Google’s New Algorithm: Page Experience

The Page Experience algorithm is designed to judge web pages based on how users experience and interact with them. It encompasses numerous existing Google search ranking factors, including the safe browsing penalty, the intrusive interstitials penalty, the HTTPS ranking boost, the mobile-friendly update, the Page Speed update and Google’s Core Web Vitals.

All other considerations being equal, this update means that Google is more likely to rank your pages higher if they provide a good user experience. However, great content will still be the more important factor, Rudy Galfi, product manager at Google, told Search Engine Land. The update is scheduled to roll out sometime in 2021.

In Google’s own words, here is what it means…

The page experience signal measures aspects of how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page. Optimizing for these factors makes the web more delightful for users across all web browsers and surfaces, and helps sites evolve towards user expectations on mobile. We believe this will contribute to business success on the web as users grow more engaged and can transact with less friction.

The details of the Google’s Page Experience algorithm

The Page Experience update builds on a new set of real-world user-centered metrics recently announced by Chrome — so-called Core Web Vitals. In addition, it includes a few existing key search signals. According to Google, when the Page Experience factor comes into force, it will be joined with hundreds of search signals. Let’s now see what’s inside the Page Experience:

Key Search signals as part of Google’s new algorithm

Mobile-friendliness. Everyone who wants to improve their SEO ranking needs to have their pages optimized for mobile devices. You can check if yours is with the help of the Mobile-Friendly Test.

Safe browsing. Your pages should be safe for users — they should contain no malware, deceptive elements, unwanted software, etc. Check your website’s safety status with the Security Issues report.

The use of HTTPS. Your website should definitely be using the secure protocol of data exchange if you want to improve your SEO ranking, so it’s high time to switch to HTTPS.

No intrusive interstitial guidelines. Google will decrease the ranking of websites with “intrusive interstitials” that prevent users from easy access to web pages from mobile devices (like popups covering the content and similar elements).