Google Page Experience Update - Google's Next Algorithm Update Coming Next Year

May 29, 2020 - 7:41 am 16 by
Filed Under Google Updates

Google Page Experience Update

Google announced a new algorithm update that will be launching sometime in 2021. I covered it in detail in my story yesterday on Search Engine Land named the Google Page Experience Update. I personally would not go too insane about this update, it is a lot of stuff Google has algorithms for already all packed up into one new name - "page experience."

It is important to note that this algorithm update is being pre-announced and it won't be going live until sometime in 2021. Google said it will give us six-months notice before hand. So we have at least six-months and one day at this point in time to prepare for it. But probably a lot longer to be honest.

This Page Experience Update looks at elements; many of which Google already looks like. This has things like page speed, mobile-friendly, safe browsing, HTTPS, intrusive interstitials, and now also layout shifts. The page speed and cumulative layout shift is now coming from the "Core Web Vitals" which we have been covering a lot this week.

Here is a nifty chart that Google came out with to explain what is part of this Google Page Experience update:

Google Page Experience Elements

Again, all of this we had already. Page speed is now using Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) and First Input Delay (FID). The LCP measures loading performance. To provide a good user experience, LCP should occur within 2.5 seconds of when the page first starts loading. The FID measures interactivity. To provide a good user experience, pages should have a FID of less than 100 milliseconds.

The new thing is Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), that measures visual stability. To provide a good user experience, pages should maintain a CLS of less than 0.1. Google said Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) is an important, user-centric metric for measuring visual stability because it helps quantify how often users experience unexpected layout shifts—a low CLS helps ensure that the page is delightful.

So you don't want pages that have elements jump around the page in this annoying way:

Cumulative Layout Shift Cls

Let me bullet point the rest of this so you have these nuggets in a quick and efficient way to consume it:

  • Google has a new algorithm update named Page Experience Update
  • Not much is exactly new, outside of the core web vitals
  • Core web vital metrics aren't super new outside of Cumulative Layout Shift
  • This is not live now, won't be until sometime in 2021
  • Google will tell us a date sometime in the future of when this will go live
  • We will have six-months notice when given this date, so you have time to prepare
  • This will somewhat remove the need for AMP
  • In mobile, top stories will be available for non-AMP pages when this goes live in 2021
  • Page experience scores will play a huge role in the Top Stories selection, instead of AMP
  • Most AMP pages score well on page experience out of the box
  • Page experience, in my opinion, won't be a huge metric, similar to HTTPS and page speed that are small factors
  • Google said great content is still more important and pages that have great content can still rank well with poor page experience
  • We don't know how big of an update this will be, Google doesn't know yet, they told me

I have two larger articles on Search Engine Land (Page Experience Update and AMP requirement) on this announcement, but that is pretty much what you need to know in a nutshell. As more details come out, we will send them to you.

You can also check out this developer doc on Understanding page experience in Google Search results. This goes through (a) Understand how page experience will affect ranking,(b) Page experience signals and (c) Optimizing your page experience.

In short, I think overall this is a good thing - sites should get better with this update. But I don't think we need to panic about it.

Google also had a roundtable with some folks in the industry. Here are tweets about that roundtable from Glenn Gabe and Aleyda Solis:

Forum discussion at Twitter & WebmasterWorld.

This post was pre-written and scheduled to be posted today, I am currently offline.


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