It’s happening: Google has begun rolling out the desktop version of the Google Page Experience update. The rollout will stretch over the next couple of weeks and should be completed by the end of March.
As we reported earlier, the desktop version of Google Page Experience update uses the same factors as the mobile version, sans the mobile-friendliness metric. The first Page Experience update, exclusively available to mobile search results, dropped in May 2020 and didn’t finish rolling out until August of that year. The idea behind the update is to prioritize pages offering excellent user experiences.
Fast forward to November 2021, Google announced that it would be launching the desktop version in February 2022.
And as promised, it’s finally here. On Feb. 22, the tech giant confirmed it has brought Page Experience update to desktop results.
In case you haven’t kept up to speed, here’s a lowdown of what you may have missed:
Expect No Major Changes
The Page Experience update is not designed to impact search rankings in a major way, and Google has been upfront about this very fact. This is because page experience has long been ingrained in the Google algorithm for evaluating and assessing web pages – essentially, it’s nothing new.
Since the first launch in 2020, there haven’t been notable changes in overall rankings in the mobile search results. And SEOs don’t think things will be any different with the desktop rollout.
However, this is not to undermine the importance of working within the Page Experience ranking signals and their parameters. On the contrary, Google believes optimizing with these metrics in mind is most beneficial to your ranking efforts in the long run.
Focus on Five Ranking Factors
Speaking of ranking signals, the desktop version uses the same factors, minus mobile-friendliness, to evaluate pages.
These factors include the three Core Web Vitals (CWVs), HTTPS security and the absence of intrusive interstitials. The three CWVs are:
- Largest Content Paint (LCP) – Page responsiveness
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) – Loading speed
- First Input Delay (FID) – Visual stability
Measure Page Performance on Google Search Console
Since January 2022, Google has added a dedicated desktop section to Google Search Console’s Page Experience reporting. This allows users to measure how well (or poorly) their pages are performing based on the Page Experience ranking signals.
Again, while the consensus is there will be no major shifts following the rollout, site owners are advised to stay on top of their Core Web Vitals and align their efforts with Page Experience best practices.
With this update, Google is pushing the same message it always has: Offer users a great experience, and you shall be rewarded. Regardless of the effects on your rankings so far, optimizing for Page Experience is playing the long game.
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