Page experience is one of many ranking factors
Google uses hundreds of ranking factors to determine the best pages to show in response to a search query. The Page Experience Update introduces a new ranking signal that is just one of many.
For example, page experience won’t override great content as pages with the best information will be the priority for Google’s algorithms. It means that delivering an excellent page experience by itself won’t solve your website’s ranking problems in search.
Google has also implied that page experience is a light ranking factor. It may be more important in scenarios when Google considers multiple pages to have similar content quality for a search query.
The page experience signal includes sub-signals
The page experience signal combines multiple sub-signals. As explained above, those sub-signals are:
- Core Web Vitals
- HTTPS serving
- No intrusive interstitials
Some of the sub-signals part of the larger Page Experience signal already were ranking factors. For example, mobile-friendliness has been a ranking factor since 2015.
We don’t know the weight of each sub-signal
Although there have been some attempts to estimate the weight of each sub-signal, Google is not disclosing it.
Core Web Vitals is not a binary sub-signal
A page does not need to have a Good score for all CWV to get ranking benefits. That’s because Core Web Vitals are not a binary ranking signal. They work more like a “gradient” ranking factor. The better a page is on a scale from Good to Poor, the bigger the ranking boost.
There is no benefit in over-optimizing Core Web Vitals
The above entails no benefit to over-optimizing a page once it has already reached the Good threshold for each CWV. Thus, don’t obsess trying to score higher to rank better!
Google uses Core Web Vitals for both mobile and desktop search
In case you didn’t know, Google also factors in CWV data for desktop search. Therefore, optimizing for desktop devices also matters!
Google may use Core Web Vitals data from noindex and blocked pages
Google has said they may or may not use Core Web Vitals data from deindexed and blocked pages as part of the Page Experience Update. For example, if people land on a page with good Core Web Vitals but subsequently go to other pages with poor page experience, it might affect the standing of the page or site.
Thus, optimizing critical pages on your website that may not even be indexed might end up benefiting your site in search.
Page experience will continue to evolve
Google said that they intend to update the page experience signals on an annual basis. Therefore, we should expect Google to remove, add, or reassess the strength of each sub-signal over time.