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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.