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Changes to Google’s Page Experience Ranking Factor: User Expectations

by david@dmomktg.com

In a recent update to their algorithm, Google has announced that user experience will become a ranking factor. The Page Experience Update is meant to combat websites with “thin content.” This means that as time goes on users are getting smarter and the sites they visit need to be more trustworthy in order for them not to bounce away from it.

Google’s developer document on Page Experience Criteria is not the most exciting read, but it does help provide a good idea of what metrics are important to keep in mind. Google considers many factors such as how quickly your page loads and whether or not you use HTTPS encryption when deciding if it will be seen positively by users. Mobile-friendliness also plays an increasingly large role for websites that have shifted from desktop sites to mobile apps where people might interact with content more than once throughout the day. If intrusive ads cause visitors to click away before they even get their desired information then this could potentially hurt a website’s SEO score which would subsequently affect its traffic numbers depending on these scores because no one wants search results littered with spammy links leading to spammy websites.

Google announced that great content will still rank high in Google Search, despite a poor page experience. “While all of the components are important for a good page experience, we’ll rank pages with the best information overall even if some aspects have subpar quality.” A website can be successful without having an engrossing user interface as long as it has excellent and relevant content material to offer. However, when there is more than one webpage offering similar data or contents but different layouts (i.e., navigation design), then layout becomes much more influential on search engine rankings within Google’s algorithm updates like Panda/Penguin.

The good news is that if you have AMP, the majority of your pages will do well in terms of page experience. Rudy Galfi says this doesn’t mean it’s a guarantee for all AMP Pages but they are designed with an emphasis on mobile performance and load speed to help ensure A+ ratings from Google.

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