Google Search May Use Core Web Vitals Data From Noindexed Pages

Feb 11, 2021 - 7:11 am 1 by

google speed

Google may or may not use the Core Web Vitals metrics from pages not within Google's indexed, pages you may explicitly block from indexing, as part of its overall calculation for the upcoming Google Page Experience Update. John Mueller of Google said he believes this to be the case but is not 100% sure.

John later explained on Twitter the rational for this, saying "user-experience is based on more than just the initial landing page in many cases. The product / shop / checkout example fits well there. Often people go to websites, they don't just go to an individual page. It's not always clear & easy though."

In short, once a user goes to a specific page through search that is indexed, if the other pages they click on are slow or a poor user experience, then is that a good thing?

But honestly, Google never really worked that way. If you noindex a specific page, Google probably should not count that page against you in how the other indexed pages are ranked. It is just how Google has always operated. If I had a vote, I'd say Google should ignore pages that are not within Google's index for any ranking values around the upcoming Page Experience Update.

Here is the video where John said this at 47:45 minutes into the video:

Here is the transcript:

THIAGO POJDA: Just why I ask this-- we have this set of pages that they are slow. They exist for a different purpose than our other pages on the site. And these we have a noindex on them. But they are very slow. And that's why we don't want it to be accounted for.

JOHN MUELLER: Yeah. I don't think-- or I don't know for sure how we would do things with a noindex there. But it's not something you can easily determine ahead of time. Like, will we see this as one website or will we see it as different groupings there?

Sometimes with the Chrome User Experience Report data, you can see, does Google have data points for those noindex pages? Does Google have data points for the other pages there? And then you can kind of figure out, like, OK, it can recognize that there is separate kinds of pages and can treat them individually.

And if that's the case, then I don't see a problem with that. If it's a smaller website where we just don't have a lot of signals for the website, then those noindex pages could be playing a role there, as well.

So I'm not 100% sure, but my understanding is that in the Chrome User Experience Report data, we do include all kinds of pages that users access. So there's no specific kind of, will this page be indexed like this or not check that happens there, because the indexability is sometimes quite complex with regards to canonicals and all of that. So it's not trivial to determine on the Chrome side if this page will be indexed or not.

It might be the case that if a page has a clear noindex, then even in Chrome we would be able to recognize that. But I'm not 100% sure if we actually do that.

Here is John's later tweet on this:

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Update: This is no longer true, Google in 2022 stopped using noindexed pages in core web vitals.


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