Google has announced that it is delaying its Page Experience Update from May 2021 to a gradual rollout that won’t start until mid-June 2021. Specifically, the ranking change won’t be fully active until the end of August this year. The update, which was planned to go live on May 14th, has been delayed due to feedback from webmasters about Core Web Vitals.
The main goal of this update is to reward sites that provide better user experiences. Many factors influence how pages rank in search results for any given query. One of these is the quality of content on a page related to a particular subject. The Page Experience Update will refine other ranking signals, including perceived site speed, loading time and measuring mobile-friendliness – all to gauge end-user’s experience every time they visit a website.
Google has focused on how fast web pages load for many years. However, the recently announced update will be taking these measurements even more seriously by including a new set of metrics called Core Web Vitals as part of its rankings factors. This update means that sites with slow loading speeds may see a drop in their rankings, while those with optimised performance may improve their chances of better visibility in search engines.
Google has decided to delay the Page Experience Update so webmasters can make any last-minute refinements. The announcement comes as a relief for many site owners who are yet to finish preparations. SEO agencies have been awaiting the proposed changes, conducting audits and making technical updates across websites to ensure they’re ready.
The new schedule proposed by Google gives a period for them to “monitor for any unexpected or unintended issues”. A slower rollout over several weeks will mean a gradual shift in rankings rather than any dramatic effects. However, along these lines, Google has already made it clear not to expect drastic changes from this update. The update aims to reward the best user experiences but is ultimately only one of the hundreds of ranking factors.
Site owners who want to prepare should ensure their website is up-to-date with recent developments in SEO best practices and review any technical changes that may need implementation before mid-June 2021. If you’re concerned about the Page Experience Update or have any related questions, contact our SEO team.