Google Drops Mobile-Friendly, Page Speed, Secure Sites & Page Experience As Retired Ranking Systems

Apr 21, 2023 - 7:31 am 69 by

Old Google Robot Walking Cane

Google has updated its documented ranking systems page over here to remove four ranking systems from the list, including removing three ranking systems. Google has removed the page experience system from the main list, not adding it to the retired list, and removed mobile-friendly ranking, page speed, and secure sites systems from the retired list.

This makes you wonder if any of those were significant or actual ranking systems in Google's search ranking algorithms ever. I know I wrote, over and over again, that all of those ranking algorithms were tiny and barely made a dent in your rankings, but maybe this is proof of that!

Here are the ranking updates/systems that were removed from the list:

Why did Google remove it? Well, as you know the other day Google said it was dropping page experience where it is more of a concept of sorts rather than an actual ranking system.

Google's FAQs on that specifically wrote, "Page experience signals had been listed as Core Web Vitals, mobile-friendly, HTTPS and no intrusive interstitials. Are these signals still used in search rankings? While not all of these may be directly used to inform ranking, we do find that all of these aspects of page experience align with success in search ranking, and are worth attention."

Google added, "What does this mean for the "page experience update"? The page experience update was a concept to describe a set of key page experience aspects for site owners to focus on. In particular, it introduced Core Web Vitals as a new signal that our core ranking systems considered, along with other page experience signals such as HTTPS that they'd already been considering. It was not a separate ranking system, and it did not combine all these signals into one single "page experience" signal."

I am surprised Google did not rename the "product reviews system" to just the "reviews system" on that page while making these changes, by the way... (Update, on April 24th, Google updated this page to revise the product reviews to just reviews system - more over here.

What do you all think? Were these ghost algorithms that did nothing but convince us to take these usability and security changes seriously? A fake carrot and stick, if you will.

Update: Here is more from John Mueller of Google on this change. John said the change was because "We've seen people hyper-focus on these numbers, that's not a good use of time & energy."

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Update: Google clarified that page experience is not a ranking "system" but is a ranking "signal." Confused? More details over here.


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