Google Page Experience Update for Desktop is Now Live

Google page experience update for Desktop has finally been completed on March 3. With the announcement of this culmination of the desktop rollout, you can start assessing the impact on your search rankings. The launch of the page experience update on mobile took two and a half months to complete. This has been followed up by the rollout of the page experience update to the desktop search results which is finally live. The rollout began on February 22 and took nine days to complete.

Now that page experience signals are rolling out on all devices, you must take a close look at your search performance in Google Search Console to understand how your pages perform in terms of both page experience and other factors like mobile-friendliness, security, and more.

Decrypting The Effect of Desktop Page Experience Update

The positive or negative shifts occurring in search rankings on March 3 can be attributed to the page experience update. Use Google Search Console and identify whether your desktop pages are negatively impacted by the update or not. If the report shows a majority of your pages in red or yellow, it’s likely any ranking drops occurring on March 3 are a result of being negatively impacted by the Page Experience Update. Should you discover your website is negatively impacted, find out why by looking at the criteria individually and consider ways to improve them.

Page experience is how web pages feel for users. Example: fast, reliable, and engaging. Google has announced that page experience will become eligible for Core Web Vitals at some point later this year. If you notice any ranking changes for your website on March 3, you may need to improve the page experience score of some or all of your pages.

Desktop users have come to expect a certain level of frictionless User Experience (UX) on their devices. Now that Google has introduced a desktop page experience ranking update which will affect how non-mobile pages perform in search. Should your pages fail to meet the standards set by Google, your site’s rankings could be negatively affected.

What Are The Ranking Factors for Desktop Page Experience?

Desktop page experience ranking factors include:

  • Core Web Vitals (LCP + CLS + FID)
  • HTTPS Security
  • Absence of intrusive interstitials

If your website fails to meet any of the above criteria, you will not benefit from the page experience ranking boost on desktop. A ranking drop doesn’t mean your site is being punished for not meeting Google’s page experience criteria. It means sites meeting Google’s criteria might end up ranking above you, causing your pages to rank lower. Therefore, improving your page experience score can help you regain those ranking positions and remain competitive. It’s easy to narrow down which component of the page experience update you need to focus on for most domains because each website is unique and has different gaps to fill. So if a site has relatively fast loading speeds across the board but struggles with delivering an incident-free Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), it only needs to fix that specific issue, rather than optimize all three Core Web Vitals for desktop.

Core Web Vitals – they’re the key to good page experience and they’ll be combined with our existing signals to signify how “good” a page is. When we talk about Experience, we’re looking at three things: How fast your page loads and response, whether it’s stable, and if it’s easy for users to interact with. This is an important factor in Google Search for 2021.

Google has started evaluating a new set of signals—called page experience signals to help our users find more engaging, helpful, and visually-appealing pages. A relevant, fast, secure, and engaging page experience fosters better user interactions.

The report for Google Core Web Vitals in Search Console reveals that your pages leverage real-time data to perform for each metric. The analysis for Core Web Vitals has been built into many other Google tools such as PageSpeed Insights, Lighthouse, and Chrome DevTools. Moreover, users can also download an extension for their Chrome browsers to check Core Web Vitals on a per-page basis.

Make use of the tools to determine which of your pages need to be optimized to meet Google’s page experience criteria. If you use the Chrome browser and have Google Search Console, ping your site right now. The result will tell you how many desktop pages on your site are eligible for the page experience ranking boost. Better yet, Google will give you a list – as many searches as you can handle, of all the pages that need to be tweaked to pass muster, and therefore get the boost.

A great page experience is both fast and delightful. Your final score reflects how you measure up with all of these important factors. Page experience combines Core Web Vitals with existing search signals such as mobile-friendliness, safe-browsing, HTTPS, and more; add to that relevant content and you will have a perfect recipe for a highly-credible and user-friendly webpage.

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