Every website owner or manager will tell you that customers and potential clients are why they invest time and money to ensure a seamless and stress-free page experience when interacting with their site. While it is a must for the humans checking out the page, Google has determined that page experience is not a criterion that is essential to ranking. In fact, several of the page experience ranking systems were removed during a recent update.
What Got Axed
The recent update was more than just a matter of removing criteria related to page experience. The mobile-friendly, page speed, and secure site systems have all been eliminated. In addition, when comparing an older version of the page to the live version, the page experience data was not retired; it was removed entirely. So, there will be no visiting the retired systems page to gather any historical information on the system.
What Is Google Really Saying?
Just a few days ago, Google updated a page related to helpful content. The new information basically pointed out that a positive page experience is now considered a part of helpful content. While it is not a requirement, it is useful and desirable to the user. However, it will not help the creator when it comes to rankings. So, to further impress this stance, Google removed the page experience report along with the mobile usability report from the Google Search Console.
Streamlining the Genuine Ranking Criteria
It has become clear that the four updates related to page experience, mobile-friendliness, page speed, and secure site systems, were more suggestions than actual ranking criteria. At this point, designers should keep all these factors in mind, as they do have merit with real users, but they will not garner a higher ranking from Google.
These previous updates were more like recommended guidelines or tutorial hints to help create more appealing sites for users, but now that modern designers and site managers have mastered including these human-oriented aspects of their site, they are not seeking to curry favor from Google on these tasks.
Keeping the Correct Focus
Google ranking evaluates content on a page-specific basis rather than considering the content’s presentation or the user’s experience while on the page. So, when creating content with the desire for increased SEO and page ranking, the focus should be on the material far more than the page experience, the speed of the page, and its ability to function flawlessly on a mobile device.
To move to another less technically complex example, when you own a steak restaurant, your priority is purchasing quality meat and preparing it to perfection. Sure, you want a great ambiance, a decent wine list, and an appealing table setting, but if the steak does not make the grade, then the rest of the presentation and effort is wasted. Google is also telling content creators that the focus is on the content, the meat of the site. And while the trimmings do add a bit to the overall appeal, without great content, nothing else matters to the ranking system.