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Google's major new ranking factor for 2021

Google's new ranking algorithm is designed to rank pages based on how users perceive their experience with them.

This means that if a search engine believes that users will have a bad experience, Google will not rank those pages as high as it used to.

They call this the Google Page Experience Update. The program is expected to be launched in May 2021, leaving developers plenty of time to prepare.

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What is the Google Page Experience Update?

Previously, this metric helps to understand how users perceive the experience of a particular page. The criterion is influenced by the loading speed of the site and its sections, the correct operation of HTTPS, the number of advertisements, and the resource's quality.

Page Experience is made up of several existing Google search ranking factors, including:

• Update for mobile devices
• Updating page speed
• Increasing the HTTPS rating
• Annoying interstitial punishment
• Safe browsing penalty

It also includes the cultivation of metrics around speed and usability. These refinements affect core web metrics, such as user-centric metrics that measure a company's website, including its load time, interactivity, and content stability.

What to expect from this innovation

Page Experience is not specifically a ranking score. Each item within this metric has its own rankings in the overall Google ranking algorithm.

Key indicators affecting experience:

• Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). This is a new metric that looks at a page's stability when it loads (i.e., whether images, content, buttons move across the page while it is displayed).
• Safe Browsing. The page does not contain malware or misleading content. You can check your site using the Security Issues Report.
• First Input Delay (FID). This indicator measure interactivity. To ensure you're providing a good user experience, sites should aim to have an FID of less than 100 milliseconds.
• HTTPS. The page is served over the HTTPS protocol. Check if the site connection is secure. If the page is not served over HTTPS, learn how to secure your site with HTTPS.

Some initial releases of Panda influenced 11.8% of all queries, Google BERT impacted 10% of questions. It's hard to say how the new ranking factor will affect search, but some sites will definitely feel the impact. Google announced that it will warn users and developers six months before introducing a new element responsible for the site's position in search results.

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