Adios Old Algorithm!
Google silently vanished several page-experience ranking systems, including page speed and mobile optimisation. Did these things ever matter to your SEO ranking or is this proof that SEO is much more about trial and error than it is about consumer science? Here’s what we know.
Missing In Action
Google, as you can imagine, are pretty good at tracking their systems. From their first installation to final retirement, every system goes through the same steps and notes are made along the way. However, whilst scrolling through Google’s most recent blogs regarding SEO updates, something was missing…
Google’s Page Experience system, which gauges page quality by measuring load times, mobile optimisation and security has vanished. It’s not retired or integrated, it is totally MIA!
Relevant Content, Sub-par Experiences
That sounds serious, but what does this mean? For you, it means that your SEO ranking is no longer affected by poor load times and a lack of basic security, so long as your content is on point.
Google’s reasoning for this change emphasises that user experience is considered secondary to featured content.
“Google Search always seeks to show the most relevant content, even if the page experience is sub-par.”
Google then does not consider user experience all that important. In fact, Google now refers to its previous page experience systems (which we remember being a big deal back in the day) as concepts rather than ranking systems in their own right.
Without us putting on our tinfoil hat, that tells us that despite the hours which SEO pros and Web Devs around the world have put in to ensure that their pages offer the best user experience… We’re sorry to say that it appears that page experience never really impacted rankings at all.
For The User
This puts us in a tricky position and Google has really put a ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t stamp on-page experience, at least until we hear more.
Dedicating time to ensure your site runs smoothly on mobile, loads quickly and is secure is imperative to maintaining a good user experience and thus increasing the likelihood that users will explore your site, increasing your authority and thus ranking.
However, user experience in itself doesn’t actively impact your SEO rankings. If you want to be discovered – at least for now – it is better to put your effort into content even at the cost of intentionally giving your audience a bad experience.