Google’s much-anticipated Page Experience update is set to roll out in May 2021. Jeffrey Jose, Product Manager on Search at Google, explained in a recent announcement that, “The new page experience signals combine Core Web Vitals with our existing search signals including mobile-friendliness, safe-browsing, HTTPS-security, and intrusive interstitial guidelines.”
The good news is that none of these considerations are new; the factors Google considers part of Core Web Vitals and Page Experience have been best practices for some time now.
What is new is that Google plans to test different visual indicators that will identify pages that meet Page Experience criteria right in the search results (in much the same way as a site’s SSL status is called out in the SERPs). Although underperforming in these areas may already have been harming conversion, you may not have necessarily felt the negative impact in a measurable way. With this new update, it appears that Google plans to make lackluster performance in these areas highly visible to searchers.
What does Google’s Page Experience update mean for brands?
In short, the impact of these important search signals is moving up the funnel, from on-page to the SERPs. Where to this point they impacted user experience on the page, going forward they may impact your conversion from search, as well as your rank in search.
For marketers whose local KPIs were focused on organic traffic, you may have been getting away with not looking after these things in the past. Now there’s a very real chance it’s going to impact traffic, as well.
What signals does Google consider in its evaluation of on-site user experience?
Focusing on your user’s experience will only continue to grow in importance, as well. In a May 2020 blog post about page experience, Google stated, “Because we continue to work on identifying and measuring aspects of page experience, we plan to incorporate more page experience signals on a yearly basis to both further align with evolving user expectations and increase the aspects of user experience that we can measure.”
There are plenty of ways to improve the experiences local consumers are having in online interactions with your brand, including:
- Focusing on the quality of your local content
- Optimizing your GMB profiles with all relevant information and attributes
- Keeping local listings accurate, up to date, and free of spam or duplicate issues
- Monitoring and listening across the local search ecosystem
“This holistic, user-centric focus enables your brand to connect with and engage local customers when and wherever they choose to interact with your brand. “This upcoming Google Page Experience update is just another step in their path to ensuring people have the best possible experience on the web,” says Mick Wilson, our Vice President of Customer Success. “Focusing on your local customers’ journey and optimizing their online experiences—on your website and in local search results—aligns with Google’s goals. That’s only going to benefit your brand in the months and years ahead.”
Our team at Rio SEO has always followed industry-leading best practices in the development of Local Pages and Store Locators, to protect the integrity of client brand search results. If you have any questions or concerns about this impending search update, please reach out to your Account Director or contact us today.