Google’s Page Experience Update For Desktop – How It Can Affect Rankings

March 4, 2022

Google has confirmed that the page experience update for destop search results that started February 22, 2022 was completed nine-days later on March 3, 2022, pretty quick compared to the 2 1/2 months it took to complete the mobile update.

What Was The Google Page Experience Update And What Does It Mean For Business Owners

Google’s update uses criteria to determine how a user experiences a page from your website that the search engine sends users to. This isn’t a new factor. Page experience is something that Google uses to determine if the users searching on their search engine are having a “good experience”. Google doesn’t want its users to be unhappy – so websites that score higher in page experience are going to benefit in search rankings.

The newest algorithm update for desktop is pretty similar to the mobile update that happened last year.

Your website should meet the following criteria or don’t expect to see benefits from this algorithm update:

  • Core Web Vitals (LCP + CLS + FID) –
    • (Largest Contentful Paint) – refers to the loading performance of a site. Now – keep in mind that this doesn’t measure the time it takes a website to load, but the time it takes the largest content element to load – a video, a graphic, an animation, etc.  If you notice that your page is loading quickly – but there is a delay in one of the video elements or photos – that should be looked at! Get Found First can help you uncover problems on your core web vitals – reach out for more information.
    • (First Input Delay) – is a test that measures how long it takes browsers to recognize a user’s first interaction on a page. The faster someone clicks on a link, watches a video, submits a form, or browses to another page, that user is measured as having a better experience on a page.  Users don’t take long to jump off a website that is lagging, slow to load, or has trouble loading clickable links.
    • (Cumulative Layout Shift) – this is the newest 3 core web vitals. Have you ever gone to a website, clicked on a button, and had the page reload or finish loading and the button has moved in the process? You have to locate the button again, click it again, and hope it doesn’t shift again! So annoying! This metric measures when elements shift and how much – a poor layout shift score isn’t going to help your rankings.
  • HTTPS Security – a newer but not THAT new criteria in Google’s algorithm. Essentially, if the page is served over HTTPS you’re meeting the criteria, if it’s not, you’re not and this can negatively affect your rankings. Check if your site’s connection is secure. If it’s not – call us! We can help!
  • Absence of intrusive interstitials – Intrusive interstitials are essentially pop-ups. They get in the way of a page, cover up the content, and can really annoy users. On mobile devices – pop ups can create enormous problems for users:
    • It might cover most or all of the content on a page
    • It might not be very responsive and extremely difficult, if not impossible, to close. For mobile users, the page becomes useless to the user
    • It pops up on its own without warning or invitation and can upset a user
It’s Important To Note

A drop in ranking sounds like a penalty for business owners who are not in compliance with Google’s page experience criteria, but it’s not. The criteria in the algorithm update simply mean that other sites can move above your rankings if they do. Ultimately, improving your page experience score is going to help you regain your rankings and stay competitive in your market.

It’s Not As Difficult As It Seems
It’s a lot of techy mumbo-jumbo that basically boils down to three questions:
  1. Do you have https encryption installed on your site? If your website url starts with https instead of http then it does.
  2. Do you have pop ups on your site? If not, no need to worry.
  3. Does the website meet the core web vitals guidelines? If you don’t know, let us check for you. Get Found First has been helping business owners get on top of Google’s game so that they stay ahead of their competition for a long time! We can help you too!

There are also tools that can help you.

Google’s Core Web Vitals report in Search Console
PageSpeed Insights
Chrome DevTools


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