Google announces the completion of the page experience update for desktop search results. The nine-day rollout on desktops took place from Feb 22 to March 3. While on the contrary, the page experience update on mobile took two and a half months to get finished.
One can now begin to evaluate the effect on their search rankings as the desktop rollout is completed.
Evaluating the effect of Desktop Page Experience Update
As a result of Google’s page experience update both positive and negative changes in desktop search rankings could be observed from March 3 onward. Use Google’s tools to analyze the page’s experience score. For example, Google Search Console provides a detailed report after evaluating the page experience on desktops. Such a report will help you understand the impact of the page experience update on the website.
If in the report you see a majority of pages in red or yellow, it means that hardly any decline in rankings took place on March 3 due to the page experience update. Also, if you find out that your page experience scores are poor, it's time to uncover the reasons by individual assessment of the criteria.
Desktop Page Experience Update Criteria
The page experience update for desktop has a number of the same ranking factors as that of the mobile search, which got launched in the previous year. These ranking factors are:
Core Web Vitals (LCP + CLS + FID)
Absence of intrusive interstitials
If the website fails to meet any of the above factors, the page experience ranking boost on the desktop will be of no help to you.
Moreover, a decline in ranking due to not meeting Google’s page experience criteria would not suggest that your site will get penalized. It would rather mean that sites completing Google’s criteria may result in a ranking higher than yours.
Hence, in order to achieve back those ranking positions, you must improve your page experience score.
Start by noting down which part of the page experience update needs more attention.
Test if your site passes Core Web Vitals thresholds.
(Use the Google Core Web Vitals report in Search Console to understand how your pages respond to each metric using actual data)
You can even add an extension in Chrome to check Core Web Vitals for each page and know which pages need to be further optimized to meet the criteria.
Although page experience is not everything you need to rank better. Even if you get a green page experience score, getting a better rank is not assured. While your rankings won’t necessarily decline if your scores are low. Hence, make sure to maintain the relevancy of your page’s content to deliver a good page experience.
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