google shortly after that confusion told us page experience is a ranking signal but not a ranking system. Danny Sullivan, Google's Search Liaison, said back then, "It just meant these weren't ranking *systems* but instead signals used by other systems."

Anyway, now Google added more clarification around these signals or systems or not systems.

Hat tip to Glenn Gabe for spotting this:

Google also updated the Pagination, incremental page loading, and their impact on Google Search help document related to this. Google removed "page experience is a Google Search ranking signal."

Now:

You can improve the experience of users on your site by displaying a subset of results to improve page performance, but you may need to take action to ensure the Google crawler can find all your site content.

Before:

You can improve the experience of users on your site by displaying a subset of results to improve page performance (page experience is a Google Search ranking signal), but you may need to take action to ensure the Google crawler can find all your site content.

Forum discussion at X.

 

Popular Categories

The Pulse of the search community

Follow

Search Video Recaps

 
Google Core Update Volatility, Helpful Content Update Gone, Dangerous Search Results & Ads Confusion - YouTube
Video Details More Videos Subscribe to Videos

Most Recent Articles

Search Forum Recap

Daily Search Forum Recap: April 16, 2024

Apr 16, 2024 - 4:00 pm
Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Will Fight Site Reputation Abuse Spam Both With Manual Actions & Algorithms

Apr 16, 2024 - 7:51 am
Google

Google Search Tests Thumbs Up/Down Buttons In Product Grid Results

Apr 16, 2024 - 7:41 am
Google Ads

Google Ads "Similar Product" Carousel

Apr 16, 2024 - 7:31 am
Google Search Engine Optimization

Clarification: Google Search Supports Images Referenced From src Attribute

Apr 16, 2024 - 7:21 am
Google AdSense

Google AdSense New Ad Intents Formats - Links & Anchors In Content

Apr 16, 2024 - 7:11 am
Previous Story: Google Local Reviews Related To Photos In Local Panel (& Related Photos)