Page Experience is a set of signals that measures how users perceive interacting with a web page on both desktop and mobile devices beyond the pure informational value. For more general details on what Page Experience is, check out our recent blog post. This blog will discuss when Page Experience matters most.
In a recent video published by Google SEO Office Hours, expert John Mueller explained which ranking factors did and did not influence rankings. Ranking is the position that your website is listed in Google when a user searches a certain keyword or phrase.
When Page Experience Doesn’t Help
Page Experience is not the most important factor in ranking. According to Google’s John Mueller, “So on mobile, the page experience ranking factor is essentially something that gives us a little bit of extra information about these different pages that could show up in the search results.
And in situations where we have a strong, clear kind of intent from the query, where we can understand that they really want to go to this website, then from that point of view, we kind of can ease off on using page experience as a ranking factor.”
This shows that there are many factors that affect the search engine results pages (SERPs), and some of these factors may not apply in order to provide more accurate results.
When Page Experience Helps
Page Experience ranking is not a tiebreaker but can help a site rank better if there are many similar results from a search query.
He states, “On the other hand, if all of the content is very similar in the search results page, then probably using Page Experience helps a little bit to understand which of these are fast pages or reasonable pages with regards to the user experience and which of these are kind of the less reasonable pages to show in the search results. And that kind of situation helps us there.”
Websites Don’t Drop from Poor Core Web Vitals
Next, Mueller discusses Core Web Vitals, a component of Page Experience. Core Web Vitals may account for small changes in ranking but would not result in a visible change. Mueller explains that Core Web Vitals is “not a super-strong ranking factor,” so a website may drop a few lines, but not from the front page to the third place, in just a few days. However, a major website change may still result in a gradual drop in ranking, but this will be visible over time, and early intervention can prevent a notable decrease in visits.
If you see a drastic change in rankings, we recommend you not focus on purely Core Web Vitals, as there are likely other components affecting the page. Look at the overall picture and figure out what you can do to improve things overall, rather than only Core Web Vitals.
Key Takeaways on Page Experience
Page Experience is not the most important factor in determining website rankings but can be helpful when multiple sites have similar information. Specifically, Core Web Vitals can influence small ranking changes, but will not be responsible for large fluctuations in rankings.
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