Google now says that good page experience is a requirement for creating, what Google defines as, helpful content. Google added a new section for providing a great page experience to its guidance around how to create helpful content, Google explained. Google also revised its help page about page experience to add more details about helpful content.
To be clear, good page experience is not a requirement for content to be considered helpful, it is just one of the aspects that is factored in by Google.
Page experience section in helpful content. Google added the following section to the helpful content guidance here, it reads:
“Provide a great page experience: Google’s core ranking systems look to reward content that provides a good page experience. Site owners seeking to be successful with our systems should not focus on only one or two aspects of page experience. Instead, check if you’re providing an overall great page experience across many aspects. For more advice, see our page, Understanding page experience in Google Search results.”
“In turn, that section links over to our revised Understanding page experience in Google Search results help page, which explains the role of page experience in more detail, along with self-assessment questions and resources,” Danny Sullivan of Google wrote. “That page brings together in one place some key aspects of page experience to consider, aspects that are unchanged from what we’ve talked about in recent years,” he added.
Search Console report changes. Google also removed the page experience report from Search Console and while keeping the core web vitals and HTTPS report and also dropped the mobile-friendly testing tool. More on those changes can be found over here.
More FAQs. Google also posted these FAQs on this change, which mentions the site-wide versus page-specific evaluations when it comes to measuring page experience:
Without the Page Experience report, how do I know if my site provides a great page experience?
The page experience report was intended as a general guidepost of some metrics that aligned with good page experience, not as a comprehensive assessment of all the different aspects. Those seeking to provide a good page experience should take an holistic approach, including following some of our self-assessment questions covered on our Understanding page experience in Google Search results page.
Is there a single “page experience signal” that Google Search uses for ranking?
There is no single signal. Our core ranking systems look at a variety of signals that align with overall page experience.
Page experience signals had been listed as Core Web Vitals, mobile-friendly, HTTPS and no intrusive interstitials. Are these signals still used in search rankings? While not all of these may be directly used to inform ranking, we do find that all of these aspects of page experience align with success in search ranking, and are worth attention
Are Core Web Vitals still important?
We highly recommend site owners achieve good Core Web Vitals for success with Search and to ensure a great user experience generally. However, great page experience involves more than Core Web Vitals. Good stats within the Core Web Vitals report in Search Console or third-party Core Web Vitals reports don’t guarantee good rankings.
What does this mean for the “page experience update”?
The page experience update was a concept to describe a set of key page experience aspects for site owners to focus on. In particular, it introduced Core Web Vitals as a new signal that our core ranking systems considered, along with other page experience signals such as HTTPS that they’d already been considering. It was not a separate ranking system, and it did not combine all these signals into one single “page experience” signal.
Is good page experience required to appear in the “Top stories” carousel on mobile?
Page experience is not an eligibility requirement to appear anywhere in the “Top stories” section. As long as content meets Google News best practices and Google News policies, our automated systems may consider it.
Is page experience evaluated on a site-wide or page-specific basis?
Our core ranking systems generally evaluate content on a page-specific basis, including when understanding aspects related to page experience. However, we do have some site-wide assessments.
Does page experience factor into the helpful content system?
The helpful content system is primarily focused on signals related to content, rather than presentation and page experience. However, just as our core ranking systems consider signals that align with good page experience, so does the helpful content system, to a degree.
How important is page experience to ranking success?
Google Search always seeks to show the most relevant content, even if the page experience is sub-par. But for many queries, there is lots of helpful content available. Having a great page experience can contribute to success in Search, in such cases.
Why we care. Reviewing these changes and understanding where Google wants your content and page experience to meet is important. The more you understand what it means to create helpful content, the better chances you have to rank well in Google Search.
Removing some of the tools in Search Console may not be something any of us are looking forward to, but we do learn to adapt.