Google has confirmed that the company will use signals to measure how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page, and plans to test a visual indicator highlighting pages in search results that might produce a great experience.
The idea is to identify the quality of a web page’s experience before the user clicks through to the website by viewing the content first in search results, snippets or image previews.
Visual indicators are another way to do the same thing. The plan is to test the feature and if successful, it will launch in May 2021.
The Google Page Experience update, which the company announced earlier this year, will roll out in May 2021. It will consider signals attributed to the perceived page experience a user might have. Those signals combine Core Web Vitals with existing search signals such as mobile-friendliness, safe-browsing, HTTPS-security, and intrusive interstitial guidelines.
Google’s post was shared by Jeffrey Jose, product manager on search. It notes that the company believes it is helpful to provide information about the quality of a web page’s experience before the person searching visits the page. In the results, the snippet or image preview helps provide topical context for users to know what information the page can provide.
There is also a planned rollout in May 2021 for non-AMP content to become eligible to appear in the mobile Top Stories feature in Search.
Any page that meets the Google News content policies will become eligible. The plan is to prioritize pages with great page experiences, whether they have implemented AMP or any other web technology, as Google ranks the results.
To support the industry in this change, Google has released tools that publishers can use to begin improving the page experience.
First, conduct a site-wide audit of pages to see where there is room for improvement. Search Console’s report for Core Web Vitals provides an overview of how the site performs.
Second, Page Speed Insights and Lighthouse can help fix any issues.