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Page Experience Signals

User experience (UX) matters a lot to Google. With that in mind, they design a set of quality signals named page experience signals to measure how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page beyond its pure information value, both on mobile and desktop devices. Page Experience is evaluated per-URL.

According to Google, the following signals are essential for delivering a good page experience:

  • Core Web Vitals. A subset of Web Vital metrics that aim to provide you with measurable proxies for Real User Experience/Metrics (RUM). The metrics chosen by Google as Core focus on the aspects of loading (LCP), responsiveness (INP), and visual stability (CLS). PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix are excellent tools for measuring CWV, among many others.
  • Mobile-friendliness. Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test or check your Google Search Console under Enhancements > Mobile Usability if your website/pages are mobile-friendly.
  • Safe-browsing. To check if there are any safe-browsing issues, use Google Search Console under Security & Manual Actions.
  • HTTPS. Ensure the website/pages are served over HTTPS, as it helps prevent anyone from tampering with the communication between the website and the user’s browser. Security comes first.
  • Intrusive Interstitials. It is not about not using them but rather about using them responsibly.

Page Experience Goes Beyond Signals

Creating helpful, reliable, people-first content plays a huge part in what Google considers a great page experience. Do not focus solely on conquering CWV or providing a mobile-friendly experience. Instead, make sure you're providing an overall great page experience across many aspects, with signals being one, content quality other, intent and content type in search results another, etc.

Importance of Page Experience Signals

Page experience signals are all about giving a share of voice to user experience in search algorithms. Still, in 2023, Google announced that Google Search always seeks to show the most relevant content, even if the page experience is sub-par. This basically means that content-related signals will always outweigh page experience signals.

However, Google's ranking systems use only Core Web Vitals out of all Page Experience signals (announcement from 2024). The value of PES as a whole is more on the user engagement and business metrics side of things and secondary signals involving the use of your website that add up to the Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-E-A-T) practices.

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