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Google’s ‘Page Experience’ Offers Useful SEO Guidance

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Page experience is another important tip directly from Google on how to get better rankings with search engine optimization.

Few people outside of Google — except for high-ranking former employees — know much about the many ways that Google ranks websites for its search engine. After all, the company doesn’t want to share important secrets with competitors. Its secretive ways also make the task of ranking well in Google’s search engine all the harder.

But Google has been open about at least some factors that all website publishers should embrace for search rankings and better user experience. They especially include:

  1. Website speed (which Google also calls Core Web Vitals)
  2. Mobile friendliness
  3. Safe browsing (no malware)
  4. HTTPS (secure sites)
  5. Intrusive interstitials (for example, popup ads)

Any publisher who embraces these goals with enthusiasm is likely to see more site visitors from Google as a result.

The company more recently has emphasized a new standard that it calls page experience.

“The page experience signal measures aspects of how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page,” Google says. “Optimizing for these factors makes the web more delightful for users across all web browsers and surfaces, and helps sites evolve towards user expectations on mobile. We believe this will contribute to business success on the web as users grow more engaged and can transact with less friction.”

Page Experience Action Items

Details from Google indicate that page experience is more of an umbrella concept that includes the five factors above. So it benefits publishers to use the concept as a broad strategy concept and the five search ranking factors as tactics. It means consistently acting on all five as part of a total effort.

A sample of action items for each of the five tactics may include:

  1. Using PageSpeed Insights from Google to measure the speed of both a desktop and mobile version of a site.
  2. Using the same tool or others such as GTmetrix or Pingdom to spot ways of optimizing a mobile site. (Likewise, visit the site frequently as a user and compare it to others.)
  3. Avoiding ads from questionable advertising networks for the sake of more revenue.
  4. Making the simple switch of a site from HTTP to HTTPS.
  5. Taking up too much screen space with large ads, displaying too many of them or using popups too often.

The often-secretive Google offers one final and useful tip: “While page experience is important, Google still seeks to rank pages with the best information overall, even if the page experience is subpar. Great page experience doesn’t override having great page content. However, in cases where there are many pages that may be similar in relevance, page experience can be much more important for visibility in Search.”

It’s another way of saying that website publishers should post content with high-quality writing and graphics when competing with other sites in the same content category. Content is king (and queen).

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