Page Experience is a ranking signal, not a ranking system

Posted by Edith MacLeod on 11 May, 2023
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Google issues clarification after blog update causes some confusion.

Page Experience.

Image source: Pexels

Google have moved to clarify the status and importance of Page Experience after an update to Google’s page on ranking systems led to a certain amount of confusion.

Page Experience was removed from the page on ranking systems leading some to question the importance of considering this as a factor for rankings. In fact, it was part of Google tidying up, in keeping with their aim of using more precise terminology differentiating between ranking systems and ranking factors.

What changed?

In mid-April, Google updated its page on ranking systems and removed some elements connected with page experience (the page experience system, mobile-friendly system, page speed system and secure site system)

In a lengthy tweet, Danny Sullivan wrote:

“We had some things listed on that page relating to page experience as "systems" that were actually signals. They shouldn't have been on the page about systems. Taking them off didn't mean we no longer consider aspects of page experience. It just meant these weren't ranking *systems* but instead signals used by other systems.”

In a blog post last November, Google wrote about the difference between ranking systems and updates to rankings systems, and confusion arising from the use of the term “update”  to refer to a system.

So the upshot is: Page Experience is not a ranking system. It is one of many signals used by Google for ranking and it does matter. Google in fact published a separate blog post after updating its page on ranking systems “explaining things people should care about, along with an updated page about page experience”.

Danny Sullivan said the big takeaway was as stated in the first sentence in the page experience documentation:

"Google's core ranking systems look to reward content that provides a good page experience."

See Google’s blog post: The role of page experience in creating helpful content.

See Google’s updated documentation: Understanding page experience in Google search results.

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