• Lily Osborne

Google will be taking 'page experience' into account in 2021 for search results.

Google is changing its algorithm on how websites are ranked in search results. The company said that this change will happen in early 2021. So what does this mean? To put shortly, if you rank low on the new metric, page experience, you may show up lower on search results.

What is 'Page Experience'?

Google is using it as an umbrella term to embody a set of metrics that go further than page speed. This is important because a lot doesn't get accounted for in the page speed test (pop up, image movement etc.). It's not clear exactly what will be measured by Google, as they won't be able to measure it all, but they are attempting, which is a bloody good start!

We do know three metrics that will be within 'page experience' thanks to chrome, who introduced these metrics to help site owners measure user experience earlier this month:

  • CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift): when things move on the page- example when text rearranges due to size of browser/screen

  • FID (First Input Delay): how quickly the page reacts when something is clicked

  • LCP (largest content paint): means how quickly the main content loads

The sup. news explains in greater detail about how this update will affect news in ranking as 'top stories'. They also point out a very important concern- by using metrics chrome have put out- it runs the risk of developers favouring chrome as a browser over others, a risk well worth watching out for.

What does this mean for your website?

The long and short of this is that it's more metrics for you to keep an eye on. Google has updated its resources like lighthouse and PageSpeed Insights to help developers understand the changes.

Now this change in the algorithm isn't taking any other metrics away, it is only adding on. So the other metrics that impacted ranking on search results will still be taken into consideration, such as the all-encompassing page speed, mobile-friendliness, backlinks, and optimized SEO.

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