Google update for user experience does not start until mid-June

Google wanted to launch the Page Experience Update at the beginning of May, but will postpone this until mid-June. This will be a continuous update that will come into effect step by step and not all at once.

As you can read in one of our posts, Google has complained extensively about how big the divergence is between the optimization and its actual signal. Far too often, over-optimization would result in Google’s algorithm ranking the affected websites positively, but the signal of relevance – which stands for a high ranking – would be ignored. What are the consequences?

It can happen that users call up pages on the pretext that they correspond to their needs and the search query. As a result of over-optimization, however, the user in question often ends up on websites with a poor user experience. Google wants to prevent this with the new update. The goal: to support white hat SEOs and users by signaling what the websites actually contain.

Core Web Vitals as a ranking factor

Core Web Vitals as a ranking factor

The big solution and simultaneously the most important change on Google’s part is the use of Core Web Vitals in mobile search. These are therefore part of the ranking factor in the search engine. Due to the continuous process in which the update is scheduled, there will therefore not yet be any major changes that will take full effect from mid-June. Google states that the Core Web Vitals can only be expected to play a major role in the ranking towards the end of August.

“However, the user experience on the site will not play its full role as part of these systems until the end of August.”

As most SEOs among you have probably already guessed, the update will not mean a huge change in rankings overall. Rather, it will be another ranking factor on the list that now needs more attention in order to create a perfect search engine optimized website. So SEO experts and SEO agencies, get ready from mid-June to the end of August at the latest!

3 new criteria

Before the Core Web Vitals, there were already four criteria that Google used to evaluate the website. At the top of the list is optimization for mobile devices, which is probably one of the most important points in the evaluation. This is followed by security when using the internet with the keyword encrypted websites or HTTPS, which makes up the third criterion. The final of the four factors is the use of user-unfriendly advertising banners and other so-called disruptive elements.

The Core Web Vitals now add three more points to the rating system. Point one is the Largest Contentful Paint, LCP for short. From now on, Google will pay attention to the time required for the entire loading process. As usual, the faster the website loads, the better.

First Input Delay (FID) is the second new point. Here, very precise attention is paid to the time it takes for interactivity to occur. The last new point is the Comulative Layout Shift (CSL), which means the visual stability of the website.

All points thus form clear signals that are essential for the search and user experience. Google is thus placing a clear focus on its users and it can be assumed that the focus will continue to be on the user. After all, Google wants to remain the market-leading search engine and therefore wants to make using it as convenient as possible. False signals and divergences, as well as occasions for misuse of the algorithm, are to be gradually stopped.

New criteria

No AMP badge in the search

The use of Core Web Vitals will not be the only change coming to the Google search engine. In the so-called “Top Stories”, which many know as “headlines”, non-AMP websites will also appear in the mobile search. For mobile users, this means that they may come across pages that have not been optimized for mobile output. This means that the AMP badge, which will be familiar to many and identifies AMP websites, is finally saying goodbye to mobile search.

Google Search Console with Page Experience Report

Anyone expecting the Core Web Vitals report in Google Search Console will also be confronted with a change. With the update, there will be a report in future that refers to the user experience. This adds further signals to the Core Web Vitals that are important for the user experience. These include the seven criteria we have already mentioned. Various key figures can be viewed, for example the proportion of URLs that are particularly high in the page experience or impressions that have been generated in the search over time.

Of course, there will be a detailed report for all signals, as usual from Google. For example, pages with a high user experience can be filtered.

Steps for the future

What to do now? As already mentioned, you don’t need to worry too much. The changes are not enormous. Rather, they should be considered in support of the actual ranking process. This means that Google has been focusing on users since the early days of the search engine itself. After all, a search engine wants to be used and it can only do this if there is someone on the other side who enters a search term because they are hoping for a decisive answer.

It is precisely for this reason that Google does not support websites that send the wrong signals and can act as a deterrent for users on a large scale. The result: search engines become unattractive. Ultimately, this is not a profitable situation for either negative or positive websites. That’s why Google updates like this are achieving change in the right direction. Search engine optimization is a wonderful craft to make well-designed user-friendly websites visible.

So if you are focusing on an optimal user experience (UX) anyway, you have nothing to fear! On the other hand, if you haven’t quite got the hang of the update yet and are unsure whether your website meets these requirements, you are well advised to entrust yourself to an SEO agency or an SEO expert. For example, via a free initial consultation.

Although it will still be some time before we reach the end of August, it is never a bad idea and saves a lot of worry to prepare well in advance.

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