Google Core Web Vitals and Page Experience updates
Google has announced they “will continue to prioritize pages with the best information overall, even if some aspects of page experience a subpar”
“We published an FAQ on Google’s page experience ranking answering questions like: Where does the Core Web Vitals data come from? How is a score calculated for a URL that was recently published & hasn’t yet generated 28 days of data? …and many more.” Malte Ubl, Technically a Software Engineer at Google
Google states “In December last year, we published a set of Core Web Vitals & Page Experience FAQs based on the questions you wanted us to answer. We received a lot of positive feedback, and many wrote to us saying they found the answers helpful. We are back with more answers to the questions we received meanwhile. We’ve organized the questions in this post into three sections: Metrics & Tooling, Page Experience & Search, and AMP. We hope you find these useful,”
Google will make changes to how they rank most relevant content despite how poorly the page’s web vital scores according to Google, “Our systems will continue to prioritize pages with the best information overall, even if some aspects of page experience are subpar. A good page experience doesn’t override having great, relevant content.” Google also states that poorer ranked pages can be still “eligible for Top Stories carousel if my webpage is not clearing Core Web Vitals.”
Why this matters
Most specifically, Google’s Page Experience UPdate which is set to land in May, we are preparing to ensure that all of our own and managed websites confirm to this update regardless if these recent updates end up being a big ranking factor or not. Regardless, keeping an eye on a good user experience will keep our users happier and will potentially increase site conversion rates as well as performance.
The FAQs: The top FAQs important to the most recent updates:
Q: Where does the Core Web Vitals data that Search considers come from?
A: The data comes from the Chrome User Experience Report, which is based on actual user visits and interactions with web pages. To be clear, the data is not computed based on lab simulations of loading pages or based on the visits of a non-human visitor like Googlebot.
Q: A 3rd Party service I utilize (such as client-side A/B Testing, Social Embed, Personalization Engines, Comment Systems etc.) is slowing down my site.
Q: Why does Google’s guidance use the same thresholds for CWV for all types of pages? For example, a home page for a newspaper is not the same as an article and not the same as a comments page.
A: Core Web Vitals are meant to be foundational metrics that apply to all types of pages. To determine the threshold ranges, we analyzed a wide variety of pages and drew upon research that focused on core user experience requirements agnostic of the page type.
Q: What is the page experience update and how important is it compared to other ranking signals?
A: The page experience update introduces a new signal that our search algorithms will use alongside hundreds of other signals to determine the best content to show in response to a query. Our systems will continue to prioritize pages with the best information overall, even if some aspects of page experience are subpar. A good page experience doesn’t override having great, relevant content.
This is similar to changes we’ve had in the past, such as our mobile-friendly update or our speed update. As with those signals, page experience will be more important in “tie-breaker” types of situations. If there are multiple pages of similar quality and content, those with better page experience might perform better than those without.
In short, publishers shouldn’t worry that when we begin using page experience, that they may suffer some immediate significant drop, if they’re still working on making improvements. But publishers should be focused on making those improvements a relative priority over time. This is because as more and more sites continue to improve their page experience, it will be the norm that publishers will want to match.
Q: Are Core Web Vitals a ranking factor when using Google Search on non-Chrome browsers?
A: Yes. Page experience ranking signals, based on Core Web Vitals, are applied globally on all browsers on mobile devices.
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