The Page Experience ranking update is due to launch in June. The rollout will be a gradual process, expected to last up to some point in August.
The update, which will bring in Core Web Vitals, was thought to apply just to mobile search, but at its I/O conference last week, Google said the update will eventually apply to desktop search results as well.
Speaking in the I/O session on Page Experience ranking, Google Product Manager Jeffrey Jose said they were working on bringing the update to desktop and would be providing updated documentation and guidance.
“Today I am happy to announce that we are bringing Page Experience ranking to desktop. While we’re launching Page Experience on mobile soon, we believe page experience is critical no matter the surface the user is browsing the web. This is why we’re working hard on bringing page experience ranking to desktop.
As always we’ll be providing updated guidance, documentation, and tools along the way to help you make your pages perform at (their) best. Stay tuned for more details on this.”
You can watch the I/O session on preparing for Page Experience ranking on YouTube here.
Don't panic if you're not ready
Meanwhile, in a video discussion with SEJ's Loren Baker, Google's Martin Splitt said site owners shouldn't worry too much if they're not ready for the June rollout, as the Page Experience ranking boost is going to used as something of a tiebreaker.
All other factors being equal, if one site meets Page Experience requirements, that would give it a ranking boost to one site over another that didn't.
First things first, don’t panic. Don’t like completely freak out, because as I said it’s a tiebreaker. For some it will be quite substantial, for some it will not be very substantial, so you don’t know which bucket you’ll be in basically, because that depends a lot on context and industry and niche. So I wouldn’t worry too much about it.
I think generally making your website faster for users should be an important goal, and it should not just be like completely ignored. Which is the situation in many companies today that they’re just like “yeah, whatever.”
Splitt says rather than fixating on the date, the key thing is for SEOs to get their companies to commit to making the fixes to improve performance.
It's not a case of dropping everything to focus on Core Web Vitals just now, but rather of taking a more reasoned approach. So, factoring in the work over the next few months, and making sure the requirements are met in new projects going forward.
You can see the full discussion on YouTube here.