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User Experience

User experience is an important factor for SEO, ensuring visitors have a positive experience when they view a website creates positive brand awareness, while also helping with a site’s authority in search. Within our Hangout Notes we cover recommendations and insights from Google to ensure your site provides a positive user experience.

Core Web Vitals metrics are weighted toward the pages with the most traffic on your site

Google’s Core Web Vitals (CWV) metrics are typically looked at through a sample of traffic to the overall website. Therefore, it’s the pages on your site that get the most visits that will contribute the most to the overall CWV score. Having pages on your site that perform poorly for Core Web Vitals, but don’t bring in a lot of traffic, is going to be less of a concern. In the same vein, pages with little traffic and great CWV metrics aren’t likely to pull up the site-wide score. The exception is if Google has enough data to segment a certain part of the site and treat it separately. For example, a super fast blog with lots of visits may end up being looked at on its own, away from the rest of the content on the site.

7 Apr 2022

The desktop Page Experience roll-out is unlikely to cause immediate or significant ranking changes

As page experience rolls out as a ranking factor on desktop, John is keen to clarify that the weight it holds will largely mirror what’s seen on mobile. If it’s clear that a page is the best result for that query, page experience signals could be downplayed. If there are multiple pages in SERPs that could answer the user’s query and intent equally well, page experience is one of the factors that could be used to distinguish between them and rank one site above another.

17 Mar 2022

It can take months for Google to reassess site quality

Google essentially has no memory when it comes to technical issues and there should be no lasting impact once a cause has been resolved. However, it can take Google weeks or even months to determine the quality of a site and establish how it fits into the wider context of the web. Therefore, improvements to site quality can take a lot longer to make a significant impact.

6 Dec 2021

Even significant speed improvements may only have a subtle impact on visibility

John warns users not to expect significant rises in visibility from speed improvements alone. This is true even if the speed goes from very slow to very fast in a short space of time. Given the complexity of Google’s algorithms, changes that affect page speed in isolation are likely to have a much more subtle impact on visibility.

6 Dec 2021

SEO improvements based on CWV metrics take about a month to show results

Google’s Core Web Vitals look at data that is delayed by around 28 days. This means that any significant page speed improvements you make on your website will typically take about a month to show up in the search results.  

30 Oct 2021

Core Web Vitals are weighted equally across all industries and website types

Neither the type of website nor industry vertical will alter how much weight is given to Google’s Core Web Vitals metrics.

30 Oct 2021

Links Within PDF Files Do Not Provide Any SEO Advantages but are Valuable for Usability

From a usability point of view, John recommends including a link back to your website within PDF documents, as they can make it easier to visit your site. However, as there is no way to let Google know about the link, it is likely they will be viewed as ‘text links’, which are similar to nofollow links where they would not forward any signals through them.

24 Jan 2020

When Optimising For Image Search Focus on The User Journey

Rather than just optimising images technically, John recommends focusing more on how a user will search for the visual content on your site.

12 Jul 2019

Test Different Approaches to Flexible Sampling to Find Best Solution For Content & Users

With flexible sampling, John recommends testing different approaches to see what works for users. Don’t commit to an extreme approach straight away, like Lead-in, as this might not be the best solution for your users and content.

9 Jul 2019

The Last Updated Date of a Page Does Not Play a Role in Rankings

While useful from a user’s perspective, the last updated date doesn’t impact the crawling, indexing or performance of a page within search results.

25 Jun 2019

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