As of March 3, the Google page experience update for desktop web pages and desktop search is complete. The update began on February 22 and concluded nine days later. According to the company, the ranking launch is based on the same Google ranking signals rolled out for mobile between June and August 2021, except for mobile friendliness.
This means more than the Google Core Web Vitals, the latest Google search algorithm update includes all aspects of website user experience, including how users interact with a web page and how well it meets their expectations.
Google first announced its plan to roll out the desktop version of the page experience in November 2021. Now that the Google page experience update for desktop is fully launched, how does it affect your current Google ranking position and organic search engine optimization (SEO) strategy?
Our technical SEO agency assessed the impact of the latest Google search algorithm update to guide your desktop optimization efforts. Read on and learn everything you need to know about the Google page experience update desktop version.
What You Need To Know About the Google Page Experience Desktop Algorithm Update
Google’s mission has always been to improve user experience. With the conclusion of the Google page experience update for desktop, website owners and specialists tackling technical SEO services need to focus on providing the best possible website user experience to increase their desktop search visibility and ramp up their Google ranking position.
How Does the Page Experience Desktop Version Differ from the Mobile Version?
The Google page experience update for desktop search results includes all of the Google ranking signals in the mobile search, including the three Core Web Vitals (LCP, FID, CLS), HTTPS security and absence of intrusive interstitials. However, while the mobile-friendly signal continues to be a mobile ranking factor, it won’t be a factor for desktop.
Here’s a chart from Google showing a comparison of the specific Google ranking signals for mobile and desktop:
Image Source: Google Search Central
The desktop rollout was quick by comparison: The mobile page experience update took 2.5 months to complete, while the latest Google search algorithm update for desktop took only nine days.
Desktop Page Experience Signals
Over time, Google has released several Google search updates that contribute to its goal of providing the best possible results for any given search query. The desktop page experience update is one of the many Google search updates based solely on your website user experience.
Here are the desktop page experience signals affecting your page experience score:
|Google Core Web Vitals
|Google Core Web Vitals are a set of metrics focused on page load time, visual stability and interactivity. It focuses on three signals:
• Largest Contentful Paint: measures your page load time. To enhance your website user experience, aim for a page load time of 2.5 seconds or less.
|HTTPS security focuses on a website’s security status. Any technical SEO agency knows that Google favors websites using HTTPS protocol to protect the integrity and confidentiality of data from a web server and a web browser.
|No Intrusive Interstitials
|The absence of intrusive interstitials quantifies content accessibility. To avoid a Google penalty, responsive website design services should adhere to interstitial design guidelines and avoid intrusive popups on the website.
The Impact of Desktop Page Experience Update on Google Ranking Position
According to Google, providers of SEO and responsive website design services should not expect drastic changes brought by the desktop rollout. If your organic search engine optimization efforts are already focused on improving user experience, you don’t have to worry about the desktop update.
In an announcement, the company said,
“While this update is designed to highlight pages that offer great user experiences, page experience remains one of many factors our systems take into account… Given this, sites generally should not expect drastic changes.”
Website owners may have noticed ranking volatility attributed to the page experience update on or after March 3. To check if your website’s organic search engine optimization performance has been affected by the desktop update, you can use several tools, such as Google Search Console (GSC) and PageSpeed Insights, to analyze your website user experience score.
Google Search Console provides a report dedicated to evaluating page experience criteria on desktop web pages. Meanwhile, PageSpeed Insights has a Google Core Web Vitals section that allows you to monitor your Core Web Vitals scores on both mobile and desktop.
Pages in red or yellow are indications of a dramatic decline in Google ranking position. Ranking drops that occurred on or starting March 3 may be a result of the page experience update. In this case, you need to analyze the reasons behind your poor page experience score and optimize accordingly to improve user experience on your website.
How To Improve User Experience on Desktop
While the desktop page experience update does not bring drastic changes, SEO experts still advise optimizing your website user experience. Page experience is one of the most critical Google search updates used to rank sites on search results. Therefore, failure to improve user experience affects your site’s crawlability and indexability and may cause ranking fluctuations.
Here are some tips to improve your page experience score and guarantee a positive website user experience:
1. Continuously monitor and evaluate your website’s page experience metrics, such as page load time, using tools like GSC, PageSpeed Insights and Lighthouse.
2. Use the CrUX dashboard to get feedback from users about their site experience.
3. Prioritize fixes on issues that cause poor performance scores.
4. Implement page experience best practices.
5. Consult trusted web design and SEO experts to get experience-focused technical SEO services and ensure your optimization efforts are on track.
Looking for an SEO and web design agency to improve your website user experience? Schedule a consultation with Thrive and let us help you implement appropriate fixes on your website to achieve good scores on the Google page experience test.