Google is forever updating in order to serve users the most helpful and factual content at a moment’s notice. Considerable updates can have long lasting effects on a variety of industries and audiences, as shown in November 2021 with the page experience update.
This update was initially intended for the priority of mobile users with a mobile first approach being taken by Google back in 2015, and just 3 years later, the mobile first indexing was set as the default. Now Google have announced a roll out of page experience for desktop users to start in February, creating a new view for page experience in 2022.
What Is The Page Experience Update?
The page experience update considers several signals that go into making an optimal browsing experience for users. Google assesses each of the signals and gives a website an overall page experience score. Owners of websites can view their score in the page experience report in search console. The following are the signals that are required on a website to achieve a “good” page experience score:
Core Web Vitals
These are 3 metrics that score a user’s experience loading a web page. These metrics score how quickly page content loads, how quickly a browser loading a web page can respond to a users input and how unstable the actual content is as it loads on the browser.
A page must have no mobile usability errors as Google priorities mobile first indexing. Even with the roll out of desktop page experience, mobile users will still be prioritised in 2022.
Any security issues on a website will mean that Google will disqualify all pages from a good status.
A page must be severed on a HTTPS to be eligible for good page experience status. A non-secure website is likely to achieve a low page experience for desktop & mobile.
A website must not use advertising techniques that are interrupting, distracting or otherwise not conducive to a good user experience.
All of these signals are now used to determine a website’s mobile & desktop page experience. It is worth noting that the mobile usability signal will only apply to mobile websites as shown below:
The Effect On Mobile Users
When the page experience update was originally announced in early 2021, the intentions were always to prioritise mobile phone users. According to smart insights, Google currently holds 93.87% of the market share for mobile searches. This will continue to be the case for the foreseeable future even with the desktop update roll out due to the dominance of mobile users compared to desktop. Users of mobile search will not notice drastic, large changes but small amends to how websites are displayed on the search results that will benefit their user experience (UX) and overall enjoyment on a website.
Google has stated that “while this update is designed to highlight pages that offer great user experiences, page experience remains one of many factors our systems take into account… given this, sites generally should not expect drastic changes.”
Essentially, Google will continue to prioritise its mobile users with the most useful content, ranking each website based off its ability to adapt to the new page experience update that will be prolific throughout 2022 and the coming years.
The Effect On Desktop
Mobile users will continue to be prioritised by Google due to the amount of traffic that originates from mobiles, however their plan to release this page update to desktop in February has shown interest in retaining desktop users. For desktop users, the changes will be minuscule and unnoticeable as improving mobile user experience is the key goal for users. However, there are still a large proportion of Google users who still prefer desktop searches. In fact, Google make up 66.6% of the market share for desktop browser users according to statcounter.
The page experience update is more aimed at website owners, as it is imperative that desktops are optimised for page experience by the time the update is implemented. Google are more likely to rank your website poorly in the search engines if this update has been ignored.
Page Experience In 2022
The new year brings in spikes of traffics for a variety of industries. For example users looking for new jobs in 2022 for example are more likely to stay on a website if it’s easy to navigate, secure, has mobile friendliness aspects and non-intrusive advertising.
As a digital marketing agency, we don’t expect this page experience improvement to have a substantial impact on rankings. Those working to improve their page experience have been mostly focused on their mobile pages. Once mobile pages have been aligned, it is important to remember desktop users in 2022.
Contact Search4Local Plymouth for more information on page experience and the effect it will have on websites in 2022.