Announced some time ago and officially started as of February 22, Google has confirmed that its desktop Page Experience Update is now complete. Now comes the time for webmasters and SEOs to assess what (if any) impact the update has had on their performance in the SERP rankings.
Though as far as Google is concerned, what appears to be a major update on the surface is unlikely to have far-reaching effects.
In any case, Google is now recommending that anyone who notices any difference in their site’s performance uses Google Search Console to evaluate how the pages stack up against the new Page Experience criteria.
By comparison, the launch of the Page Experience update on mobile took two and a half months to complete.
What Webmasters and SEOs Need to Know
As a reminder, the company published the following table to indicate which main factors will be taken into account by the new update:
In terms of what the whole thing really means, Google has shared plenty of detailed information about the criteria covered by the update and why they matter. In short, it all adds up to a picture where Google is placing greater emphasis on the kinds of signals and metrics that indicate a high quality user experience.
For example, things like page loading times, mobile friendliness and the presence or otherwise of intrusive ads are all set to be scrutinised even more heavily.
But what is interesting is how for, the update does not actually bring anything new or surprising to the forefront. Almost all of the ‘new’ measures and metrics Google will be focusing on what has been considered mandatory SEO stakes for quite some time.
There have even been more focused updates to Google’s algorithm that have centred on some of these specific factors, such as its page speed update, safe browsing penalty update and the introduction of its intrusive interstitials penalty.
Keep Calm and Carry On
Far from the kind of radical reform that is set to deal a hammer blow to millions of websites, the desktop version of Google’s Page Experience Update may go unnoticed by most.
Given the fact that the majority of its components have been SEO staples for years, the whole thing really shouldn’t make much of a difference at all.
Google itself indicated that just as long as the conventional rules have been followed, there is not a great deal to worry about.
“While this update is designed to highlight pages that offer great user experiences, page experience remains one of many factors our systems take into account,” read a statement from Google.
“Given this, sites generally should not expect drastic changes.”
Still, it is perfectly possible that minor to moderate changes in performance could be attributed to the completion of the desktop Page Experience Update. In which case, Google Search Console could provide the insights needed to steer things back in a more favourable direction.