SEO News You Can Use: Page Experience Update Postponed to mid-June

Lesley Marchant
SEO News You Can Use

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There we were, spending months and months optimizing our websites for the Page Experience update, counting down the days until May 1 when the rankings would shift mercilessly. If you still have some ways to go before all your Core Web Vitals are sitting comfortably in the green, we have some very good news for you: the Page Experience update has been delayed until mid-June, rolling out all the way into the end of August. 

Google announced the news on its Search Central Blog, saying it would be providing more “time, tools and details” to site owners. Google also said the months-long rollout would make it easier for them to monitor for “unexpected or unintended” problems. This announcement came just a few days after Google made last-minute changes to Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) scoring as a response to web owners’ concerns.

Now, rather than throwing us straight into the deep end, Google is first giving us some time to test the waters. A couple of smaller updates have already gone live, but the bulk is expected to roll out gradually over the next few months. That means we have plenty more time to get those scores up to scratch and take advantage of the potential rankings boost. 

One of the items that have gone live early is a new Page Experience report in Search Console, which shows your website’s current Core Web Vitals performance and combines these results with other page experience signals: mobile-friendliness, HTTPS, security issues and ad experience. Together, these scores are evaluated to determine the percentage of URLs on a website that offer a good page experience, making it easier to track pages that fail at page experience metrics.

So, here’s what we now know is coming in mid-June:

  • Page Experience ranking changes will begin a gradual two-month rollout.
  • Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) will no longer be a requirement for eligibility in the Top Stories Carousel.
  • Google will continue testing its Page Experience/Core Web Vitals label in Search results.

By the end of August, all these changes will be finalized and the search engine results pages (SERPs) will likely look very different than they did before. In the meanwhile, all we can do is exactly what we’ve been doing – we just have the opportunity to work at it for a little longer. If you’ve left put it off until the last minute, be sure to check out a reliable Google Page Experience Guide to get ahead. And if your site is already perfect? Well, John Mueller recommends starting an SEO side hustle.

More SEO News You Can Use

John Mueller Supports Your SEO Side Hustle: Google’s John Mueller said on Reddit that the looming Page Experience update marks the perfect moment for SEOs to level up their knowledge and start lucrative side hustles. As any web owner would by now be well aware, optimizing for all three Core Web Vitals is no small feat, and site owners have had to expand their understanding of technical SEO aspects accordingly. If you’re a newly-knighted technical SEO expert who has a few hours to spare (after all, your website is already in the green for all three metrics, right?), now is the time to share your knowledge and make a quick buck. If you can prove with your scores that you’ve done it for yourself, that’s enough for clients to know you can do it for them.

A Brand-New WordPress Plugin Helps Users Optimize for the Page Experience update: Speaking of Core Web Vitals, here’s some good news for WordPress users who don’t have access to a team of full-time developers. Automattic – founded by the creator of WordPress – has just released Jetpack Boost, a free plugin that provides easy, one-click optimization for Google Core Web Vitals. Currently, the plugin optimizes CSS loading, defers all nonessential JavaScript and improves user experience (UX) through lazy loading of images. Basically, Jetpack Boost automatically does a bunch of things you’d pay a developer to do for you – and more features are planned for the future.

This Is Why Google Removes Content From Search Results: In general, web owners can get away with a lot. Even websites that violate Google’s rules do not get permanently de-indexed, and almost any site is given a second chance to claw their way back up the rankings. While removing content is not an action the search engine giant takes lightly, Google’s Danny Sullivan has revealed in a blog the two reasons content gets removed from Google Search results: to comply with the law and to protect users. Information from authorities, often related to laws around privacy and defamation, may require Google to remove certain results. Google may also make the decision to remove content that contains highly personal information, such as medical records or imagery published without the consent of the subject. 

It Looks Like WordPress Could Jump on the FLoC-Blocking Bandwagon: Last week, we reported on privacy-minded search engines DuckDuckGo, Brave and Vivaldi releasing statements criticizing Google’s FLoC – its proposed third-party-cookie alternative. According to Google’s competitors, it just isn’t good enough. And now, the biggest content management system (CMS) in the world is questioning FLoC, too. WordPress is discussing a proposal to block FLoC. Conversations are still ongoing within the developer community, with some calling it a “security threat” and others disagreeing. As yet, no firm decision has been made, but Search Engine Journal (SEJ) has an excellent roundup of the discussions. Let’s wait and see what happens next.

Microsoft Has Unveiled a Number of New Features and Technology: Let’s give all the Google talk a rest for a while, shall we? Microsoft has been busy, too! At the recent Microsoft Advertising Elevate, the company announced a slew of new changes, from a price comparison beta to its very own small business hub with organic and paid social integrations. But one new feature stands out in a time where search privacy advocates are more vocal than ever. Microsoft Bing’s new privacy-first search offering allows Bing to deliver results without seeing a user’s search term and is specifically designed for its search partner network (it’s currently being used by DuckDuckGo.) It’s an exciting time to be a Bing user (and advertiser), and there’s much more where these came from, so check out the new features for yourself – it might just spark some SEO ideas.

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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