SEO News You Can Use: Google Page Experience Update Has Arrived on Desktop

SEO News You Can Use

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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.

More SEO News You Can Use

Infringing Sites Could Potentially Lose 89 Percent of Search Traffic: If your site is accused of copyright infringement and has received “a large number” of DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) takedown requests, it could lose as much as 89 percent of search traffic. This is because of the latest Pirate update, originally dubbed DMCA update, which states that infringing sites will be demoted on the search engine results page (SERP), resulting in a massive drop in traffic. As part of the update, owners of flagged sites can’t evade demotion by moving to a new domain. Google is using an enhanced demotion signal that renders this clumsy workaround virtually ineffective. If your site has received a large number of DMCA notices (Google hasn’t said how many is too many), experts advise checking Google transparency report for your domain, fixing all copyright issues and requesting reconsiderations.

BrightEdge Acquires Oncrawl To Give SEOs Better Data Analysis and Insights: We are witnessing another exciting acquisition in the SEO space in 2022: Enterprise SEO leader BrightEdge has acquired Oncrawl, a technical SEO platform that crawls websites and provides reports packed with actionable insights for SEOs. The overarching goal of this acquisition is to give SEO professionals more comprehensive organic software solutions enforced with data science. With access to Oncrawl technology, BrightEdge is able to perform “sophisticated scientist tasks” to support and simplify website data analysis. The complete solutions produced by this mean better-than-ever access to data-driven insights that drive performance. For SEOs wanting to scale their campaigns with speed, simplicity and precision, this could be the future.

Survey Suggests Most SEOs Ignore Spammy Links: An informal poll suggests most SEOs are not inclined to disavow spammy links. On Feb. 18, SEO professional Sarah McDowell took to Twitter to pose the question: “Do you ignore [spammy links] or go down the disavow route to be on the safe side?” Surprisingly, 66 percent of the 182 respondents said to “ignore spammy links.” The disavow tool allows you to take down backlinks that could harm the quality of your backlink profile (hence, ranking), specifically backlinks that resulted from black-hat or erroneous link-building tactics of your own. But it appears some SEOs are not eager to take advantage of the disavow tool to remove spammy links. According to the Twitter thread, there are a few reasons for this. For example, one person says they’re more worried about “overly commercial anchor text” and ignore the rest, while another user is not concerned as long as their spammy links are below 30 percent of their total links. Overall, the poll offers an interesting insight into the different approaches and priorities SEOs have regarding their backlink profile.

Google Warns That “Discovered – Currently Not Indexed” Status Can Be Permanent: On Feb. 18, Google’s John Mueller stated that the “Discovered – Currently not indexed” status in Google Search Console could mean your site won’t get indexed forever. The announcement came during a Google Search Central SEO office-hours hangout, in response to an individual named Davor Bobek, who joined the stream and asked how long the status is expected to last. The status, meaning a page has been discovered but not crawled or indexed, “can be forever,” said Mueller. If some of your pages have this status, Mueller suggests working on your site to improve its content and overall quality, instead of simply waiting and leaving your pages as is.

Google Ads Launches Enhanced Conversions for Leads for Easier Conversion Tracking: Google has rolled out enhanced conversion for leads after testing it out earlier this month. The new Google Ads feature is designed to enhance the way you measure conversions and give you a fuller picture of the customer’s journey. This is how the feature works: When a prospect fills out a lead form on a website, the site owner will likely receive first-party data, such as name, email address, phone number, etc. The conversion tag captures that data, hashes it and sends it to Google in a privacy-safe way. And when a lead converts, the site owner uploads their hashed lead data, and Google matches that data to the ad that drove the lead. All these could lead to more informed bidding decisions, more cost-effective campaigns and greater conversions.

Editor’s Note: “SEO News You Can Use” is a weekly blog post posted every Monday morning only on SEOblog.com, rounding up all the top SEO news from around the world. Our goal is to make SEOblog.com a one-stop-shop for everyone looking for SEO news, education and for hiring an SEO expert with our comprehensive SEO agency directory

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