Google page experience was never a ranking “system” but is still considered a ranking “signal,” Danny Sullivan, Google’s Search Liaison, said this morning. Google emphasized that just because page experience was removed as a ranking system, it does not mean it does not reward pages that have a good page experience.
What changed. A week ago, Google removed page experience system, the mobile-friendly system, page speed system and the secure site system from its ranking systems page. Google also wrote, “The page experience update was a concept to describe a set of key page experience aspects for site owners to focus on.”
So Google seemed to have downplayed page experience signals as an overall ranking system.
We did email Google for a statement about this a week ago, and Google only referenced the line about page experience update being a concept but would not tell us anything more on the record.
Clarification from Google. This morning, Google’s Search Liaison, Danny Sullivan, posted a long post on Twitter, saying, “This just meant these weren’t ranking *systems* but instead signals used by other systems.” Why did Google make this change? “We dropped the systems that were actually signals so that if people did go to that page in the future, they wouldn’t (hopefully) get confused,” Sullivan added.
“As our guidance on page experience says in the first sentence: Google’s core ranking systems look to reward content that provides a good page experience,” Sullivan added.
Signal not system. So Google said the page experience update/system was never a “system” but is still considered a ranking signal. “Taking them off didn’t mean we no longer consider aspects of page experience,” Sullivan said.
Why we care. So continue to provide a good page experience on your site because Google said it is still a ranking signal, while not being a ranking system. Of course, you should have always provided a good page experience on your site, even if it is not a Google ranking system. Heck, even if it is not a ranking signal, which Google says it is, but even if it was not, you should still provide a good page experience to your users.
That being said, this may clarify some confusion on this topic, or this may drive even more confusion.
My advice? For SEO, focus on providing outstanding content that helps your users. Build content and a website that goes above and beyond your competitors. Make sure that users can access that content, and that they have a good experience while consuming that content on desktop and mobile. But do not obsess about making sure you score 100s across all core web vital metrics, it is not that big of a ranking signal, and you know better if your site is providing a good page experience than a third-party tool from Google.