Google has just announced a new SEO ranking signal, called Page Experience

Google acknowledged the challenging times we’re living in, and assured us in their announcement that "the ranking changes described in this post will not happen before next year, and we will provide at least six months notice before they're rolled out." 

Although there is no immediate need to take action, web teams can become familiar with the new tools and best practices being targeted for this 2021 rollout.

What is Page Experience?

According to Google’s Developer resources:

Page experience is a set of signals that measure how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page beyond its pure information value. It includes Core Web Vitals, which is a set of metrics that measure real-world user experience for loading performance, interactivity, and visual stability of the page. Core Web Vitals are real-world, user-centered metrics that quantify key aspects of the user experience. It also includes existing Search signals: mobile-friendliness, safe-browsing, HTTPS, and intrusive interstitial guidelines.

Google will be looking for the following signals in order to determine the quality of page experience:

What does this mean?

The Page Experience update combines a number of search signals that have already been touted by Google as critical to optimizing sites for best user experiences, but with a new name.

Google Announces Page Experience as Future Ranking Signal

(source: Google Webmaster Blog)

However, Google is rolling out a number of interactive and critical tools to help web teams evaluate current compliance as well as measure and monitor performance once the new Update rolls out. A detailed explanation of all elements is available here, and a helpful workflow for UX teams beginning to evaluate sites for the Update can be found here.

Industry predictions are generally positive, since most of these signals have been top-of-mind for web teams. There may be a shift in making non-AMP content available in Top Stories in SERPs, and it’s likely that great content—supported by great UX—will continue (as has been the movement for years) to be the most important focus for improving and maintaining search engine visibility and rankings.