Google normally brings in changes to its page ranking algorithms without notice, sometimes even without an announcement. Next year will be different: the ‘Page Experience Update‘ has been confirmed as coming in May 2021, and it’s going to be big. From that point on, the search engine will take ‘expected user experience’ into consideration for ranking in its results. There may even be a “visual indicator that highlights pages in search results that have great page experience.”
The three big questions which spring to mind are:
- Will this have a major impact on everyone’s positions in the Google results?
- What on earth is ‘expected user experience’ anyway? and
- How do I prepare for this?
I’ll take a look at the big two questions tomorrow, but to answer the first one, you won’t be surprised to learn that nobody knows. I’ve read a number of articles that predict it will be quite minor, as many of the Page Experience signals are already factored into Google’s search algorithms. However, for those of us who have sites whose success relies on Google search rankings that we’ve nurtured for years, I think ignoring it is too big a risk to take. Even if the rankings don’t change much, having an indicator in the results that your page provides a good ‘expected user experience’ might be of considerable benefit.
So it’s worth staying on top of this. Take a look in Google Search Console at the new ‘Core Web Vitals’ report for a clue as to where you stand.