Internal studies and industry research show that users prefer sites that provide an excellent page experience. In recent years, research has added various user experience criteria, such as page loading speed and mobile phone usability, as factors in the ranking of results. Earlier this month, the Chrome team announced Core Web Vitals, a set of metrics related to speed, responsiveness, and visual stability to help site owners measure user experience on the web.
Today, we build on this work and present the first glimpse of an upcoming change in search rankings that incorporates these page experience measures. We will introduce a new signal that combines the “Core Web Vitals” with our existing page experience signals to provide a holistic picture of the quality of a user’s experience on a web page.
As part of this update, we will also integrate page experience metrics into our ranking criteria for the Top Stories feature in Search on mobile, and we will remove the MPA requirement for Top Storie’s eligibility. Google continues to support the MPA program and will continue to provide links to MPA pages when they become available. We have also updated our development tools to help site owners optimize the experience of their pages.
A note on timing: We recognize that many site owners are rightly focused on responding to the effects of COVID-19. The ranking changes described in this article will not occur until next year, and we will give you at least six months notice before they are implemented. We are providing you with the tools to help you get started now (and because site owners have always asked to be notified of changes in rankings as soon as possible), but there is no need to act immediately.
About the page experience
The page experience signal measures aspects of how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page. Optimizing these factors makes the web more enjoyable for users, regardless of their browser or surface, and allows sites to evolve towards the expectations of mobile users. We believe this will contribute to the success of businesses on the web, as users will be more engaged and will be able to conduct transactions with less friction.
Core Web Vitals” are a set of concrete, user-centric metrics that quantify key aspects of the user experience. They measure dimensions of web usability such as loading time, interactivity and stability of content as it loads (so you don’t accidentally tap that button when it passes under your finger – how annoying!).