Preparing for page experience ranking

Page Experience (PX) 

Google has been constantly evolving its algorithms for search, and recognized back in 2014 that more and more searches were being performed in mobile devices, and so mobile friendliness became a major ranking signal. In the same year Google added security as a ranking signal with the increased use of SSL certificates (HTTPS). 
The much heralded Page Experience update to the Google algorithm is to be introduced during June 2021, and Google have developed a number of tools to help website owners prepare for it. 

PX Pillars 

Google is looking to rank only quality websites, and so it has defined four main areas of concern for user experience, or pillars: 
PX Pillars - Loading
How fast or slow a web pages resources are downloaded and displayed in a users browser 
PX Pillars - User Annoyance
Seeks to quantify some of the web page behaviour that may prevent a user accomplishing a task 
PX Pillars - Security
Measures how safe, secure and privacy friendly a web page is. 
PX Pillars - Accessibility
Measures how accessible the web page is to users who have some form of disability. 
PX Pillars - Loading


Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) 
This metric reports the render time of the largest image or text block visible in the viewport of the device that the web page is being served to, relative to when the page started loading. 
First Input Delay (FID) 
Measures the time from when a user first interacts with a page by clicking on a link or button to the time when the device browser is actually able to begin processing the request (or handlers) in response to that action. 
PX Pillars - User Annoyance

User Annoyance 

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) 
CLS measures the sum total of all the individual layout shift scores for every unexpected layout shift that occurs on the page. These layout shifts occur every time a visible element changes its position from one rendered frame to the next. 
No abusive interstitials (advertising in particular) 
This is an existing search ranking policy which is being rolled into ranking factoring that detects the presence and use of interstitials (pop ups) or annoying adverts that are user hostile, and prevent the user from reading or interacting with the page that they landed on as a result of a Google search. The exceptions to this are such things as GDPR consent which is required by law.  
PX Pillars - User Privacy

Security and Privacy 

HTTPS Protocol 
Security is paramount, and Google wants to make sure that the website is using an SSL (or the HTTPS protocol) so that a user can confidently browse the website without having to worry about hijacking, losing data or improper impersonation.  
No safe browsing flags 
Preventing the proliferation of malware, unwanted software downloads or social engineering. Users have previously been warned that they may be entering a potentially harmful site, it will now be a ranking factor. 
PX Pillars - Accessability


Mobile Friendliness 
This measures how effective the pages are on small screens. 

Start at the Google Page Experience source ... Google  

Core Web Vitals 

The video below gives an insight into why Core Web Vitals are going to become an important part of the ranking algorithm. 
These are a set of metrics that apply to all web pages, and are a subset of those detailed above. The Core Web Vitals tool measures Largest Content Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID) and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) on a website and recorded and reported in Google reporting tools such as Search Console , Analytics and Chrome Developer Tools. 

Core Web Vital measurement thresholds 

Core Web Vital measurement thresholds
And from the Chrome team ... a further look at Web Vitals. 

Core Web Vital measurement in Search Console 

Search Console menu Search Console data message
Within Google Search Console there is a section titled "Experience" which has three main sections: 
Page Experience 
Core web vitals 
Mobile Usability. 
If your website has had insufficient visitors to it to generate real data, then the helpful message "Not enough data collected for this property" is displayed. If traffic to your website has been sufficient then the graphs below will be displayed, and you will be able to drill down to investigate further. 

Google Search Console - Page Experience 

PX report from Search Console

Google Search Console - Core Web Vitals 

Core Web Vitals form Search Console

Google Search Console - Mobile Usability 

Mobile Usability from Search Console

What do I do if Search Console has no data ? 

As the reporting tools use real time data relating to visits to your website, if there is insufficient traffic then a different tool set needs to be used. There are two main ones, both from the Google team, Lightspeed and Google Developer Tools. 

Using Lightspeed - Page Speed Insights 

PageSpeed insights
Google have provided a tool to measure web page speed metrics which can be accessed here. You can input any web address (URL) ... even your competitors, and receive information relating to the Core Web Vital data, with recommendations about how to improve things if required. 
Initial measurements using Lightspeed 
Lightspeed initial measurements
Suggested image size savings 
Lightspeed recommendations
Measurements after image optimization 
Lightspeed report post image optimization
Often images will be the largest contributor to LCP, they should be JPG however wide screen high resolution images can take a relatively significant time to serve, and by changing the quality level of the images from 100% to 15% in appropriate software can significantly reduce file size without visually impacting the image on a wide screen. 

Using Chrome Developer Tools - Page Speed Insights 

To use Lighthouse within Chrome Developer tools, you firstly need to be using the Chrome web browser and then select the developer tools from the "Chrome menu", select "Tools" followed by "Developer Tools" 
You should then open an incognito window, go to the web page you wish to examine to prevent other installed extensions interfering with the Lighthouse process, select the Lighthouse tab and the report will run for you, and produce results and recommendations. 
Chrome Developer Tools Lightspeed report

Web design, content generation and SEO from Itseeze Camberley 

If you need a new responsive website, advice on how to edit your Itseeze website, a cost effective means of monitoring the performance of your It'seeze website, tailored SEO packages, Google Map Pack optimization or Google Core Vital assistance please use the contact form below, call us on 01276 501285 or click on the "book an appointment" button to schedule an in person meeting or zoom call via our calendar management system. 
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